Market Analysis and Development Feasibility

Downtown Long Beach Market Study

Client: Long Beach Redevelopment Agency
Location: Long Beach, CA
The Long Beach Redevelopment Agency hired Strategic Economics to evaluate the market demand for a mix of uses that would support living and working in Downtown Long Beach. After assessing demand for Downtown housing, office space, and hotel rooms, the team evaluated how growth of these uses could also drive retail demand in Downtown. The study concluded with an implementation strategy designed to build on the strength of Downtown’s assets to leverage increased retail investment. This project received the award for Planning Excellence in Comprehensive Planning – Large Jurisdiction at the 2013 APA Los Angeles Awards.

Central Healdsburg Avenue Plan Economic and Market Analysis

Client:  City of Healdsburg
Location: Healdsburg, CA
As part of a team led by Community Design + Architecture, Strategic Economics conducted an economic and market assessment of the Central Healdsburg Avenue area of Healdsburg, California. The study area includes a future station for the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter rail service, but is primarily focused on Central Healdsburg Avenue.  The main gateway to the city’s downtown, the study area includes a mix of industrial, residential, office and retail land uses, but has attracted limited investment in recent years. Strategic Economics worked to identify the potential for new development that would complement the existing downtown, and also explored the potential ability to attract neighborhood-serving as well as visitor-oriented retailers.  Strategic Economics also assisted the city in creating an implementation strategy that included a financing and phasing plan, and detailed strategies for accomplishing the public and private improvements required in the study area. In September 2012, the plan was approved and forwarded to the city’s Planning Commission for public review.

First and Boyle Market Feasibility Study

Client: Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Strategic Economics assessed the market feasibility of a CRA/LA-owned parcel located adjacent to the Mariachi Plaza light rail station in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. After analyzing market conditions and identifying land use opportunities around the project area, Strategic Economics worked with architects Quattro Design to develop three building programs for the site. The team tested the overall development feasibility, and the sensitivity of each program to key factors including land use, parking requirements and other policies. The final report included the results of the team’s analyses, as well as recommendations for how to move forward with a developer solicitation for the site.

Fremont Retail Market Analysis and Strategic Plan

Client: City of Fremont Office of Economic Development
Location: Fremont, CA
Strategic Economics worked with the City of Fremont to develop a Retail Strategic Plan that focused the city’s short- and long-term retail recruitment priorities, and informed policies to be included in the updated General Plan. Strategic Economics assessed the performance and responsiveness of the retail market and analyzed citywide sales tax data to classify all existing retail nodes by tenant type and overall sales performance. These analyses established a clear hierarchy of retail place types in Fremont; provided a clear vision for each existing retail node to guide both public and private sector investment; and, informed new land use policies that also support the city’s economic development goals.

Downtown Berkeley Development Feasibility Study

Client: City of Berkeley
Location: Berkeley, CA
The Downtown Berkeley Development Feasibility Study was commissioned by the City of Berkeley to inform a downtown planning process, where building height limits had become a contentious community issue. Strategic Economics tested the financial feasibility of both condominium and apartment buildings at various heights and building types to determine what project types would be feasible under current and forecasted market conditions. Strategic Economics also assessed the impact of requiring public benefits (such as affordable housing and green buildings), on a project’s feasibility over time. The final report informed the Downtown Area Plan and educated city decision-makers and the public about realistic development expectations, and the types of community benefits that could be achieved through new development.  The Downtown Area Plan recently received the Award of Excellence for Best Practices from the APA. Read the full DAP here.

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