Real estate executive Randall Lewis has donated $10 million to the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the largest single donation in ULI’s 86-year history to date, to fund the organization’s efforts to make the built environment more sustainable.
In honor of the historic contribution, ULI has renamed the former Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance the ULI Randall Lewis Center for Sustainability in Real Estate. The center, which focuses upon creating healthy, resilient, and high-performance communities around the world, houses ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, the Urban Resilience program, and the Greenprint Center for Building Performance.
In supporting ULI’s sustainability center, Lewis sees an opportunity to impact three crucial issues — building resilience against effects of climate change, creating healthier places for people to live and work, and reducing carbon emissions — in a holistic way.
“Synergy between the three parts of the center is important to me,” explained Lewis. “Public health and climate action are very closely related, and many of the solutions will be linked as well. This gift is a way for me to make a personal impact upon one of the world’s most pressing problems and transform millions of lives, and I urge other real estate executives to consider supporting ULI’s far-reaching work.”
“This gift will transform the Center by providing near term resources to accelerate our work on climate adaptation and mitigation while we continue our comprehensive work to build healthy communities,” said Ed Walter, ULI Global CEO. “We are grateful for the trust that Randall has in ULI to effectively mobilize its resources, including our 45,000 members, to make a visible difference on these important issues. I want to thank Randall for his invaluable generosity and steadfast support of ULI’s vision over the years.”
Lewis is a longtime ULI member as well as a Governor of the ULI Foundation. He also supports the ULI/Randall Lewis Health Mentorship Program, which pairs graduate students with ULI members to help deepen their understanding of opportunities to advance health through careers in the land use industry. His past gifts to ULI include a $1,000,000 donation in support of the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative, which focuses on shaping projects and places to improve the health of people and communities. He is an avid volunteer and has devoted more than 25 years to building healthy places and placemaking initiatives nationally.
Lewis’ gift is largely unrestricted, which allows ULI flexibility in funding sustainability programs to meet future needs in a rapidly changing environment. The funding will take ULI’s sustainability efforts to the next level as it delivers on its mission priority to decarbonize the real estate sector and accelerate the path to net zero.
“With this funding, we can tackle the most pressing sustainability challenges in our industry as they arise, helping our members understand the challenges and develop solutions they can apply in their organizations,” commented Billy Grayson, Executive Vice President for Centers and Initiatives at ULI.
“What makes a gift transformational is that this changes the trajectory of ULI and the Center,” noted ULI Foundation President Janice Periquet, “It’s catalytic because we can leverage this opportunity to connect with a broader audience and present ideas that will drive progress on these initiatives.”
An industry veteran with more than four decades of experience, Lewis is an Executive Vice President and Principal of the Lewis Management Corp., a southern California-based developer of master plan communities, shopping centers, apartment complexes, and industrial and residential projects in California and Nevada. The group has built 58,000 homes and developed 24 million square feet of retail, office, and industrial space, and currently owns and manages 11,000 apartments. Lewis oversees the group’s sales and marketing operations.
Over the course of his career, Lewis has also been involved with organizations such as the National Association of Home Builders and has been inducted into the California Homebuilding Foundation’s Hall of Fame. He is a 1973 graduate of Claremont McKenna College where he recently helped establish the Randall Lewis Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.