Kevin Johns

Kevin Johns

Economic Development and Globalization Strategist

Kevin is the former Director of Economic Development for Austin, Texas – a top-tier economic success story. 

  • 15-billion in capital investment
  • 8,000 new jobs
  • 2 multi-billion redevelopments
  • 22 innovation companies
  • Helped construct 230 public private partnerships
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CONTACT

kjohns@metroanalytics.com

CERTIFICATIONS

American Institute of Certified Planners

  • PPPs: over 230 successful public private partnerships in communities across America
  • Economic Competitiveness
  • Small Business Expansion
  • Globalization Strategic Planning
  • Performance Incentives
  • Urban Renewal
  • Skill-Development programs for Underprivileged
  • Small Business Expansion: Harvard-Ash Government Award
  • Strategic Planning: IEDC Best Strategy to Address Globalization
  • Public Engagement: Emmy Award
  • ROI Software Development: LOCI, Envision Tomorrow
  • Performance-Based Incentives: #1 by “Good Jobs First” for transparency
  • Freight Cluster Studies, Atlanta Metro Area
  • Strategic Regional Thoroughfare Plan, Atlanta Regional Com
  • MPO Guidance on Freight Planning and Performance Monitoring
  • Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Study, Atlanta International Airport area
  • BA, Case Western Reserve University
  • MS, City Planning, Georgia Tech
  • 30+ years
  • Austin, TX Economic Dev. Director
  • Palm Beach County, Florida
  • Atlanta-Area


Specialties of Excellence

Kevin’s Vision is to use cultural diversity as an economic strength, locally and internationally. His global trade strategy, the “Science City Network” capitalized on Hispanic, Black and Asian Chambers of Commerce business diaspora, and has linked Austin’s tech community to 125,000 innovation firms worldwide.

Kevin affiliates with Metro Analytics to advise visionary leaders on customizing implementation of award-winning economic strategies, gaining access to global capital infrastructure investments, cultural diversity as an economic strength, and poverty elimination. He is also the founder of Future Economies LLC. 


Projects

Financial Experience

  • Urban Regeneration: $5 billion in Redevelopment activity under Kevin’s supervision. The 85 acre waterfront Seaholm Eco District, the 700 acre Mueller adaptive reuse of Bergstrum Air Base, The Domain, a mixed use, walkable optional downtown, the 2nd Street District, a five block revitalized downtown corridor represented the largest regeneration of municipal government owned property in Central Texas. The 85 acre Seaholm District Redevelopment reached near completion with the sale and restoration of the 1950s Seaholm Power Plan, recruitment of Athena Health medical software company and 750 employees at the abandoned hulk, and location of Google and Under Armour U.S. regional operations. Trammel Crow completed major developments in their Master Development Agreement. The 58 story Independent is under construction. In the Mueller Redevelopment (HUD 2015 Secretary Award) the adaptive reuse of the former airport site has generated 4000 homes, a new town center, extensive small business growth, and expansion of the Dell and University of Texas medical facilities. The Domain, with incentivized development strategies to propel neo traditional, walkable, live work community growth, has evolved into non incentivized urban regeneration phases representing over $1 billion in new construction in the past ten years. The 303 acre redevelopment is a high-density office, retail, and residential center owned and operated by Endeavor Real Estate Group, TIER REIT, Inc., Simon Property Group, and Stonelake Capital Partners in the high-tech corridor of northwest Austin, Texas. The 2nd Street District, the $1 billion essential downtown corridor of urban regeneration, is a continuing public private partnership anchored by the Austin City Limits Music facility in the base of the “W” Hotel, the 1000 room Marriott Hotel, Silicon Labs Research offices and 35% local street front retail stores.

    Businesses: Mr. Johns created the Merchants Challenge (Souly Austin) to encourage small and minority businesses to form associations throughout Austin commercial areas. Six merchant associations have been formed, including the traditional black and Asian commercial areas of the city – to drive cultural tourism and self-help development. To create business acumen for redevelopment in the city, Mr. Johns conceived of the Envision Tomorrow (ET) economic scenario planning software, which predicts the economic blindside of government investment – before that investment occurs. ET is invaluable as a tool which enables cities to pay for infrastructure on a pay as you go basis (CIDs, PIDs, and TIFS) self-taxing districts. This ROI technology uniquely forecasts displacement before it occurs, a key and preventable issue of gentrification in cities.

    Science Cities: To connect Austin minority and immigrant business diaspora to Technology Parks and Areas of Innovation worldwide, Mr. Johns allied Austin with IASP, (the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation), and now links economic clusters in 71 countries and representing 125,000 high technology companies to Austin innovation companies. The Austin Asian, Hispanic and Black Chambers of Commerce are leaders in this effort and currently connect Austin to a global network of Science Cities chosen economically and culturally.

    Access to Capital: Mr. Johns launched successful new economic initiatives to reset Austin’s local business Economy. The Family Business Loan and Micro loan programs were designed and implemented to provide much needed capital for small business expansions in Austin. This was a $40 million partnership with HUD ($11 million in 108 loan dollars), Credit Unions, and Banks and not for profit community lenders. For each $35,000 borrowed, businesses are required to hire one individual. 51% of new employees must be low to moderate income from nearby neighborhoods. Meet the Lender, Harvard University recognized small business lending fair has been expanded to the Convention Center to accommodate the large interest from local businesses.

    Creatives: During the Great Recession, the Creative Economy of Austin grew 25%, increasing to $4.3 billion, 49,000 jobs and $71 million in taxes. Kevin focused Music and Entertainment, Cultural Arts, Small Business and Innovation to build an economy of the future. New policies include teaching artists and musicians how to collect royalties, to access performance space with Sacred Space Church initiatives, merchandize, negotiate contracts, access capital and to tap into revenue streams for advertising. Over 400 performance based contracts are generated annually to Austin creatives.

    Breaking the Cycle and Cost of Children in Poverty: the Einstein Challenge. This is an economic intervention on poverty, designed to remove 40,000 children in poverty within ten years by incentivizing technology and entrepreneurial companies to tutor or, educate by proxy, youth for jobs and careers that pay $100,000 or more. Austin would generate $38 – 70 million in new revenues annually with implementation. Mr. Johns has created a local property tax break methodology modeled on the successful recruitment of Apple, Samsung, Facebook, E Bay, Visa and other, for leading companies to teach children in poverty, for ten years, in a longitudinal study where performance is measured monetarily and educationally. The University of Texas is developing a collective impact model to measure the financial outcomes. We estimate national replication would generate $700 billion annually in new taxes, significantly more than the annual national deficits. The ROI is being measured in cost savings (less affordable homes needed, less subsidized utilities, less health and human services, less criminal justice costs), and net new taxes from increased wages.


Education & History

Education

  • BA, Case Western Reserve University
  • MS, City Planning, Georgia Tech

Awards

  • Small Business Expansion: Harvard-Ash Government Award
  • Strategic Planning: IEDC Best Strategy to Address Globalization
  • Public Engagement: Emmy Award
  • ROI Software Development: LOCI, Envision Tomorrow
  • PPPs: over 230 successful public private partnerships in communities across America
  • Performance-Based Incentives: #1 by “Good Jobs First” for transparency
  • Urban Regeneration: IEDC Best Public-Private Partnership globally, 2015 APA Secretary of HUD Economic Award, and 2017 US Green Energy Council Awards.

Professional Involvement

  • City of Austin Texas, Director of Economic Development (2010-2018)
  • 2017 Emmy Award for Public Service Announcements Outreach to Small Business

  • 2015 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for the Electronic Market Place for Recycling Businesses in an Eco Industrial Park

  • 2012 HUD Sustainability Grant of $3.6 million to create the Economic Scenario planning software “Envision Tomorrow” in partnership with CAPCOG and stakeholders

  • 2010 Harvard Ash Government Award for “Meet the Lender,” a Business Fair with 60 lender and 600 local businesses seeking access to capital

  • 2011 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for Small Business IBIZ District Network2011 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for Addressing Globalization of Businesses2010 HUD $11 million 108 Lending pool to create the “Family Business Loan and Micro Loan Programs

  • 2013 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for Small Business LocallyAustin.org marketing system

  • 2013 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for the Best Public Private Partnership: the 2nd Street Revitalization

  • 2017 Urban Land Institute “Jack Kemp” Award

  • 2017 U.S. National Green Energy Council Awards for $1.8 billion Mueller Redevelopment

  • 2017 National Association of Telecommunications Office Awards (6)

  • 2016 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal Award for the Venture Capital Pitch Initiative

  • 2016 Emmy Award for Small Businesses addressing Post Disaster Economic Planning PSAs

  • 2015 American Planning Association: Secretary’s Economic Opportunity Award

  • 2015 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for the Electronic Market Place for Recycling Businesses in an Eco Industrial Park

  • 2012 HUD Sustainability Grant of $3.6 million to create the Economic Scenario planning software “Envision Tomorrow” in partnership with CAPCOG and stakeholders

  • 2010 Harvard Ash Government Award for “Meet the Lender,” a Business Fair with 60 lender and 600 local businesses seeking access to capital

  • 2013 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for the Best Public Private Partnership: the 2nd Street Revitalization

  • 2013 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for Small Business LocallyAustin.org marketing system2011 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for Small Business IBIZ District Network

  • 2011 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Gold Medal for Addressing Globalization of Businesses

  • 2010 HUD $11 million 108 Lending pool to create the “Family Business Loan and Micro Loan Programs