ULI-St. Louis names new chair

Kacey Cordes

Kacey Cordes, vice president at St. Louis-based U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), has been named chair of the Urban Land Institute St. Louis District Council. Cordes was also named to chair the national ULI Public-Private Partnership Council.

Cordes succeeds Chip Crawford, managing director of The Lamar Johnson Collaborative, as ULI St. Louis Chair. She recently served as ULI’s Chair of Mission Advancement, pushing the responsible land use organization to center racial equity in its work to advance development across the region.

Cordes’ goals moving forward as ULI chair for the next two years are to tap thoughtful leadership to prioritize partnerships and social justice to drive equitable development throughout St. Louis. In addition, she will advance ULI as an important resource for developers and urban planners as they navigate challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cordes has worked on some of the most complex transactions in the community development industry, leveraging various types of tax credits and debt products to finance innovative affordable housing projects. She has experienced first-hand the inherent challenges and tenacity required to develop safe, quality housing for farmworkers, homeless families, those with mental illness, and front-line workers whose wages haven’t kept up with the cost of living.

In her role as chair of the ULI Public-Private Partnership Council, Cordes will lead a national cohort of cross-sector practitioners who develop public-private real estate projects. That group convenes to develop, refine, and disseminate best practices and has also just renewed its commitment to champion equitable development innovations.

Cordes is a vice president on the affordable housing team at USBCDC, headquartered in St. Louis. The team invests and lends up to $2 billion annually to affordable housing projects in cities nationwide. Over the last 12 years, she has worked with this team to finance tens of thousands of safe, quality homes.

Cordes holds a master’s in real estate development from Columbia University and a degree in political science and international business from Washington University in St. Louis. She is also a member of the 2016-17 class of Leadership St. Louis. Since 2015, she has been active in USBCDC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work and has participated in anti-bias anti-racism training conducted by Crossroads, a recognized leader in advancing racial equity.