Client: City of Bettendorf (IA)

To provide an information base for the update of the City of Bettendorf, Iowa’s comprehensive plan, Gruen Gruen + Associates (GG+A) was retained to complete an assessment of the City’s economic base and prepare a forecast of the potential building space demand and land required to serve demand. GG+A was also asked to evaluate the potential net fiscal impact of the potential annexation of land areas near but not incorporated into the City of Bettendorf.

To complete the assessment and forecast, GG+A designed a survey that was distributed to industrial and non-industrial firms located in Bettendorf and the Quads Cities to: (a) identify the strengths and weaknesses of the community from the perspective of firms already operating in Bettendorf and the region; (b) ascertain the factors important to location decisions; (c) obtain insights about the types of employers likely to grow within the community and (d) to evaluate the employment forecast made for Bettendorf based on an understanding of the dynamics of the local economic base and future opportunities and constraints for attracting and retaining desirable employers and economic activities within the community.

GG+A analyzed relevant demographic and labor force characteristics of the community. GG+A collected and analyzed employment and business establishment data over time to (a) derive a profile of the economic structure and employment base of Bettendorf and its relative position in the regional economy; and (b) identify potential growth targets for Bettendorf. GG+A also reviewed secondary reports and plans and interviewed local commercial and industrial real estate brokers and regional planning and economic development professionals. GG+A assessed retail demand conditions in Bettendorf to inform future commercial land use planning and prepared projections of future job growth within Bettendorf in order to estimate the potential scale and type of future building space and land use demands in the community over the next 20 years.

In addition to preparing building space demand estimates by land use and land requirements, GG+A estimated the net fiscal impact of potential annexation of land into the City of Bettendorf based on prototypical development alternatives and specific characteristics for each prototypical land use (e.g., density per acre, market value per-square-foot, etc.). GG+A created a fiscal model to estimate General Fund revenues which are affected by the attributes of different land uses, such as property taxes as well as expenses based on measures that incorporate fixed and variable costs and reflect demands of public services from both residential and non-residential uses. The results included estimates of the net fiscal impact per acre for single-family and multi-family residential, office, retail, and industrial uses.