We are saddened to announce that Michael F. Kelly, one of our trustees, ULI Foundation Governors, and a former president of ULI, recently passed away at the age of 91.
ULI owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Mike. He helped transform the organization from a small trade group of real estate developers with “an atmosphere of exclusivity,” as he put it, into the world’s largest and most diverse network of land use experts.
Mike selflessly offered his time and expertise to ULI even as he ran The Center Companies, which he built into the largest manager of institutionally owned retail properties in the United States. He joined ULI as a member in the mid-1960s. Gradually, he became more involved in the organization, eventually serving as president from 1979 to 1981. After his presidency, he remained active, perhaps most notably as chair of a ULI panel that in 1987 helped oversee the development of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver—a panel that to this day remains iconic in its recommendations and insights.
Mike championed investment in research and education, which helped make ULI, in his words, “a highly effective, broad-scale, land use organization with great credibility and a membership representative of the entire development community.” He was instrumental in establishing and deepening ULI’s relations with policymakers and positioning the Institute, as he put it, as an “independent, nonpolitical organization with unquestioned expertise in proper land use activities.”
We will remember and memorialize Mike and his legacy of faithful service to ULI through our publications, programs, and events in the weeks and months to come. We extend our deepest condolences to his partner, Sue, as well as his three children, nine grandchildren, and great-grandson.