Tracey A. Nichols
Director of Financial Services
As Director of Financial Services, Tracey works with clients to identify and secure public financing opportunities for business expansion and real estate projects. In addition, she assists nonprofit and municipal clients with economic development strategies, real estate strategies, brownfield projects, program development and technical assistance. Tracey has been nationally recognized for her talents in economic and community development and enjoys working with businesses, developers, counties and municipalities, as well as community development corporations and other nonprofits. Her recent projects include Cleveland’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, the NRP Group’s new headquarters, Fairfax Innovation Square, Scranton Peninsula, Voss Industries’ new manufacturing facility and the city of Lakewood’s RFP for a prominent development site.
Tracey joined Project Management Consultants after serving nearly nine years as Director of Economic Development for Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. During her tenure, Tracey led her team to complete almost 900 projects, representing nearly $3 billion in investment in the city of Cleveland and creating and retaining more than 27,000 jobs. Tracey’s team also secured nearly $100 million in grants and pass-through funding.
Tracey is known for creating innovative programs such as the Vacant Property Initiative, which has resulted in the development of nearly 4 million square feet in vacant buildings and more than 100 acres of vacant land, creating and retaining over 7,500 jobs. She worked diligently to move the city of Cleveland forward by undertaking some of the most complicated financing projects, including the Flats East Bank, nuCLEus and Health Tech Corridor, as well as other projects large and small that have helped the city gain recognition for its economic resurgence.
Tracey has a degree in Business Management from Case Western Reserve University and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional. Her work has been nationally recognized, and she has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and events by organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, National League of Cities, National Brownfields Conference and International Economic Development Council on topics including economic development finance, economic inclusion, transit-oriented development and redevelopment. Tracey received the Cleveland Foundation’s Homer Wadsworth Award and the National Development Council’s Robert W. Davenport Community Development Leadership award, and she was honored as Public Executive of the Year by Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits. She is a board member of the International Economic Development Council.
- RhinoSystems, Inc.: Developed public incentives for a new manufacturing and headquarters property and new equipment for an expanding specialty medical product manufacturer.
- Voss Industries LLC: Evaluated multiple locations for the relocation of a major manufacturing facility and worked on incentives for each location, allowing the company to select the best location with incentives to help them continue to grow, creating and retaining over 300 jobs.
- Selman Company: Assisted the company with state and local incentives for a new headquarters and helped address an issue with the FAA regarding one of the possible locations.
- Mayor’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative & Huntington Bank: Worked with Huntington Bank and Fannie Mae to create a new national pilot program for high LTV loans to support new construction of homes in areas with low appraised values.
- BoxCast: Developed public incentives for an expansion to create over 70 new jobs and a new headquarters location.
- City of Cleveland: Worked with a group to help devise and implement the mayor’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative to leverage $40 million in bond funds to generate new investment in targeted neighborhoods. As part of the program, used $8.5 million of city funds to generate a commercial loan fund with local banks and a national nonprofit.
- NRP Group: Developed public incentives for a new headquarters location.
- Stark Enterprises, nuCLEus development project: Developed public incentives strategy to support the project.
- 925 Euclid Avenue Redevelopment: Developed public incentives for $280 million historic redevelopment. Worked with State Historic Tax Credit Office to help bring Catalytic Credit to project.
- Geis Companies, Ameritrust Redevelopment: Developed public incentives for the $180 million redevelopment of the Ameritrust complex, including seeking and receiving HUD 108 financing.
- Midwest Development Partners: Developed public incentives for $200 million development project in University Circle.
- Applied Industrial Technologies: Developed public financing and incentive package for headquarters acquisition.
- Flats East Bank: Developed public financing incentives for $700 million mixed-use redevelopment with 32 different sources of financing over four major asset classes. Negotiated collateral changes and refinancing.
- Dealer Tire: Developed public incentives for headquarters project, keeping the company in Cleveland. Project included a TIF and HUD 108 financing.
- First Interstate: Developed public incentives for the $112 million One University project.
- Developed the Vacant Property Initiative, which provided incentives that led to the redevelopment of over 4 million square feet of vacant space and more than 100 acres of vacant land.
- Worked with public and private partners to develop the Health Tech Corridor, harnessing the business attraction capacity of the “Eds and Meds” in the area to attract over 100 companies and millions of dollars of investment to this transit-oriented development strategy.
- Substantive experience using HUD grants and HUD 108 loan financing.
- "Construction: How to Move Projects Forward in Today's Economy," June 2019
- “Get in the (Opportunity) Zone,” IEDC Webinar, March 2019
- “Opportunity Zones: Latest Updates & Where We Are Seeing Traction,” Cleveland Engineering Society, March 2019
- “Opportunity Zones,” ULI Cleveland, January 2019
- “Opportunity Zones,” Greater Cleveland Partnership 4th Qtr. Middle Market Program, December 2018
- “Fastest Ways to Create Jobs That Stick,” IEDC Annual Conference, November 2018
- “Opportunity Zones and Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds,” NAIOP Northern Ohio, June 2018
- “Hot Opportunities for Local Development,” CMBA Real Estate Law, April 2018
- “Incentivize This! Successfully Negotiating Economic Development Incentives,” ICSC Regional Conference, March 2018
- “Emerging Real Estate Trends In Northeast Ohio,” ULI, January 2018
- “Using HUD 108 for Job Creation and Economic Inclusion,” NDC Academy, October 2017
- “Is That Your Best Offer? How Changes in Federal Programs Could Impact Local Development Projects,” Associated General Contractors Group, July 2017
- “Working to Improve Your Community,” ULI Young Leaders, March 2017
- “Moving Toward a More Equitable Region: How Regional Transit Will Expand Opportunity,” Mackinac Policy Conference, June 2016
- “We Are Cleveland: Leading for Change,” Cleveland Leadership Center, September 2016
- “Concepts for Successful Transit-Oriented Development,” ITDP – Cape Town & Johannesburg, South Africa, October 2013
- Received Team NEO’s Regional Economic Development Champion Award, Business Leader, 2019
- Received the National Development Council’s Robert W. Davenport Community Development Leadership Award, 2017
- Named a Woman of Note by Crain’s Cleveland Business, 2015
- Named Public Executive of the Year by Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits, 2015
- Received the Council of Development Finance Agencies’ Excellence Award for Leadership, 2015
- Received the North Coast Minority Media & Diversity Chamber’s MBE/Urban Professional Award for Government, 2015
- Received the Cleveland Foundation’s Homer C. Wadsworth Award for extraordinary accomplishment in the public or not-for-profit sector, 2010