Gary Stith

FHRC Director

Gary Stith has over 38 years in public and private planning practice. He led the successful redevelopment of downtown Manhattan, Kansas through a public private partnership. He managed the assembly of nine square blocks of land for the site of a 400,000-square-foot shopping mall that is anchored by three department stores. This development was adjacent to the historic downtown which was tied to the mall through the creation of the first Business Improvement District in Kansas. Stith developed the public financing for this redevelopment project, which included a $9 million Federal UDAG grant, special assessment districts, and Tax Increment Financing.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, Stith managed the design and construction of retail projects for a home improvement retail company including the design, construction, and leasing of several retail centers. 

In Montgomery County, Maryland Stith managed the redevelopment of downtown Silver Spring through a public private partnership. This mixed-use development included retail, entertainment, hotel, office, and residential elements. The county was responsible for acquisition, environmental cleanup, historic preservation, public parking, public space and facilities, public art, and streetscaping. The private sector managed the construction, financing, leasing, and operation of the commercial and residential uses in the project. This $400 million project has resulted in over $1.2 billion of new investment in downtown Silver Spring.

Stith has a master's degree in Regional and Community Planning and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from The Ohio State University. He is an Assistant Professor (part time) in the Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning at Kansas State University. He teaches urban design and land planning and development.