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City To Spend $150,000 To Update Economic Development Strategic Plan

The City of Alameda is set to update it's economic development plan. (File photo)

The City of Alameda is set to update it’s economic development plan. (File photo)

At the first city council meeting of July, city staffers will ask the body to approve a $148,085 contract with Strategic Economics of Berkeley to update the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan.

Some $50,000 of the contract expense will be re-appropriated from unspent funds in the fiscal year ending this month.

In her report to council, city manager Jill Keimach gives credit to a July 2000 10 year strategic plan, and a 2008 update, for restoration of the Alameda Theater, the Alameda Landing development and the redevelopment of the Bridgeside Shopping Center.

(However, while popular, the Alameda Theater and cineplex has yet to deliver the boost in sales tax revenues that proponents promised before the project started.)

This time, the consultant will be asked to provide a five-year strategy in a new plan, with work commencing immediately in July following city council’s approval.

The EDSP is expected to be completed by June 2017.

From the staff report to city council, Strategic Economics will execute on six broad tasks to come up with a plan:

Task 1: Review existing documents and hold a kick-off meeting. Strategic Economics will review previous Alameda economic development policies and reports, followed by a project initiation meeting with staff and the Ad Hoc Committee to discuss these documents, current economic development activities, and how they will inform subsequent tasks in the scope of work.

Task 2: Citywide demographic and Economic Analysis. Building off of previous analyses and data, Strategic Economics will fill in any gaps and provide updated information on Alameda’s economic and market position relative to the East Bay region and the greater Bay Area overall. The major components of this task include:

  • Analysis of industrial and commercial sectors, commercial real estate markets, and retail sectors;
  • Analysis of the role of tourism in Alameda’s overall economy, and its potential role in driving future economic growth in the City;
  • Stakeholder focus groups, such as key business representatives, retailers, commercial brokers, developers, hotel operators, community leaders, and City Department Directors and Division Managers;
  • A summary of Alameda’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis), which will identify specific industries and tenants types that might be a good fit for Alameda; and
  • A background report that will provide the factual foundation for creating the EDSP. The background report will be designed for a public audience, incorporating graphics, charts, and tables that clearly explain Alameda’s economy. A user-friendly executive summary will highlight the most significant findings and set the stage for public discussion.

Task 3: Community Engagement. The Strategic Economics team will design and facilitate a multi-faceted community engagement program, including social media platforms and two community visioning workshops, to support this project.

Task 4: Prepare draft EDSP and Implementation Plan. Based on comments received during the public engagement process, Strategic Economics will prepare an administrative draft of the EDSP. The plan will describe the economic context, existing conditions, and future changes necessary to maintain Alameda’s competitive advantage in creating, supporting, and attracting businesses, diversifying the local economy and maintaining fiscal health. The Implementation Plan will identify specific actions, a lead organization or department, potential funding sources, supporting agencies and partners, and time frames for completing the actions.

Task 5: Meetings and communication with City. Strategic Economics will participate in regularly scheduled meetings with City staff and the Ad Hoc Committee.

Task 6. Final EDSP and Implementation Plan. The Strategic Economics team will incorporate comments from the City Council, Planning Board, EDSP Ad Hoc Committee, and community members to deliver a final EDSP for Planning Board endorsement and City Council approval.

The plan is expected to be completed by June 2017.

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