Most cities have the potential for retail growth. While this fact offers hope for cities wondering if they have anything to offer investors, it also means there’s a lot of competition from other communities. Since there’s potential for retail development in many locations, you need to make your community stand out to developers.
Prepare in Advance
Developers don’t want to waste time talking with communities that aren’t ready to welcome new retail development. Before you start marketing your community, know what you have to offer. Lay the groundwork for building public/private partnerships that benefit both the community and the investors.
This starts as a mindset – city governments must take the lead in fostering an attitude that economic development is key to survival and growth. Other practical steps to take include assembling land for development and providing the public infrastructure needed to support new commercial developments.
Offer Innovative Incentives
Most retail development that takes place today involves some type of incentive. As you’re preparing to market your city to potential developers, take a good look at what your city can offer them. This often involves action on the part of the community, such as the extension of sewer, water, and other utilities to a development area.
Other incentives include waiving fees or negotiating tax breaks. Tax increment financing (TIF) can be used to finance redevelopment and community improvement projects. Your community could choose to offer payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) deal to limit or defer the property taxes on a developer. A less common incentive would be sales tax deferral on construction.
Present Useful Data
In its raw form, data isn’t that helpful when marketing your community. It’s not the developer’s job to make sense of the raw numbers – it’s yours. The responsibility for presenting data in a useful form falls on the community.
Data is useful once it has been proven, validated, and categorized. If you want to catch retailers’ attention with your data, the best option is to have an independent third party do the analysis. Having Retail Attractions present your community’s information in a professional format lets retailers know you’re serious about working with them.
Developers are more likely to invest in a community that they know will support them. Going to them with locations ready for development and an incentive plan is a good start. Having a trusted third-party compile and analyze data increases the likelihood that your community will attract attention.
Now you need to demonstrate that your community will follow-through on what you’ve promised. Make your city known for being a community that “gets things done,” by following through on your promises and addressing developers’ concerns in a timely fashion. During the negotiation phase and development process, make the developers’ involvement as pain-free and efficient as possible.
Are you ready to take the next step in attracting new developers to your city? Contact Retail Attractions today.