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Lisa Kugler

Consulting Associate


Lisa Kugler has worked in city neighborhoods for most of her career in a variety of roles that have included service as a  tenant’s rights advocate, community organizer, and neighborhood organization staffer. Her thirty years of development work have produced 750 housing units and over 100,000 square feet of commercial space.  She has also bought land for parks and nature preserves and served as a real estate project manager.  


Lisa's reputation for persistence, thorough research and total commitment to achieving project goals, has earned her a reputation as a community development professional able to handle challenging projects that involve multiple properties, sites, and complex layers of financing.  She has had extensive experience finding, evaluating and negotiating purchases of a variety of property types and understands how to carry out necessary due diligence on title, environmental, zoning issues and related matters.

As a  tenacious and highly creative problem solver, she knows how to inspire clients and how to help organizations improve on performance. She has had primary responsibility for site selection, feasibility analysis, purchase and lease negotiations, selection and coordination of development teams, negotiation and coordination of project financing and construction management for more than sixty projects, ranging in size from $150,000 to $110 million.
Financing experience includes conventional bank loans, bonds, low-income housing and historic rehabilitation tax credits and a multitude of public funding programs from federal, county, and city sources.


Lisa brings experience with tax increment financing and tax abatements to Cornerstone Ventures' clients as well as a capacity to assist in locating public and private capital. Her bond experience includes private placements, bank-qualified bonds, and public issues. Her work with federal programs includes HUD housing and CDNG programs, public housing, HHS Office of Community Services and the Economic Development Administration.

Notable Projects that she has helped develop include:


  • Higher Ground St. Paul – $66 million new construction of a homeless shelter and SRO housing using Housing Infrastructure (G.O.) Bonds, 4% housing tax credits, and new market tax credits. 2016.

  • Emerge Career & Technology Center –$6.5 million rehabilitation of Minneapolis’ first branch library, listed on the National Register, into a workforce training center.  Financing included a rare, very large grant from the Economic Development Administration, plus Minnesota Legacy funds, state & federal tax credits (ultimately unused), city and county loans and a capital campaign. 2015.

  • 25 Empire Drive, St. Paul – Financing and project management for renovation of National Register building, offices for American Indian Family & Children’s Services at the request of the City. 2014

  • St. Bonifacius Hercules-Nike Missile Project – concept, grant application & project management for two interpretive panels explaining the town’s nuclear missile site in the context of the Cold War. 2010.

  • Hennepin County Juvenile Probation Office – planning, financing and construction management for renovation of 3650 Fremont Avenue N, Minneapolis to end the County’s 12-year search for a site. 2008.

  • Mercado Central – 1515 East Lake Street, Minneapolis. Concept planning, acquisition, financing, construction management for 30,000 square foot business incubator now housing 45 businesses. 1999.

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