Portland City Manager Mark Rees today announced he will recommend to the City Council it hire Jeffrey Levine as the city’s new Planning and Urban Development Director.
If I’ve got this all straight, Levine steps into a job that city Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell had been holding down on an interim basis since October, after previous Planning and Urban Development Director Penny St. Louis left.
Levine is currently Director of Planning and Community Development for the town of Brookline, Mass. Here’s a little background information on him provided by City Hall:
During his tenure at Brookline, Levine guided the $32 million adaptive reuse project at the former Saint Aidan’s church into a 59-unit mixed income development with significant preservation of historic structures and open space. He worked with commercial and residential developers on new development projects valued at more than $250 million and helped create and launch the Hubway bicycle sharing program. Prior to joining Brookline, Levine served as Director of Transportation and Long Range Planning for the City of Sommerville, Massachusetts during which he helped author a reuse plan for the 145-acre Assembly Square district that began the redevelopment process of the district into a $30 million mixed-use, transit oriented development. He also led the early planning process for the Green Line trolley line extension. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Levine earned his Masters in Planning in Economic Development from the University of Minnesota.
Here’s a statement from Rees about the proposed hire:
Levine’s experience and understanding of diverse urban communities made him the right choice to lead the city’s planning and community development efforts He will be able to help the department continue its progress towards improving services to the public and his community building perspective, thorough knowledge of historic preservation and land use issues will be invaluable.
According to the announcement, Levine will work part-time for Portland from July 9 to Sept. 4 while he moves his family to the area, then transition into the job full time, assuming the council confirms the hire at its Monday night meeting.