Larisa Ortiz Associates (LOA) is a nationally recognized Minority and Women-Owned firm dedicated to commercial revitalization, including market analysis, community-based planning, retail and real estate advisory services, and downtown development strategies. We provide our clients with market-based solutions for their community revitalization efforts, and help them turn plans into outcomes. 


Our firm understands the unique challenges inherent in local economic development and we help organizations and municipalities with the capacity building, analysis and concept testing necessary to determine the regulatory, financial and political feasibility of complicated proposals and projects.

Our philosophy is that communities reap significant rewards when they take the time to accurately understand their stakeholders and their data before leaping into action. Only then can they prioritize a set of solutions that temper market realities with the interests of diverse voices within the community. This is where an expert advisor can help, offering objective third-party guidance and technical assistance that allows our clients to understand their market, reach consensus and then leverage that consensus for additional support, resources and funding.

The staff at Larisa Ortiz Associates has over two decades of experience helping our clients develop plans and execute efforts to improve downtowns, neighborhoods and commercial districts. We have served a variety of clients – real estate owners and developers, city and state governments, community-based organizations, Main Street programs and downtown managers.



Larisa Ortiz

Larisa is an award-winning urban planner with a lifelong passion for commercial revitalization and a distinguished career leading commercial revitalization initiatives for public, private and non-profit organizations. As a child visiting family in Guayama, Puerto Rico, she often dreamed of finding ways to reverse the slow decline of the historic downtown she had come to love.

Larisa brings an unmitigated commitment to commercial revitalization, and over 20 years of national and international experience to her clients. Most recently, this includes the successful effort to establish Latin America's first Business Improvement District as well as the award-winning and design and execution of the City of New York's capacity building programs in retail leasing and leadership programs for commercial district practitioners. 

Prior to founding LOA in 2008, Larisa served as founding Director of the Commercial Markets Advisory Service (CMAS), the in-house technical assistance program for the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), where she was charged with developing and executing technical assistance training and capacity building programs in commercial revitalization for LISC's network of offices and community partners around the country. While at LISC, Larisa also served as Director of LISC MetroEdge, an in-house retail market analysis service for LISC communities nationwide. MetroEdge is credited with fundamentally changing the discipline of market analysis for urban communities. Larisa continues to serve LISC MetroEdge as their lead East coast consultant.

While a Senior Project Manager at the New York Economic Development Corporation, Larisa led the inter-agency team charged with developing a comprehensive rezoning and regulatory framework for 125th Stret in Harlem to ensure the longevity of the nations' premier destination for African-American arts, culture and entertainment.

As a Watson Fellow and later Fulbright Scholar, Larisa has traveled the world investigating successful models of downtown revitalization, particularly in Spanish speaking countries, where she has conducted work in Guayama, Puerto Rico; Barcelona; Mexico City; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Santiago, Chile.

Larisa holds a B.A. with honors from Wesleyan University, and a master's degree in City Planning with a concentration in real estate development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Larisa teaches "Downtown Economic Development" at Pratt Institute. She is also the editor of the Commercial District Advisor blog, offering practical tips and profiling best practices in urban commercial district management, and is a frequent speaker and instructor on economic development in communities throughout the Tri-State Area. 

Contact Larisa:

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Patricia Voltolini, PhD

Patricia joined Larisa Ortiz Associates as a Project Manager in 2015 and brings a strong background of urban planning and consulting experience with her including quantitative analysis in economic development and commercial revitalization. Patricia’s background includes over eight years of research, academic teaching, and professional practice in planning and policy, architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture in small private firms and not-for profit organizations in the US and abroad. Her award-winning architecture and urban design work focused on engaging low-income groups in Brazil to develop sustainable community development plans. Her urban planning and policy work in the US has focused on promoting equitable development through research and/or community engagement.

Patricia earned her PhD in Planning and Public Policy from Rutgers, a Master of Science in Landscape Architecture from State University of New York, and a Bachelor in Architecture from Universidade Federal do rio Grande do Sul. She is the recipient of the 2014 Susan Fainstein Distinguished Scholarship Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Excellence in Doctoral Research and her research was nominated in 2014 for the ACSP Best Dissertation Award.

Contact Patricia:

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Nur Atiqa Asri
Research Associate

 Nur is an urban planner and designer with experience in public space planning and ethnography research. She brings with her years of experience in producing marketing and communications materials for non-profits in the US and abroad and is familiar with translating technical findings and research into simple graphic language for various stakeholders. 

Prior to joining LOA, Nur served as Project Analyst at the Center for Active Design (CfAD) and provided public health research and analysis and plan reviews to affordable housing developers in the Active Design Verified initiative. She has also worked closely with community-based development organizations in New York such as Evergreen and Community Solutions to plan and design vibrant districts for residents and workers in North and East Brooklyn.

Nur earned a Master of Science with Distinction in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and a BS in Urban Planning, Design and Management from University College London.

Contact Nur:

Scott Landfried
Operations Manager

Scott Landfried has a multidisciplinary background including contracts administration and project management in government as well as psychiatric nursing as a Registered Nurse. His love for small business, urban planning, and commercial revitalization led him to join Larisa Ortiz Associates in 2014 where he currently serves as Office Manager.

Scott earned his Masters in Healthcare Administration from Texas State University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Texas – Austin, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Texas A&M University. He moved to New York City in 2011.

Contact Scott:


As a specialized firm, we often partner with other highly qualified consultants on a variety of planning projects. Our partners include:

Florence To Design
Real Estate Marketing + Graphic Design

Specialized firm practicing in the areas of economic and econometrics, urban and transportation planning and architectural design. 

Civitas Consultants
Downtown + Community Development

Main Street Complete
Small Business Consulting + Web Design

The Office of Katie Osborn
Wayfinding + Graphic Design

Mark Keener
Philadelphia based, Urban Design + Architecture

National Main Street Center
National organization committed to historic preservation-based on community revitalization.

Dadras Architects
Architecture + Urban Design + Downtown Revitalization

MJB Consulting
A retail planning and real estate consulting firm based in New York and San Francisco. 

Coro New York Leadership Center
New York's premier leadership training program. Runs the Neighborhood Leadership program for NYC based practitioners leading commercial revitalization efforts. 


We currently have no open positions.  

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