Ok, so they may not be the best looking group but they had a lot of interesting insights and questions. At our kickoff meeting last night we talked about the following topics:
1. The need to communicate incentives for developers, big and small, in an open and transparent way
2. The need for a public plan to communicate the Knowledge Park strategy and a road map for its implementation
3. The vision of Knowledge Park as a unified urban district linking Old Town to University Center to Winthrop University, and the necessity for new development to fill in the existing gaps.
4. The challenges posed by the railroad running beside Dave Lyle Boulevard in creating a unified urban district. More on this in the future.
5. The challenges of redeveloping sites and buildings in an old downtown/industrial area: environmental concerns, historic preservation restrictions (and incentives), asbestos, etc.
6. The opportunity to use Federal HUB Zones as an economic development tool. A team member, Stephen Schramm will bring more information on this topic to the next meeting.
7. Federal incentives for development/investment in distressed census tracts, including New Market Tax Credits and Opportunity Zones.
8. Review of a map (next post) that shows likely areas of Knowledge Park where development/redevelopment opportunities exist.
The Development Action Team will meet again on Tuesday, March 13th at 5 pm. Location of the meeting will be confirmed in subsequent communications.