You Don’t Know You Need Us (Until You Do)

We’re a land use and economic development company.  Most people aren’t sure what that means, but essentially we have three types of clients: Developers – we help developers get the permits and approvals then need (especially difficult ones) in a timely manner.  We also help them analyze and select locations for their projects.  We also help bridge the gaps where a jurisdiction’s policies, permits and practice don’t quite fit or are not anticipatory of a type of project. Cities/Countys/EDOs – knowing what it takes to make a project happen, we help advise communities on policies, programs and marketing so that they are more effective at getting the economic development they want.  Essentially, we help these clients get smarter, more strategic and we do it for a better cost structure than “planning” companies. Small Businesses & Individuals – zoning is one regulation that applies to every business, every non-profit and every individual, so when small businesses run into zoning challenges that are complex and political, we help them navigate to safety.  Click here for an example Unfortunately, we frequently hear our new small business and individual clients say something like, “Wow, I didn’t even know people like you were out there…. Continue reading

Approved: Hawks Prairie Logistics Park

Last night the Lacey City Council approved the master site plan and wetland development permits for Hawks Prairie Logistics Park, a 130-acre industrial development that will feature three buildings totaling 1.9 million square feet of industrial space.  The main building on the site will house a new Home Depot distribution center. Our firm played an instrumental role in the project’s approval, providing the project’s economic impact analysis and performing required land use analysis to address the policies and conditions that limit the granting of wetland development permits. Additionally, we provided early project management services to support the project’s pre-application site plan review,  the processing of the land use applications, and the facilitation of a meeting with the adjacent residential neighborhoods. Continue reading

Founder’s Focus: How I Hire Talent

Note: this blog is the first in a series of blogs I hope to write on various topics that aren’t related to our company’s services, but definitely related to how we cope with the same challenges that our clients and colleagues often face as small businesses. Running a small business is challenging, but growing a small business is even harder.  One of the major challenges for small businesses as they grow is hiring additional staff. Posting a position and receiving hundreds of resumes to review isn’t practical, I’ve got a business to run.  Plus, resumes are of limited insight as they really only show that person’s ability to proof read and that person’s story-telling – it’s natural instinct (even coached) to tout the performance and contributions of oneself much like my 7 year old might when we return from a day fishing at the lake. My first significant experience hiring employees occurred in my mid-20s when I worked at a growing real estate company.  Responsible for growing a division of the company, I deliberately hired individuals fresh out of college despite their lack of experience and I made my hiring decisions based on specific talents I though each person brought… Continue reading

The Impact of Micropolitans

Our firm focuses the majority of our economic development consulting services on Micropolitan Statistical Areas.  Why? There are 551 micropolitan areas which are comprised of 21% of the nation’s counties. Micropolitans are labor market areas with at least one urban core of no less than 10,000 population and no more than 50,000 population Total population in micropolitan statistical areas can range from around 11,000 to over 200,000 Pearsall, TX (Frio County) is the nation’s newest micropolitan, having been announced in OMB Bulletin 18-03 in April 2018 Micropolitans have a significant footprint across the US The following map shows the footprint of Micropolitans across the US. Continue reading