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225 Ross Street, Ste. 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15219





Get To Know Your Allies | Consultant Edition | Tom Hardy of Palo Alto Partners

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Tom Hardy, local consultant and owner of Palo Alto Partners, has been working with Neighborhood Allies over the past six months, as part of a team of consultants, on our Shared Real Estate Talent program and as an instructor for the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series.

Read on to learn about the expertise, capacity and passion he is lending to the Neighborhood Allies Team, and to Pittsburgh neighborhoods and residents.

“I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a great team of consultants and staff at Neighborhood Allies.  We’re combining creative ideas with the technical capacity and resources to make neighborhood based real estate projects a reality.”


What is your full-time job/what do you do/connection to Pittsburgh community development?

I have my own real estate and finance consulting company Palo Alto Partners that I formed in 2009 after working as a staff person with several local CDC’s.  The bulk of my practice is with non-profits in the Pittsburgh region.

How are you working with/partnering with Neighborhood Allies?

I am working with Neighborhood Allies as part of a team of consultants who are developing the Shared Real Estate Talent program, which is a piece of the Neighborhood Allies/LISC’s Housing Impact Fund. I’ve also been an instructor in the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series.

What expertise do you bring to enrich neighborhood projects/initiatives we are partnering on?

I’ve worked in many of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods over the past 20 years. I try to bring that diverse experience to each project I work on. Although each neighborhood is different, there are common elements that are important in doing this type of work. These include being able to listen well, facilitating dialogue amongst a diverse group of stakeholders, and being accountable for what you commit to.

What is special about the work we are collaborating on?

I enjoy that the traditional definition of community development has broadened in recent years. It includes not just CDC’s but other organizations and individuals that are taking a creative approach to improving neighborhoods.

Which is your favorite project/program you’ve worked on?

I’ve really enjoyed the Real Estate Co-Powerment series. Helping folks learn the language of real estate so that they can be better positioned to interact with developers is particularly important in the current environment with so much development occurring. The participants have been very engaged and its exciting to be part of this.

What value-add and impact do you see us having via our collaborative work?

Real estate projects are very technical by their nature. They are challenging, even for folks that are experienced professionals. I like the fact that we’re able to leverage the collective expertise of our consultant group and Neighborhood Allies / LISC to help turn ideas into real projects. Our approach is flexible, so we can help an organization who has never done a real estate project to a seasoned organization that just needs some patient financing to move a project forward. A good example is the work that we are doing with New Sun Rising and their partners on developing the Moose Project.

For more information on the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series or the Shared Real Estate Talent Program contact Zak Thomas at 

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