Month: July 2016

Risks and Rewards in Public/Private Partnerships

Posted by Retail Attractions Blog on July 28, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Every financial venture carries a certain amount of risk. In a public/private partnership for economic development, both sides face some pretty significant risks but the partnership also offers greater rewards than either could reap on their own. To minimize risk and maximize reward, you have to set up the partnership carefully in the beginning stages of planning.


Consider Both Sides

A public/private partnership is more than a straightforward financial deal. Such partnerships are complex, often long-lasting, and carry a high level of risk as well as the promise of significant rewards. When navigating a public/private partnership, both parties have to focus on mutual success.

The public partner can’t just focus on their community’s needs and the private partner can’t just focus on their bottom line. Both have to recognize and acknowledge the needs each party brings to the table, as well as the risks they’re taking on by entering the partnership. When both parties are committed to working together for their common good, they can accomplish goals that wouldn’t be possible apart.

Acknowledge Risks

To deal with conflicts and plan for an uncertain future, both parties need to know what the risks look like. On the public side, one risk is that the partnership will result in conflicts of interest and stir up dissension in the community. The public side may have to deal with land use conflicts, liability impacts, and accusations about the misuse of public funds. They’re also taking a risk that the developer could go out of business or not follow through on their side of the partnership.

On the private side, the largest risks are financial. Development is a time-consuming process, and there’s a risk of running out of funds before the project finishes if there are delays or poor planning. The public partner is also gambling that the project will create long-term value. Another risk is that key changes in public or political leaders could derail the partnership. These sort of risks should be addressed in the planning stages of partnerships.

Reap The Rewards

If you can make a plan to deal with and/or avoid the risks, public/private partnerships result in plentiful rewards on both sides. For the public side of the partnership, success results in greater wealth in the community, improved infrastructure, increased tax revenue, and creation of jobs. For the private side, successful retail development partnerships are financially profitable, establish their market niche, enhance the organization’s reputation, and provide resources to take on new projects.

Every partnership is unique and a one-size-fits-all formula doesn’t apply. When you’re trying to manage risks and work towards mutual success, it helps to have someone on your side who has experience working with public/private partnerships and fostering economic development. Retail Attractions has extensive experience on economic development projects and understands the perspective of communities and developers alike. We tailor our consultation to your unique situation and we’ll work with both public and private parties to get the most out of your partnership.

Aerial Photography and City Planning

Posted by Retail Attractions Blog on July 12, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

We’re all familiar with the concept of aerial photography. These photos are taken from high up in the air to provide a big-picture view of the land below. If the photography is done correctly, the resulting images can be a useful asset for city planning and retail development projects. Aerial photography works for surveying sites, legal documentation, and marketing, among other things. It’s just one more tool Retail Attractions uses to make your city planning project a success.

Economic Development Consultant Aerial Photography and City Planning

Types of Aerial Photography

Aerial photographs can be vertical or oblique. The vertical photographs are taken with the camera pointed straight down. It’s also called a 90-degree or birds-eye view. This type of photo provides a map-like image without distortion.

Oblique photographs are taken at an angle. A 45-degree angle is popular, but they can be taken at many different angles and heights depending on how you plan to use the photograph. This type of aerial photograph shows perspective and provides a view that lets you look at the relative sizes of buildings, trees, and other objects in the area.

Using Aerial Photographs

The different types of aerial photographs have different applications. With vertical shots, multiple photographs of a specific site can be taken at the same height from the ground and combined with GIS (Geographic Information System) to use with surveying, engineering, site planning, and aerial mapping. These photographs can also be used to help resolve legal issues such as land disputes and accident analysis.

Oblique photographs have a more limited application for the technical side of city planning but still play a valuable role. Since they provide perspective, these photographs are useful for marketing the project and tracking construction progress.

Where To Get Aerial Shots

If you’re already working with Retail Attractions, we have current aerial photographs for most of our client cities on file and we can provide the data in print or electronically. If you’re just starting out with city planning or need up-to-date aerial photographs, we provide a variety of aerial photography services to meet your needs.

One of the many advantages of working with Retail Attractions for your aerial photography is that we have extensive experience with the type of photography that’s best suited for city planning purposes. You need an aerial photographer that has experience working with cities if you want to get the most useful aerial survey shots. If you’re interested in our photography, or our other economic development services, visit our website for more information and contact us today for a price quote.