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61 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 162 economic development executives and organizations in 29 states, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
11 min read
61 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Thomas Couillard / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 61st weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.


Today's issue is brought to you by LocalIntel.

Alabama

A major new mixed use development is on the way to north Tuscaloosa. The $60 million project will become home to more than 200 residences, three major restaurants and a four story parking deck. (Max Snyder, Business Development Director, Tuscaloosa County EDA)

Alaska

Amid a housing crisis, a new downtown Anchorage development could be a model for public-private partnerships. (Bill Popp, President & CEO, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation)

Arizona

The City of Flagstaff Economic Development team developed the Innovate Waste Challenge: Stewardship and Economic Development at Work. (John Saltonstall, Business Retention & Expansion Manager, City of Flagstaff)

Arkansas

According to a Post-Enumeration Survey completed after every Census count, Arkansas is one of six states to be undercounted. (Jim Youngquist, Executive Director, Arkansas Economic Development Institute)

California

The City of Roseville, in partnership with the Growth Factory, is launching Roseville Venture Lab in Downtown Roseville. The Growth Factory will operate the entrepreneur center to strengthen the local startup business environment and spur job growth. (Wayne Wiley, Economic Development Manager, City of Roseville; Mark Haney, Founding Partner, Growth Factory)

The Milken Institute, an economic think-tank based in Santa Monica, has ranked Redding as the fourth-best economic small city in the country. (Todd Jones, President, Shasta Economic Development Corporation)

The West Business Development Center was named the Economic Development Liaison for Mendocino County. (Mary Anne Petrillo, CEO, West Business Development Center; Josh Metz, Lead Advisor, Economic Development Service Group for Regional Government Services)

Colorado

Colorado’s Economic Development Commission approved almost $2.5 million in economic incentives to lure two companies to the state, a move expected to create almost 550 jobs. The incentives are performance based. (Michelle Hadwiger, Deputy Director, OEDIT at State of Colorado)

Pat Meyers just finished his first year as the head of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. He discusses how the pandemic has changed how the state does business.

Connecticut

Norwalk residents previewed proposals for how the city might better use the city’s riverfront. Much of the meeting focused on potential rezoning options in what are currently industrial sections in Norwalk. (Jessica Vonashek, Chief of Economic and Community Development, Norwalk)

Florida

A new retail plaza is bringing new businesses to Milton's Merganser Commons. (Ed Spears, Milton's economic development director)

Volusia County's small business initiative, Volusia Business Resources, has a new logo. VBR is a countywide public-private partnership that encompasses government economic development agencies, local cities, chambers of commerce, universities and colleges and business organizations. Originally formed to help businesses during the pandemic, VBR is now working collaboratively with all economic development stakeholders to assist new and existing businesses grow within Volusia County. (Director Helga van Eckert)

Heather Shubirg has been named chief growth officer for the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership. She previously served as executive vice president for Team Volusia Economic Development Corp., senior director of business development in the advanced manufacturing and technology sectors at the Orlando Economic Partnership, and as vice president of business development of Enterprise Florida. (Keith Norden, President & CEO, Team Volusia Economic Development Corp.; Tim Giuliani, President & CEO, Orlando Economic Partnership; David Rogers, Chief Operating Officer, Enterprise Florida)

With more than 30 noteworthy projects and hundreds of millions invested since Hurricane Michael, the St. Joe Company has been the unquestioned leader of Bay County's rebirth. Bay County Economic Development Alliance Director Becca Hardin flat out calls the company a "godsend." Hardin is among local officials who say that without St. Joe, the area would not have bounced back as quickly as it did from the Category 5 monster.

Georgia

Jeremy Stratton is the new director of the city's Economic Development Department. Stratton assumes the responsibilities of the department along with the position of executive director of the Downtown Development Authority and the city's Main Street Program.

Hawaii

Hawaiʻi State Senate passed three economic recovery bills this session.

Illinois

Whiteside County Economic Development is offering a new website designed to help small businesses succeed. SizeUpWhitesideCountyIL, provides its users with free market research so they can make data-driven decisions using analysis that historically has been available only to big corporations. (Gary Camarano, Director)

Batavia residents, businesses and organizations are helping the city create a new Economic Development Strategic Plan by participating in a series of focus groups. The purpose of the plan is to help the city attract, retain and support local businesses in Batavia. (Margaret Perreault, President & CEO, Batavia Chamber of Commerce; Shannon Malik Jarmusz, Batavia Economic Development Manager, City of Batavia; Beth Walker, Executive Director, Batavia MainStreet)

The City of Rochelle and Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corp. have been investing millions of dollars building up infrastructure and expanding the city’s rail system south into Lee County, opening around 1,000 acres of land near Steward for new development. (Jason Anderson, Economic Development Director)

The Will County Center for Economic Development has received a $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (Doug Pryor, President & CEO, Will County Center for Economic Development)

Indiana

Catalent, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, announced they are investing $350 million in a manufacturing facility in Bloomington in order to increase its pharmaceutical manufacturing abilities. The expansion is estimated to add more than 1,000 jobs to the Catalent Bloomington workforce. (Jennifer Pearl, President, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation; Alex Crowley, Director of Economic and Sustainable Development, City of Bloomington; George Telthorst, Director, Center for the Business of Life Sciences)

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation requested funds from commissioners for the organization's upcoming projects. (Lisa Dan, Executive Director, Starke County Economic Development Foundation)

A massive solar development just east of New Carlisle will create up to 200 construction jobs, three to five permanent positions and about 150 megawatts of clean energy — enough power for about 24,500 homes. More than $27 million in additional real and personal property taxes that will be generated by the $164.7 million project in the first 25 years of its existence — even while it's passing back $37 million to the developer. (Chris Brown, Economic Development Specialist, St. Joseph County)

Indianapolis welcomed 800 international business and government leaders for a four-day economic summit. (Andrea Richter-Garry, Senior Vice President, Indiana Economic Development Corporation)

Iowa

Mahaska Chamber & Development and Mahaska County have been honored with a BEST of Iowa Excellence Awards for their efforts in gathering information and data about current business trends in Iowa. (Deann De Groot, Executive Director, Mahaska Chamber; Drew Conrad, Director, Institute for Decision Making; Kate Moreland, President, Iowa City Area Development; Dan Culhane, Economic Development, City of Boone; Curtis Brown, Economic Development Director, City of Urbandale)

Baseball fans around the world are focused once again on Dyersville, Iowa as $140 million is getting pumped for two separate projects: a youth sports complex and a permanent stadium at the MLB diamond. (Jacque Rahe, Executive Director, Dyersville Economic Development Corporation; Keith Rahe, CEO, Travel Dubuque)

Kansas

Gov. Laura Kelly announced this week the 11 recipients of the Kansas Tourism Attraction Development Grants. (Taylor Hartshorn, Grant and Research Manager, Kansas Department of Tourism; Julie Roller Weeks, Director, Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau; Lisse Regehr, President & CEO, Thrive Allen County)

Louisiana

Zion Crossroads is driving Louisa County's economic development. (Andy Wade, Economic Development Director, Louisa County)

Michigan

Plans for a new development bringing cottages, duplexes and townhomes to Ypsilanti’s Depot Town area — a proposal officials hope will make a difference in the city’s affordability woes — took a major step forward. (Joe Meyers, Director of Economic Development, City of Ypsilanti)

The Marquette Lower Harbor Fish Cleaning Station will soon be restored with new equipment and updates through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign. (Michele Wildman, Senior Vice President of Community Development, MEDC; Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director, Michigan Municipal League)

Some new businesses may be coming to downtown Manistee within the next year, including a film making company, a bakery and an accounting firm. (Marc Miller, Director of Economic Development, Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce; Stacie Bytwork, President and CEO, Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce)

Mississippi

$50 million FedEx Ground distribution center at the Golden Triangle Industrial Park should be complete later this year in Lowndes County. The 200,000 square foot facility will create 150 new jobs. (Joe Max Higgins, CEO, Golden Triangle Development Link; Meryl Fisackerly, Vice President for Economic Development)

Hinds County supervisors explain their decision to use ARPA funds on economic development. A portion of the funds will be used to establish a new nonprofit to focus on retail development, and at least $1 million would go to set up an economic development hub. (Jason Brookins, Interim Executive Director, Hinds County Economic Development Authority)

Missouri

Marcie Lawson is the new President and CEO for the Sikeston Regional Chamber and Area Economic Development Corp.

The St. Louis Development Corporation has been selected to join a national effort to examine racial inequity in development. (Daffney Moore, Chief of Staff, St. Louis Development Corporation; Nathan Ohle, President & CEO, IEDC)

Marcie Lawson was introduced as the new president and CEO for the Sikeston Regional Chamber and Economic Development during the Sikeston Regional Chamber meeting. Lawson will be replacing Mike Marshall who is retiring.

New Mexico

New Mexican government and business leaders met at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque to talk about trade, economic and cultural relations. (Alicia J. Keyes, Department Secretary, New Mexico Economic Development; Randy Trask, President, New Mexico Trade Alliance; Mayling Armijo, Director, Bernalillo County Economic Development Department; Danielle Casey, President & CEO, Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance; Yuriria Morales, Executive Director, Global Ties ABQ; Josue Olivares, Executive Director, Rio Grande Community Development Corporation)

New York

Rick Gardner, an ex-bull rider from a former silver mining town in Colorado, followed "a tortuous path" to becoming the University at Buffalo's startup guru. Now he's helping UB pave the way for entrepreneurs with a program dubbed the Cultivator, a nursery for sprouting startups and channeling the university's research and talent as a force for new growth across the Buffalo Niagara region.

Gov. Kathy Hochul traveled to downtown Rochester Monday morning to join local leaders and MCC administrators for the grand opening of the Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center. The facility aims to develop students for industrial jobs with tech skills of the future, made possible by a $5.4 million grant. aThe governor joined local leaders and MCC administrators for the grand opening of the Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center, which aims to develop students for industrial jobs with tech skills of the future.

North Carolina

Audrey Schroyer is the new Economic Development Specialist for the Granville County Economic Development Office.

Jessica Stewart, vice president, workforce & strategic initiatives at Iredell County Economic Development Corporation was honored as a 40 Under 40 recipient by the Charlotte Business Journal. “She is known as a humble leader that supports efforts behind the scenes. The organization would not be where it is today without her work. Jessica approaches the impossible with grace, optimism and a ‘can-do’ attitude, and a pragmatic approach,” said Jennifer Bosser, President & CEO for Iredell EDC.

Orange County did not have to look far for its next Planning Director. County manager Bonnie Hammersley announced May 20th that Cy Stober, who is currently the Development Director for the City of Mebane, would fill the position created by the retirement of Craig Benedict.

Development efforts in downtown Kannapolis have caught the eye of community development professionals around the country. The American Planning Association named Kannapolis a recipient of the Donald C. Hunter Excellence in Economic Development Award.

Ohio

David Zak is the new President & CEO of the Crawford Partnership.

Christopher Hardesty, who previously worked in Mayor Thomas Bernabei's office, will be the city of Canton's next economic development director.

AmplifyBio, a biotechnology contract research organization, is investing roughly $150 million in a new 350,000-square-foot facility at 9885 Innovation Campus Way in the New Albany International Business Park. (New Albany Economic Development Manager Michael Loges)

Oklahoma

Adam White will soon be scouting new economic development opportunities for the city of McAlester. White, who is the current economic development director for Eufaula, is set to transition into the McAlester post on June 13. That will give him an opportunity to work alongside current McAlester Economic Development Director Kirk Ridenour for a few of weeks before taking over the helm.

Oregon

Oregon Business interviewed Shaun Gibbs, executive director of the South Coast Development Council.  He talks about what’s next for the region.

Pennsylvania

The Andy Warhol Museum announced that the museum will spearhead a major new cultural and economic development project that intends to transform a six-block section of the museum’s neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Shore into a thriving hub for expansive cultural programming, creative workforce development and ultimately a new cultural tourism destination.

Tennessee

The Memphis area has now recovered all the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the Greater Memphis Chamber. (Ted Townsend, chief economic development officer for the chamber)

Texas

Antoine Long is the new Economic Development Coordinator for the city of DeSoto.

William Myers is the new executive director of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation.

A new economic development strategic plan was introduced to city stakeholders and officials during a May 17 quarterly investors meeting of the Greater New Braunfels Economic Development Foundation. The plan, known as the Confluence Economic Development Strategy.

Samuel Reese has been named the manager for Community and Economic Development in Xcel Energy’s Borger and Dumas area, succeeding Jesse Shuffield who will retire June 10 after more than 42 years of service, the company announced Thursday.

Killeen is known for many things, but not industry. Members of the Killeen City Council, speaking during a discussion about the Killeen Economic Development Corporation at last week’s council workshop meeting, said that it’s time for that to change.

The Graham Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the Graham Convention and Visitors Bureau, ordered a financial feasibility study of building and operating a 90-unit limited or select service hotel in Graham from Source Strategies. The study was ordered to present to potential hotel companies the financial incentives Graham offers for a hotel investment. (GEDC Director, Grant Ingram)

The Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation has outlined steps for finding new executive director.  The plan: hire a search firm, pronto.

While Prosper may not have a downtown square like some of their neighboring towns,  they do have what their top economic development official calls “good bones” and a plan is underway to make that area of this growing community pretty unique. (Mary Ann Moon, executive director of the Prosper Economic Development Corp.)

Virginia

Officials on Monday at city hall presented the Strategic Plan for Equitable Economic Development for the first time, and said they’re hoping to bring $3 billion in capital investment to Richmond, create 3,000 jobs that pay $52,000 a year or more, and reduce the city’s poverty rate by 5%.

Inter-jurisdictional cooperation is bolstering regional economic-development efforts, but several challenges – including a dysfunctional Metrorail system and shortages of housing and workers – still must be overcome, area officials said May 17 at the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum. (Telly Tucker of Arlington Economic Development; David Kelley, director of national business investment for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; Buddy Rizer, executive director of the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development; Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership; )

In this week's episode of The Valley Today, Jenna French, Shenandoah County’s Director of Economic Development/Tourism discussed the county's work on their comprehensive plan.

Washington

Terrie Battuello is the new Economic Developer and Real Property Manager for the City of Marysville.

The City of Spokane is creating a Housing Action Plan to increase housing options that are affordable and accessible to people and families of all income levels in our community. “We need housing, but we especially need workforce housing," said Steve MacDonald, Director of Spokane’s Economic Development Department.

Canada

Mark Paoli is the new Director of Development Services of the Town of Saugeen Shores.

Lacombe County is seeking input through two online surveys from residents in regards to their long-term, economic development strategy. (Monica Bartman, Economic Development Officer, Lacombe County)

United States

The following economic developers earned their Advanced Economic Development Leadership Practitioner (MEDP) designation last week: Joseph C. "Dusty" McCormick, Joseph A. Graves, Jeremiah Quarles, Heather N Brown, Kelly Robertson-Slagle, Matthew Godinez, Cecilia Pacheco, Cynthia (Cyndi) Jantomaso, Valerie (Lukacs) Pianta, Stacey Duvic-Neal, Michael Lisle, Michael (Mike) Espiritu, James Caraway II, Kathy MacAdams, Deborah Scherer, and Brandt Herndon

Cheryal Lee Hills, executive director of Region Five Development Commission and representative of the National Association of Development Organizations, testified before Congress Wednesday, May 11. The U.S. House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth hosted the hearing, “Bringing Prosperity to Left-Behind Communities: Using Targeted Place-based Development to Expand Economic Opportunity.”


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Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. Also: Sitehunt CEO and economic development consultant in Greater Houston, Texas.


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