RES provides the analyses to help communities understand the assets and liabilities offered by their location, current business mix, labor force characteristics, and institutional anchors. We are able to evaluate residential and commercial real estate market conditions and trends and provide insight into the economic forces that are impacting those markets. RES prepares target industry analyses and assists communities in focusing industry and business attraction efforts. In areas with multiple focus zones, RES can assist in identifying the competitive advantages of each zone so that more targeted attraction strategies can be designed.
Western Chester County
Economic Development Study
RES was part of consultant team retained by a consortium of seven municipalities served by the Coatesville School District in Western Chester County, PA to prepare an economic development study and implementation strategy for the region. The goal of the study was to identify approaches that would allow the region to maintain a healthy tax base while ensuring that the quality of life for area residents was not negatively affected. Our role on the consultant team was to identify business and industry sectors with growth potential in the region and to develop recommendations regarding actions that participating municipalities could take to attract, retain and grow these types of businesses. Our recommendations took into account commercial redevelopment opportunities in Coatesville’s downtown, expanded opportunities in the area’s existing business parks and reuse of brownfield and greyfield sites.
City of Paterson, New Jersey
Economic Development Component of the City’s Comprehensive Plan
RES prepared the Economic Development component of the Paterson Master Plan, working as a subcontractor to a New Jersey planning firm. The component addressed the potential in the City for downtown development and also included a more comprehensive analysis of business patterns in the City overall. To assist local officials, we also prepared a target industry analysis that identified businesses and industries likely to be a “fit” in Paterson because of existing business and workforce patterns. One of the industries that we identified for local officials was the food industry, including food processing and recruitment of businesses specializing in ethnic foods and marketing efforts were successful in attracting a new business in this sector.
During 2012, the team was selected to update the Paterson Master Plan, in part to incorporate the establishment of the Great Falls National Park in the City. The updated Economic Development Component summarized key background information about business in Paterson and business patterns as they have evolved. RES worked with other members of the team to formulate economic development initiatives to be pursued, including capitalizing on the new National Park for economic development and enhanced tourism. RES analyzed data on current businesses by industrial classification, business locations, employment and workforce characteristics, business patterns, and small business development activity. We helped to identify sites that might be locations for new businesses and identified target industries for marketing and outreach. In addition to an ongoing focus on manufacturing of food and kindred products, RES recommended that the City focus on Health Services because of the presence of a major medical center in Paterson and the potential for attracting related businesses to nearby locations. The Master Plan was completed during 2013.
City of Binghamton, New York
Blueprint Binghamton Comprehensive Plan Update
Real Estate Strategies, Inc. (RES) prepared the Housing Analysis and portions of the Economic Analysis for the Blueprint Binghamton Comprehensive Plan update, working with prime contractor Interface Studios. The planning process included extensive stakeholder involvement through small group meetings and larger public sessions, often structured around specific topics. Key areas of analysis were infill development, environment and open space, an infrastructure analysis considering opportunities for green infrastructure, and consideration of climate change and energy.
RES prepared a citywide housing market analysis, addressing rental, for-sale, and student housing demand and supply. We then worked with planners to delineate Binghamton’s neighborhoods, including Downtown Binghamton, and we prepared a profile of each neighborhood that included development potential and recommendations for future development.
For the Blueprint Binghamton Mini-Plan on Economic Development, RES formulated development recommendations designed focus on the need to enhance the City’s perception overall as a good place for business, capitalize on the potential of designated Brownfields Opportunity Areas, and pursue initiatives to create jobs for workers with varied educational attainment and work skills. Recommendations included the need to pursue “Shovel Ready” designation for sites in an industrial park in the City. Other recommendations included pursuing development initiatives capitalizing on the City’s strength in freight rail and the proximity of rail and highways within the delineated Brandywine Brownfields Opportunity Area. The area is served by three freight railroads; attracting and growing businesses in the distribution cluster, as well as intermodal businesses and industries to create new jobs for Binghamton residents. Additional “Shovel Ready” sites in this area also would be a benefit in attracting new business and industries.
RES also recommended that the City support the implementation of the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator at a site in the City and position the City to offer space for high-tech “grown-ups” and ancillary businesses supporting the incubator, starting with identification of existing space. One initiative to help would be to take advantage of START UP NY (SUNY Tax-Free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate New York) to help entice businesses to locate in Binghamton and near the incubator.