Economic Development

Better City has a proven track record in helping municipalities–large and small–revitalize and diversify their economies. Through our process, we help create the economic conditions necessary to attract private investment, develop industry clusters, and attract employers. 

Our process begins with an understanding of a community's unique assets and challenges by conducting an "Implementation Readiness Assessment." If opportunities are readily found, we conduct feasibility studies for specific strategic projects. If opportunities are not readily found, we address the underlying issues preventing economic growth by developing a broader "Strategic Plan" before moving forward. During the "Strategic Project Implementation" phase, we work with the community, landowners, developers, lenders, and tenants to structure projects that play into the long-term economic development objectives of the community while still providing an attractive return on investment to developers. 

Implementation Readiness Assessment
The Implementation Readiness Assessment (IRA) is an intensive 2-week exercise in which Better City travels to a community, tours the area, and conducts interviews and meetings with key community stakeholders. The goal of the IRA is to better understand the community's goals, assets, and challenges and to identify opportunities for strengthening its economy. At the end of the 2-week IRA, we present our findings to the community and make recommendations for moving forward. At this stage, we layout a "path to implementation" which consists of developing a broad Strategic Plan, (if needed) and/or conducting feasibility studies for specific strategic projects.

Strategic Plans
A Strategic Plan is a broad, all-encompassing report that aims to understand the underlying economic and community drivers that contribute to (or prevent) healthy economic growth in a community. Conclusions are generated by analyzing the history, goals and assets of a community, determining its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis), conducting an economic and demographic analysis, and conducting an industry cluster analysis. Since each community is unique, the format and approach of our Strategic Plans will vary. The conclusions drawn in the Strategic Plan will outline a clear roadmap to long-term economic improvement through short-term, actionable projects.

Feasibility Studies
When potential catalytic projects and/or development sites are identified, Better City conducts in-depth an analysis to determine its feasibility. This process involves sector-specific research, local market analysis, site selection, preliminary site design, pro forma analysis, public-private partnership structure, and debt/equity structure. Ultimately, the Feasibility Study makes specific recommendations for a project–providing a clear path forward for development.

Strategic Project Implementation
During the implementation phase, Better City will actively acquire land, recruit developers and tenants, and begin structuring public-private partnership financing facilities. Through our unique approach to implementation and by leveraging our extensive network of industry professionals, the Better City team has helped catalyze over $1 billion of projects in communities throughout the country. Sample implementation projects include greenfield real estate development, infill redevelopment, industry cluster recruitment, small town revitalization, downtown redevelopment, and business/program expansion. Some of our current and past implementation projects include:

  • Mixed-use redevelopment of key 100,000 SF shopping center site and 15 AC mobile home park in downtown Clearfield, UT
  • Trade school and multifamily redevelopment in downtown East Liverpool, OH
  • Hotel development in Brigham City, Kaysville, Nephi, UT and Delta, CO
  • Outdoor recreation industry cluster expansion and "adventure center" facility in Rio Blanco County, CO
  • Mountain resort development in Lake County, CO
  • Waterpark development in Superior, WI

For more of our current and past projects, see our Portfolio.