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Thread: Purely private economic development agencies.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Purely private economic development agencies.

    Some municipalities have economic development sections of their planning departments and they have their own ideas and agendas. Sometimes they work with private agencies in a cooperative effort to bring new development to a community.

    But is anyone aware of a completely private economic development agencies that have been successful at obtaining their objectives in attracting new development to a community as a way to protect and enhance their own developments? I have noticed that some developers will work as a holding company for some land, and develop or redevelop other adjacent land. Then they will aggressively market their land to outside corporations or developers, realizing that it will raise the property value of surrounding properties.

    Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Michigan has a little bit of this going on, however most of their projects are a Public/Private cooperation.
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    Cyburbian yesteryear's avatar
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    I've never seen this myself - most tend to be a public/private partnership - but it sounds like something that is probably happening already, all over the place. On the surface it sounds like it could be a bad thing... the developers/property owners might have ideas for the area that wouldn't necessarily benefit the residents of the community. But, at least here in CA where we have Prop 13 to worry about, Economic Development folks have been making those kinds of decisions, planning from a 'fiscal' perspective, for years anyway.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    This is an interesting question. There are plenty of non-profit economic development corporations around, but as yesteryear noted, most seem to be setup in conjunction with a local municipality. I am guessing a good percentage of their budget is public funds, but even so, they are still private non-profits contracting with a city and not divisions or departments OF the city and they can also go after additional money on their own.

    Its hard for me to see how an entirely private entity could be very successful at this since they cannot negotiate many of the incentives businesses look for in moving to new areas - tax breaks, IRBs, etc. I would be very interested to know of any examples, though.
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