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Archive for January, 2011

Getting to the Root of City Problems

Written by
Rickey Hayes
Retail Attractions, LLC

Recently I had the pleasure to return to my home town and present an analysis on the overall retail market of the City of Paris, Texas. Paris is a fine community, with a rich history and great people. But Paris, like a lot of other small, micropolitan markets faces a big world of competition with other cities across the country. In the past, smaller regional communities were competing against neighboring counties for manufacturing, industrial, and retail deals. Not in this fast paced, global marketplace. Towns must aggressively market themselves against the world.

Communities like Paris have to figure out a way to market themselves, fund aggressive incentive packages, and provide compelling and accurate data to potential investors while wrestling with budget shortfalls and decreasing revenues.

In times like these leadership in the community has to find a way to put differences aside and join forces to unite financial, educational, political, and social forces and wage all out war to create a vision that will stand up against the times and propel a city into the future. Petty political differences, racial tensions, and jurisdictional lines have to be brought into one common desire: to make the community all that it can be. Greed, personal advantage and gain, and back-room politics are increasingly hard to conceal in our information savvy times. Good old boy deals that were tolerated and overlooked in the past end up on the evening news.

Political tension stops development. No investor will risk the time delay, the moving targets, or an ambiguous development criteria when so many other opportunities exist in different locations. More competition for fewer deals demand that communities bring their “A” game. Will your city merely attempt to survive or will it prosper and flourish? Will it grow and morph into a better community in the future or will it slip into decay?

Rickey Hayes is the principal of Retail Attractions, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping cities and developers successfully find retail sites, close deals and improve the quality of life for our client cities.