Redeveloping Commercial Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities


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Presentation on "Redeveloping Commercial Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities: A Guidebook to Linking Property Reuse and Economic Revitalization" to the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Bootcamp in Youngstown on March 10, 2014.

The guidebook was produced by Greater Ohio Policy Center in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and the Center for Community Progress and will be released in the coming months.

Published in: Self Improvement
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Redeveloping Commercial Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities

  1. 1. Redeveloping commercial vacant properties in legacy cities: A guidebook to linking property reuse & economic revitalization Marianne Eppig Manager of Research & Communications Greater Ohio Policy Center Photo of downtown Detroit by Lundgren Photography
  2. 2. About the Commercial Vacant Properties Guidebook • Following mortgage foreclosure crisis, attention paid to vacant residential properties, but little attention paid to vacant commercial properties • Municipalities often overlook commercial vacant properties due to complex ownership, financing and legal issues • These properties represent an opportunity for economic and community development An abandoned commercial property in Midtown Detroit. Photo by Ann Millspaugh.
  3. 3. Commercial Property Typology •  Downtown (Central Business District) •  Destination & Neighborhood Main Streets •  Scattered Neighborhood Commercial Source: MrTinDC/Flickr Source: the.urbanophile/Flickr Source: CVS
  4. 4. Commercial Property Typology •  Big Box •  Strip Mall •  Mall •  Lifestyle Center Source: Theo Curmudgeon/Flickr Source: Nicholas Eckhart Source: Mike Kalasnik Source: Wikipedia
  5. 5. Understanding Commercial Vacant Properties Commercial Vacancy at the County Level for Select Legacy CitiesCommercial Vacancy at the County Level for Select Legacy CitiesCommercial Vacancy at the County Level for Select Legacy Cities County (City, State) Total Vacant Commercial Addresses Percent Commercial Vacancy Wayne County (Detroit, Michigan) 29,276 41.5 Genesee County (Flint, Michigan) 6,216 39.9 Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio) 24,303 38.8 Mahoning County (Youngstown, Ohio) 4,197 37.5 Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 17,836 31.7 Data source: HUD/U.S. Postal Service
  6. 6. Understanding Commercial Vacant Properties
  7. 7. Tools in the Guidebook • Guidance on planning & partnering for commercial revitalization • Methods for analyzing the market • Matching market types & strategies for commercial revitalization • Legal tools for reclaiming commercial vacant properties • Funding sources for overcoming financial gaps An abandoned warehouse. Photo by Flickr user Rigmarole.
  8. 8. Tools in the Guidebook • Menu of property reuse options • Ways to attract & retain business tenants • Methods and models for managing a commercial district • Tactics for building markets A renovated building in Over-the-Rhine of Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Travis Estell.
  9. 9. Best Practice: Detroit Shoreway • The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization partnered with the recently redeveloped Cleveland Public Theatre and Near West Theatre on the creation of a strategic plan to redevelop a section of Detroit Avenue. • Re-branded the area as the Gordon Square Arts District, which has attracted over 42 new businesses and over $750 million in neighborhood investments. • “Best Business Plan” competition to attract local businesses to vacant storefronts, Storefront Renovation Program & Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program Source: Gregory Willson Source: Jakprints
  10. 10. Best Practice: Over-the-Rhine • The City of Cincinnati partnered with local private corporations in 2003 to form the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), a non-profit that could lead the revitalization of the area. • 3CDC has focused on acquiring and rehabilitating abandoned properties within a 110 square block area of Over-the-Rhine. • The restoration of Washington Park has helped the neighborhood make a turnaround after decades of disinvestment. Source: Hanna Ford Source: Travis Estell
  11. 11. Best Practice: Neighborhood Development Center • The Neighborhood Development Center in St. Paul, Minneapolis provides business training for entrepreneurs and helps them target and redevelop vacant commercial properties for reuse. • NDC has rehabbed 6 buildings that have been used to house business incubators, public markets and commercial development space. • In 2006, NDC and several partner organizations transformed a vacant Sears building into the Midtown Global Market, which is a public market and business incubator. Source: Andelie Freyja Annabel Source: Meet Minneapolis
  12. 12. Building Local Markets How to link property reuse and economic revitalization: overall lessons for market building • Know the local & regional market • Target resources into buildings & districts that can make a comeback, leveraging local assets • Begin at a scale that is doable & partner to increase capacity • Plan & prepare for the end use • Develop desirable buildings & commercial districts • Attract & support tenants • Manage & promote the district Every opportunity to redevelop our built environment is an opportunity to redefine what could be for our legacy cities. Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine. Photo by Payton Chung.