Public – Private Sector Collaboration

Jim Olsen, Business Intermediary

Development projects in urban settings often require both public sector approval and co-operation. This of course can be manifest in public investment from programs such as Tax Increment Financing. What can be of even greater value to both public and private interests is an early collaboration on creative solutions to issues that may surround a private development. The new project will often stimulate a host of questions on surrounding improvements. Goals can be set for the transformation of entire blocks from the seismic ideation of a single project.

This is happening now with our proposed Barracks at Fort Howard housing development in the 300 block of North Broadway. New Town Redevelopment is a collaboration of Creative Business Services / CBS-Global and DeLeers Construction. We will be building advanced condominium housing with a retail segment at grade. In competition for the project with other proposals before the RDA, we were chosen not only for our design and product, but because we presented an urban design re-development for the entire block. This included contiguous historical features along the active Broadway front, and service and landscaping features at the passive Chestnut rear.

Since being awarded the planning option on the project, the collaboration with the City’s Planning and Economic Development offices has been exceptional. We meet together weekly to make progress on design plans, funding options and synergies in changes that will enhance the businesses and attractiveness of the block. Many grant opportunities for work beyond the immediate housing project have been identified.

The block will see a profound transformation on its west side that will greatly enhance all of the work being done on its east. We expect this public/private collaboration to be a model for this kind of effort to take place throughout the community.