Northern Michigan University retained Anderson Economic Group to conduct a market study and strategy for the development of university owned property in Marquette, Michigan. The commission of this report opened the opportunity for the proactive planning of future development efforts, the return of underutilized property to productive uses, and the physical and social connection of the campus and community.
Our approach began with a field assessment in Marquette, followed by community outreach through online surveying, meetings with community stakeholders, and focus groups for the business community, area residents, university faculty and staff, and students. Findings from the community engagement helped to qualify results from our retail and residential supply and demand analyses, which identified opportunity for growth in various retail categories and housing value brackets to complement the existing stock. Our recommendations included illustrative development plans for the property, and specific development guidelines and tenant recommendations to enliven the area, connect the campus to the community, and bring in each element of living, working, and playing.
We provided the university with a full report which included an executive summary and appendices that contained explanations of the methodology used, detailed findings from the analyses, custom maps, and results from the community engagement process. We also provide pro forma financial models for the development to illustrate the financial considerations related to the project.
On Friday, October 2nd, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will select a host city for the 2016 Summer Games. The City of Chicago has submitted an extensive and thoughtful bid book that proposes a compact games centered on the lakefront and embracing the diversity of the city. Many cities would welcome the opportunity to achieve global recognition, and while the Olympics accelerate that opportunity, not every city is well-equipped to host the Games. Chicago has that necessary aptitude to be a host city and can take advantage of the resulting benefits. However, to gain the optimum benefit from the 2016 Summer Olympics, Chicago must use the Games as an investment catalyst that will spearhead long-term improvements in infrastructure, new developments, and city amenities and services.
Chicago 2016’s bid book includes a thorough budget for hosting the Games. However, it does not elaborate on costs, or revenue sources, associated with improvements to municipal infrastructure, such as roadways, airports, public transportation, public spaces, and telecommunications. These projects are simply said to occur as part of the city’s “natural growth.” Simply following the path of natural growth, however, would result on a significant missed opportunity to fully leverage the Olympic Games.
In this paper we address the issue of long-term land-use and infrastructure projects (legacy projects) that Olympic host cities commonly undertake, and the potential economic benefit of these legacy projects. This builds upon another recently released paper on the topic of the Olympics and their economic impacts—The Likely Economic Impact of a Chicago 2016 Summer Olympics—that was authored by one of this paper’s co-authors. That paper focused solely on the economic impacts that the games, as presented in Chicago 2016’s bid book, would likely have on the city and county. This paper goes a step further and discusses strategies for maximizing public investments so that projects commissioned prior to the Olympics create long-running economic value within the city.
The City of Adrian, located in southern Michigan, is home to a historic downtown, three centers of education, and the Lenawaee County seat. The City and its Downtown Development Authority identified two areas that were being underutilized, and retained Anderson Economic Group to develop a market strategy for both its Witt Property and the downtown riverfront.
We started the project by visiting the market, interviewing key stakeholders, and inventorying local retail supply to supplement our retail database. We combined this with our quantitative analyses, including demographic projections, a drive-time analysis and trade area delineation, a retail supply-demand analysis, a consumer expenditure analysis, and a residential unit absorption assessment. We then drafted a market strategy, with specific recommendations, for each of the two properties. Our strategy included residential, retail, and entertainment opportunities, specific project types and staging, and tenant recommendations for retail space.
We documented our analysis, findings, methods, and recommendations in a final report, which was delivered to the DDA and community leaders. The report included a detailed data appendix, visual examples and development options, and a concise executive summary to highlight our findings, and is available on the City of Adrian Economic Development web site, and from the link below.
Anderson Economic Group was retained to develop a retail strategy for the Dorr Street corridor, a major east/west arterial road at the core of the Greater Toledo metropolitan area. This corridor connects the University of Toledo to the city’s downtown, passing through a number of culturally diverse neighborhoods along the way. The corridor was under-served in retail, requiring local residents to travel to other retail destinations for basic needs and competitive pricing.
In developing the retail strategy for the corridor, we conducted a supply-demand (gap) analysis, fieldwork within the corridor and Toledo retail market, delineation of a primary trade area, and qualification of the results using our expertise in the retail industry and first-hand knowledge gathered in the market. Based on our analyses we concluded that there was opportunity for a specific amount of new retail square footage in 35 categories. We recommended a split of the retail opportunity in three distinct nodes along the corridor, including two major intersections and a third clustering to better link the corridor to the University of Toledo.
Our analysis and strategy recommendations were documented in a report, and provided to The Collaborative, a planning and engineering firm in Toledo that was managing the redevelopment effort. They have used the report to guide their efforts and focus preliminary investments into projects with the greatest potential for large impacts.
In planning for future growth in the community, the Township of Scio, through its Downtown Development Authority and the Economic Study Task Force, retained Anderson Economic Group to complete an economic development strategic.
We started with a rigorous economic analysis, pinpointing the industries and occupations with the most growth opportunity in coming years. We also analyzed the employment base from which workers would come, identified a measurable gap in office space, and uncovered current and projected demographic trends of the area. Our findings led us to recommend a plan to locate businesses along the Jackson road corridor, with an emphasis on the Baker and Zeeb Road interchanges for increased visibility and accessibility.
Our recommendations, which were documented along with the details of our analysis in a final report and presentation, included developing a business campus with Class A office space and limited retail; creating a town center atmosphere at the intersection of Zeeb and Jackson Roads; and to physically integrate future development along Jackson Road with connecting roads, shared parking, and common access points.
The City of St. Clair and its Downtown Development Authority retained McKenna Associates to create a vision for downtown St. Clair. As a part of that effort, Anderson Economic Group was retained to develop a strategy for retail revitalization in the downtown.
Our retail market strategy analyzed the development potential for the community with an emphasis on economic catalysts to benefit retail. In completing a supply/demand analysis, we determined that there was opportunity for new retail in 20 categories, and a clear need to better meet the wants and needs of both residents and visitors. We also presented strategies for invigorating retail and development in St. Clair, including: consolidating some existing businesses into a retail cluster, recruiting an additional anchor tenant, adding higher-quality dining options, and improving use of the riverfront.
Our analysis and findings were documented in a final report, complete with recommendations and strategy, and provided to the St. Clair DDA and McKenna Associates.