Vision is the starting point for all successful projects. When you’re developing a vision that will carry your community into a public/private partnership to support retail development and economic growth, it’s essential that the vision is shared. Investors don’t want to partner with a community that can’t agree on their goals.
If your community can’t generate a cohesive vision before heading into public/private partnerships, then there’s a good chance your retail development goals are doomed to failure. Recognizing this gives you an opportunity to impress potential partners by creating a shared vision from the very beginning of your city’s plans for growth and expansion.
Ideally, your vision will involve everyone who has a stake in the positive outcome of this potential partnership. This includes residents, property owners, homeowners associations, media outlets, colleges, hospitals, churches, and other stakeholders.
Make sure you don’t leave out people and groups that are initially opposed to the community’s proposed vision. Building consensus and addressing concerns is a key step in the process of vision-building if that vision is to be shared by the entire community.
Get the media on your side early in the vision-building process. An alliance with local media outlets makes it easier to get your message out and cultivate transparency during the planning stages. Media will continue to play a key role in publicizing the vision and keeping it fresh in people’s minds after your community has decided on a final version of your vision plan.
City visions often include long-term plans that can span several local political administrations. This means that establishing a collective vision and creating community buy-in for the project is essential for sustaining the vision long-term.
As your community develops a shared vision, remember to keep the practical side of things in mind. A vision by itself isn’t enough – you also need a plan for implementing your vision. This is where you can really start focusing on what your community hopes to get out of a public/private partnership and what you can offer your investors.
Use public hearings, news releases, visioning exercises and other tools to keep stakeholder and area residents in the loop about the vision you’re developing. Make sure you specify the scale of projects included in the vision and let people know exactly what’s going to happen. A shared vision will start to collapse if people feel blindsided or misinformed.
Retail Attractions can assist with generating an honest assessment of your city’s strengths and weaknesses. We know what investors are looking for and can help you with demographic analysis and strategic planning you’ll need to create an implementable vision before entering into a partnership to foster economic development.