Stephen Lawton, Retail Consultant

Stephen Lawton is a Retail Consultant for Main Street Property Services, Inc., providing advisory services to owner, developers and public agencies seeking to establish or reposition walkable, mixed-use retail districts.  He is dedicated to assisting Main Street’s clients navigate the complex physical, financial, governance and community issues that accompany urban infill development.

For private sector clients proposing new, mixed-use buildings or communities, Mr. Lawton assists with retail market feasibility, site planning, entitlement support, public outreach, architectural review, shell specification and community governance.  For public sector clients grappling with changes in their retail streets, Mr. Lawton assists with merchandising perspectives, sales tax analysis, capital improvement programs and economic development strategies.

Walkable, commercially successful retail streets are irreplaceable civic assets that create identity and provide amenity.  Mr. Lawton’s deep understanding of the complex interplay of public and private interests is of particular value as the Internet and new consumer habits transform the retail sector.  He applies more then twenty years of experience in strategic consulting for private-sector clients, and a decade of redevelopment leadership in the public sector, to deliver practical solutions for clients.

Previous public-sector redevelopment accomplishments include the retail program and tenanting of large mixed-use building, the programming and delivery of a festival marketplace, supervision of major public construction projects, completion of complex property transactions and processing of large land entitlements.  He led the effort that created the first form-based zoning code to be adopted into the law of a California city, and helped change state law to allow innovations in zoning.

Mr. Lawton provides institutional-quality consulting services to MSPS’s clients.  His previous consulting engagements include clients at Goldman Sachs, Federal Express, Bank of America, Hongkong Bank, United States Postal Service and Burlington Northern Railroad.  He is the co-inventor of an electronic commerce system, US Patent 5832100.

Mr. Lawton is an active member of the East Bay Programs Committee for the Urban Land Institute’s San Francisco District.  He previously served as the Public Sector Chair of the Northern California Alliance program of the International Council of Shopping Centers.  Mr. Lawton is a founder of the California Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism, and Chair of an advisory committee to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Lawton holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, is a published author and a licensed real estate broker.