Client: Town of Gilbert (AZ)
GG+A was engaged to prepare a strategic economic development plan for the next five years. To develop the information base and strategic framework for formulating the plan, GG+A conducted extensive primary and secondary research and analysis and obtained input from Gilbert’s Economic Development Office related to Gilbert’s labor force, economic base, and real estate markets. The process of research, analysis, and interaction with the Economic Development Department provide the framework for the development of an economic development plan and organizational strategy for an ongoing economic development program to improve Gilbert’s economic base and position in the regional economy while enhancing the image of and quality of life in the Town.
GG+A prepared a technical report that presents demographic characteristics, housing stock characteristics, and land availability and growth capacity and an analysis of the economic base and structure of Gilbert. The report also identifies and presents:
● the primary geographic areas from which office and industrial building space users are attracted and the primary competing locations which many office and industrial space users consider in selecting locations to which they will move;
● the primary advantages and disadvantages associated with Gilbert as a business location and reviews the building space inventory and the land capacity to accommodate future building space development;
● an employment forecast for Gilbert by economic sector and estimates of the demand for industrial and office building space in Gilbert and the demand for industrial and office land and the relationship between industrial and office space demand and supply in Gilbert; an analysis of retail sales trends in Gilbert and summarizes the retail space inventory in Gilbert;.
● a forecast of potential future retail space demand and the land needed to accommodate potential building space demand; and
● hotel and lodging market conditions in Gilbert and summarizes potential opportunities and strategies to strengthen lodging offerings and tourism attractions.
GG+A prepared an additional report that describes how to evaluate requests for development or business attraction related incentives and provides recommendations for refining incentives policy. The incentives report suggests elements the incentives policy should include and describes the information that should be obtained and used to evaluate requests for incentives. The report also suggests the primary criteria or benchmarks to use to reach decisions about requests for incentives.
GG+A synthesized the results of the research and analysis and input obtained from Gilbert representatives to prepare a strategic economic development plan that identifies economic development the goals and objectives, summarizes the comparative advantages to emphasize, and the primary business targets and real estate development and redevelopment opportunities to pursue. In addition, the plan lays out strategies and implementation actions to accomplish the goals and objectives.
The Town adopted the strategic economic development plan following a retreat to review the plan and the findings from the process of developing the plan with the Town Council and senior staff.