Larisa Ortiz, Commissioner
Larisa Ortiz, Commissioner

Larisa Ortiz is a nationally recognized expert in community economic development and retail planning. She is a Managing Director at Streetsense, where she leads their Public Non Profit Sector Solutions group. She is the author of “Improving Tenant Mix: A Guide for Commercial District Practitioners” published by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), “Understanding the ‘DNA’ of Neighborhood Commercial Districts”, published by the Local Initiative Support Corporation an approach to data collection that served as the original framework and methodology for the City of New York’s Commercial District Needs Assessment (CDNA). Larisa is a frequent instructor and guest speaker for the International Economic Development Corporation, the International Downtown Association and the International Council of Shopping Centers. 

Larisa brings both national and international experience to her work. She is Co-Chair of the OneNYC Advisory Committee for the One New York Plan and serves on the national advisory committee for the International Council of Shopping Center’s P3 (Public-Private-Partnership) Retail Program.

Prior to joining Streetsense, Larisa founded and led Larisa Ortiz Associates, a nationally recognized consultancy known for developing retail strategy in underserved and diverse communities. Larisa also served as the Director of the Local Initiative Support Corporation’s (LISC) national commercial revitalization program, providing technical assistance, training and capacity building for LISC’s network of 30 offices nationwide. While at the New York Economic Development Corporation, she led an inter-agency team charged with developing a comprehensive rezoning and regulatory framework for 125th Street in Harlem to ensure the longevity of the nations’ premier destination for African-American arts, culture and entertainment. 

A Watson Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, Larisa has traveled the world investigating successful models of downtown revitalization. She holds a B.A. with honors from Wesleyan University, and a master’s degree in City Planning with a certificate in Urban Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is a recipient of APA New York Metro Chapter's Robert Ponte Award for her contributions in economic development planning and development in the New York area. 

Larisa is a proud resident of Jackson Heights, Queens and is mom to a wonderful - and quite energetic - son Xavier.