4bEconomic development is an incident or business activity of sorts that causes a situation to change or progress favorably within a community. This can be achieved through new or improved developments that eliminate blight, prevent undesirable uses from occurring, and recruiting the kinds of businesses needed to occupy vacant space.To attract the desired uses for new development in underserved areas, takes vision and commitment to achieve economic growth outcomes. Areas with considerable distressed properties can deter new economic development activity. The challenges for local non-profits are: removing blight which thwarts new uses that hurt the district’s image, avoiding conflict of vision which undermines best usage of improvement efforts, while making economic restructuring a priority to spur revitalization. A best practice of eliminating any undesirable use or blighted building is to convince the existing property owner to take action. Community pressure, on the one hand, along with an offer of technical or financial assistance, may convince owners to change tenants, sell to a new owner, or alter development plans. When the problem property is abandoned or the owner is unwilling to take action; changing the site control to alter economic restructuring is sometime necessary.

Through acquiring or having owners participation, a property can be restructured to attract new developer or user to purchase the property. Skilled development groups can also intervene on zoning and permitting matters to prevent proposed projects that will bring undesirable uses to an area. If they can succeed in stopping an undesirable project, practitioners can then approach the property owner and offer to help create a new plan that meets both goals of the owner and local community vision. By developing vacant land and underutilized buildings, encourging developers and existing property owners to develop property can help shape projects for private and public uses.

Every development carries significant financial risk that requires special development expertise in acquisition, renovation, and leasing. Finding tenants who reflect the vision for the community in a district can be capricious because inner-city commercial real estate projects often face large funding gaps that require grants that can range from several hundred thousand to several million dollars. Collaborating with real estate developers to help build capacity of non-profits is the order of today!

Developers and existing property owners who want to stimulate new development direction should plan towards desired economic uses by working together. Demonstrating how a program can shape private development outcomes through usage of board and staff relationships to help promote goodwill of projects. Redevelopment authorities can offer its many city-owned parcels for development, consistent with community planning. Throughout the planning and development process, the push for the city and private developers to create more retail space in under-developed areas should result with community planning. Throughout the planning and development process, the push for the city and private developers to create more retail space in under-developed areas should result with improvement funds to encourage property owners to fit their development plans to a desired preference.