One of the hallmarks of NP’s work is blending a vision that captures the imagination with enough practicality to move it toward implementation. As part of our approach NP spends a lot of time thinking about how something might get implemented and by whom before turning it into a recommendation. Three cities where NP recently worked are making progress moving from plans to actions:
New Innovation Space for Athens GA: The Athens-Clarke County government in partnership with Athens Hospitality Holdings Group signed a letter of agreement to create the Athens Creative Development Campus. According to the County's press release, "The proposal is the result of a study provided by Ninigret Partners through a partnership between Georgia Power and the Unified Government. Key findings from the study noted the growth of the University of Georgia as a major research institution; a need for flexible, bio-ready space; an active digital tech industry; and a vibrant creative consumer product industry that builds on the culture and vibe of Athens."
The campus will be a mixed-use development including office, business incubation, co-work space and hotel. The purpose of the space is to "serve as a destination for business travelers, makers, and entrepreneurs by creating a space that will encourage collaboration opportunities across a wide variety of interests."
21st Century Mobility Solution Coming to Grand Rapids MI: The City of Grand Rapids, MI recently proposed a bike sharing program that will put 800 bikes at 100 stations downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods over the next five years. The program is estimated to cost $3 million and aims to be largely self-sustaining through user fees and sponsorships. The bike share program is a direct result of the City's GR Forward Downtown and River Action Plan, which called for a 21st century mobility strategy as one of 6 core goals. NP provided the economic analysis to the GR Forward Plan and prepared the business plan with Sam Schwartz Engineering for the bike share program.
City Commission Adoption Makes Downtown Plan the Official Policy in Fargo ND: The City of Fargo, ND also made progress on its downtown master plan. Downtown Fargo InFocus calls for a series of actions in seven strategic areas including how to grow as a business center and thrive as a regional destination. The City Commission adopted the plan in December 2017. NP provided economic and development analysis with a focus on retail and entrepreneurial development strategies.
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