This week, Toyer Strategic successfully held a community meeting with property owners adjacent to a proposed logistics park in Lacey, Washington.
Toyer is one of the project consultants supporting the entitlement of the Hawks Prairie Logistics Park – a project that would create around 1.9 million square feet of warehousing and distribution space on 131 acres.
An economic impact analysis produced by our firm estimates that the project could result in nearly 900 direct, indirect and induced jobs at full-build out of all phases of the project.
Lacey, Washington has a population just over 49,000 and sits on the Interstate 5 (I-5) corridor south of Tacoma, Washington and immediately north of Olympia (the state capitol).
Whether you are a community, economic development organization, real estate developer or expanding business, our land use and economic development expertise can add significant value to your projects. Here’s an example of value we’re adding to a project by changing the land use and zoning.
On a 6-1 vote Wednesday night, the Auburn Planning Commission recommended the City Council approve a comprehensive plan map amendment and rezone for 1.89 acres that our firm has been pushing through the City’s annual docket cycle on behalf of a client. If approved by the City Council, the resulting zoning would increase the density of the site by as many as 29 additional housing units.
“This project is a perfect example of how our company can help land owners and developers add value to their properties and projects,” said David Toyer, founder of Toyer Strategic Consulting. “With land supply inside urban growth areas becoming more constrained, our experience changing zoning and permitted uses can add significant benefits clients looking to achieve a higher and better use.”
In another example earlier this year Toyer Strategic successfully amended the matrix of permitted uses in the City of Pacific, Washington to allow a client to move forward an industrial warehousing in an office park zone – a obvious win for the project developer, but also a key win for a city which hadn’t seen much new development in that zone.
Traveling around as much as I do, I hear it from Mayors, I see it in community vision and mission statements, and I read it in marketing brochures. . .
[insert city name here] – “A Great Place to Live, Work and Play/Shop/Stay”
It’s been the tagline, catch phrase, sound bite, etc. for years now. And candidates for governor and congress use it in speeches (even last night), chambers use it, downtown groups use it, economic developers use it, etc. And this is a big problem. So, if you’re marketing yourself as a great place to live, work and play, your community has no chance to stand out. NO CHANCE!
- What does this statement really tell me about your community? Nada. It doesn’t tell me who you are, what you have, or what’s unique. So looking at “Anywhere: An awesome place to live, work and play” and “Lake Town: Live a Lake Life” which one do you want to know more about? You’re community needs to be united around an identify that is unique and authentic to you.
- At best you’re running with the pack when using this as the fulcrum of your marketing. I can type “great place to live work and play” into Google and get 4.35 trillion hits. Sort through the first few pages and you’ll see community after community saying the exact same thing, along with a couple articles like this and some articles about live, work play (LWP) mixed use type projects.
- And the pack you’re running in is big. It’s the more than 35,000 places in the United States that have a permanent population and buildings (Source: USGS), especially the 19,500 cities, towns and incorporated places (statista.com).
So if you’re using (or thinking about using) “Great Place to Live, Work and Play” to describe your community, STOP! Because even declining rural communities can stake the same claim, because their declining population is less about them and more on the fact that there are better places out there to live, work and play. . . ones that have a better marketing message or that are willing to invest in the amenities and infrastructure that proves it.
Still think it doesn’t apply to every community? Then envision the supermarket. You may not want to buy a can of sardines, but there are cans of it on the shelf because that is what some wants to buy them.
Defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as labor market areas with at least one urban core between 10,000 and 50,000 population, “micropolitans” are far mightier than the “micro” implies. In fact, micropolitan areas represent roughly 21% of the nation’s counties and around 9% of the population nationwide.
However, some micropolitans are faring much better that others in attracting new population, new business investment and new jobs. And that’s where our firm comes in. Our economic development practice specializes in economic development for micropolitans and our company’s founder has real experience as the former economic development director for the Greater Burlington Partnership (Burlington IA/IL Micropolitan) during a 4 year period where he helped attract over $250 million in new business development and 750 primary sector jobs.
“What we often see is that micropolitans which are struggling either need to refresh and refocus their economic development strategy or reorganize how economic development is approached within their geography,” says David Toyer, founder of Toyer Strategic. “But many of these same areas have limited budgets and staffing resources.”
To solve this problem, Toyer Strategic doesn’t have a template strategic plan that it produces for all micropolitans. Instead, the company uses an approach (a process for strategic planning) that lends itself to being customized to match the unique characteristics and resource limitations of a micropolitan. Learn more about our approach
Additionally, Toyer Strategic Consulting has developed a Micgrowpolitan™ program where we will independently certify a micropolitan as Micgrowpolitan™ based on comprehensive analysis of key economic development program elements. The certification is a way for economic development organizations in micropolitans to show their local officials, community stakeholders, partner organizations, investors and even prospects that they have what it takes to compete and win economic development projects. What is the certification and how do I get it?
As of 2017, OMB tracks 536 Micropolitan Statistical Areas (μSAs) in the United States against only 383 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). But based on 2018 census population estimates, there could be as many as 550 micropolitans in the U.S. (Policom) and still only 383 metropolitans.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Toyer Strategic Consulting a trademark on the Toyer Framework® – our signature approach to economic development strategic planning for communities 50,000 population and under. We specifically designed the Toyer Framework® to ensure that economic development strategic planning in these smaller communities is structured to:
- Catalog a community’s physical and other assets
- Articulate a community’s SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats)
- Define a community vision and identify priority projects
- Resolve inconsistencies among past plans and differing community visions
- Define the roles and responsibilities of key community stakeholders
- Establish an adoptable, actionable 1-3 year work plan
Click to learn about the Toyer Framework®
Toyer Framework® is a registered trademark of Toyer Strategic Consulting, LLC.