A Boston planning and economic development expert is expected to be appointed Wednesday by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority board to be the agency’s new executive director, NJBIZ has learned.
John Palmieri, a New Jersey native, has served as the director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, director of development services in Hartford, director of economic development in Charlotte and director of development and planning in Providence.
Gov. Chris Christie‘s schedule shows he will make a CRDA announcement Wednesday morning in Atlantic City, and sources said it is related to the appointment of Palmieri. Palmieri replaces Tom Carver, and Susan Ney Thompson has been serving as CRDA’s interim director.
In Providence, Palmieri was hired by Mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr. in 1985 and later worked for Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. Boston Redevelopment Agency officials cited Palmieri’s ability to work with a demanding mayor like Cianci, according to a Providence Business News 2007 interview with Palmieri. Palmieri said in the PBN interview both mayors were demanding, and “I learned very quickly that in a city like Providence, you need to pay attention to the mayor’s directives and get things done. I don’t know how more politely I could put that. … Working for strong mayors teaches someone very quickly in government that there isn’t room for lollygagging. You need to pay attention.”
Palmieri’s career focus has been neighborhood and downtown revitalization projects. In his Providence director role from 1993 to 2002, Palmieri helped lead the implementation of a strategy to create an arts and cultural district, the development of the 1.2 million-square-foot Providence Place Mall and the creation of a $1 billion Capital Center corporate district, according to a 2007 press release from the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
From 2002 to 2004, Palmieri served as Charlotte’s first director of economic development where he attracted a Time/Warner Headquarters and a Johnson & Wales University campus, implemented a new program to provide small businesses with financial assistance, and implemented policy guidelines for transit-oriented development, according to the Boston release.
In Hartford from 2004 to 2007, Palmieri partnered with the local chamber of commerce to develop a strategic plan and marketing program for the city, established a tax increment financing district for a major mixed-use development at a historic factory site and re-organized the city’s core development functions.
Palmieri has a B.A. in political science from Temple University and an M.P.A. from the University of Rhode Island, according to the Providence Business News.