Thomas Leighton

Founder & Principal



BA, Natural Science, St John’s University (MN)

MA, Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

MDesS, Real Estate and the Built Environment, Harvard University

THOMAS LEIGHTON  | Founder & Principal

Tom reflects the spirit of Tangible in being mission driven yet grounded.  He has unusual breadth in analytical frameworks for breaking down complex community development issues.  Yet he understands that building collaborations, and developing individual and organizational capacity, are just as critical for fostering desired change as having an optimal action plan.

During 15 years of service to the City of Minneapolis, Tom played a leadership role in advancing key community development priorities, goals and initiatives.  Since 2013, as Tangible’s Principal, he has supported public and private sector clients in advancing their own visions and goals.

Tom finds satisfaction in helping clients make clear-eyed decisions, and empowering them to advance impactful plans and projects.


  • Neighborhood, Corridor and Downtown Master Plans
  • Economic development, Retail Vitality, Community Asset Building, Revitalization
  • Market Analysis
  • Development Financial Modeling
  • Implementation Strategy and Public Finance


  • Small Area Plan for Downtown Monticello, Monticello, MN
  • Western Ports Area Neighborhood Plan, Duluth, MN
  • Velp Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Plan, Green Bay, WI
  • Building a Vibrant Downtown Retail Destination, Madison, WI
  • Commercial Street Corridor Plan, Rogers, MN
  • Above the Falls Master Plan Update, Minneapolis, MN
  • Comprehensive Plan, Redwood Falls, MN
  • Comprehensive Plan, Mendota Heights, MN
  • Highway 53 Corridor Master Plan, La Crosse, WI
  • Comprehensive Plan, Woodbury, MN
  • Comprehensive Plan, Burnsville, MN
  • Comprehensive Plan, Cottage Grove, MN
  • West Broadway Transit Study, Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Golden Valley
  • Oxford Street Redevelopment Plan, Worthington, MN
  • Penn avenue Corridor Vision and Implementation Framework, Minneapolis, MN
  • Southeast Como Neighborhood Housing Strategy, Minneapolis
  • METRO Blue Line Extension Station Area Planning, Minneapolis, Golden Valley
  • Marcy-Holmes Housing Diversity Strategy, Minneapolis




  • Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota, 2005, 2008, 2011.
  • Frequent conference presenter