This document is the culmination of an innovative, two-year effort to develop an integrated and mutually reinforcing set of strategies and initiatives to drive growth in four contiguous Chicago neighborhoods: Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Avalon Park and Greater Grand Crossing. The plan reflects a new, replicable approach to neighborhood growth planning, embedded in the context of regional economic opportunities. Chapter I lays out the economic foundations of the plan, and is followed by a rigorous market analysis, articulation of the plan’s 16 strategies and an outline of the lead implementation initiatives and institutional infrastructure.

Chicago TREND (Transforming Retail Economics of Neighborhood Development) combines innovative predictive analytics, deal brokering and financial products to support “retail on the leading edge” of emerging neighborhood markets. The new initiative – including partnerships with ICSC, Nielsen, Econsult Solutions and leading retailers and developers – aims to enable retailers, developers, investors and neighborhoods to better target particular types of retail to specific changing neighborhoods offering retail opportunity that will help drive the neighborhood change. The initiative is led by Lyneir Richardson. To discuss potential retail development and partnership opportunities, please contact him at lrichardson@chicagotrend.com.

This report, written in partnership with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), highlights the opportunities for driving inclusive regional growth through the collaborative development of the Chicagoland region’s food manufacturing and packaging cluster. The report is a product of the MacArthur Foundation-supported Linking Neighborhoods to Clusters project, connecting neighborhood-level economic development goals to regional, cluster-based development strategies.

agroindustria-6825 flickr photo by United Nations Industrial Development Organization shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Chicago TREND (Transforming Retail Economics of Neighborhood Development) combines innovative predictive analytics, deal brokering and financial products to support “retail on the leading edge” of emerging neighborhood markets. The new initiative – including partnerships with ICSC, Nielsen, Econsult Solutions and leading retailers and developers – aims to enable retailers, developers, investors and neighborhoods to better target particular types of retail to specific changing neighborhoods, offering retail opportunity that will help drive the neighborhood change. The initiative is led by Lyneir Richardson. To discuss potential retail development and partnership opportunities, please contact him at lrichardson@chicagotrend.com.

This set of documents reflects recommendations for leveraging urban industrial corridors in Indianapolis, Indiana in ways that support high-growth-potential regional clusters. The project was undertaken by RW Ventures in partnership with Mass Economics, Bookman Associates, Capraro Consulting and Jones Lang LaSalle on behalf of Indianapolis LISC. The presentation describes the urban opportunities among targeted economic clusters, ultimately recommending a focus on (a) Food Manufacturing and Distribution and (b) Local Business-to-Business (B2B) Services. The report then provides a more in-depth description of those clusters and articulates a location profile for each that captures the location preferences, site characteristics and building requirements of firms in those clusters. Finally, the report offers recommendations for promoting growth of the Food Manufacturing and Distribution and Local B2B clusters in existing industrial areas in Indianapolis and proposed methodologies for the next round of cluster development and industrial land analysis.

This presentation, delivered to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s leadership team, provides a set of strategic redevelopment scenarios for a 31-acre site the foundation owns in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Atlanta, GA. In the context of growing opportunities in the next economy for “economic place making” which aligns neighborhood and regional development, a cross-disciplinary team — including partners Mass Economics, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, TSW and Noell Consulting Group — undertook extensive regional and local market analysis and stakeholder engagement to identify a range of market-feasible development alternatives for the site that would maximize opportunities for community residents and businesses. The team explored development opportunities ranging from a food innovation park to a “blue-collar innovation district.” This presentation summarizes the team’s approach to the project, its market and site findings, recommended strategic development scenarios and a proposed strategy for taking the site to market for development. The team’s work is described in more detail in a set of non-public deliverables prepared for the foundation.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, accepting the recommendations of her Council of Economic Advisors, adopted Partnering for Prosperity: An Economic Growth Action Agenda for Cook County, a report developed with assistance from RW Ventures and Metropolis Strategies.  The Action Agenda provides a blueprint for more strategic, targeted and deeper County engagement in regional economic development, recommending nine key strategies based on Cook’s role and capacities in the regional economy.  RW Ventures and Metropolis Strategies will continue to work with Cook County, as it now adapts its programs and engages partners to create transformative initiatives to implement the strategies.

Prepared for Cook County by its Council of Economic Advisors, Metropolis Strategies and RW Ventures, this Action Agenda begins by addressing Cook County’s role in the regional economy, in light of dramatic changes taking place in the global economy. It then outlines a framework for understanding the County’s opportunities to influence economic growth, identifying the intersection of regional economic growth opportunities, the County’s unique assets and challenges, and Cook County government’s capacities. Applying this framework, the Action Agenda analyzes Cook County’s economic assets, challenges and opportunities in the context of the region. Based on this analysis, the Action Agenda recommends nine economic growth strategies for Cook County to adopt in order to promote regional economic growth, and outlines next steps for implementing the strategies.

The Milwaukee 7 (M7) released a draft of its Framework for Economic Growth at the November meeting of its Regional Economic Development Advisory Council.  M7 engaged public, private and civic stakeholders from around the seven-county region to create a market-based plan for growing the regional economy.  The plan – developed using the Metropolitan Business Planning framework co-developed by RW Ventures and The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program – derives nine strategies to “set a new course for regional prosperity.”  M7 and its partners are currently exploring next steps toward implementation.

The plan was developed at the request of Mayor Rahm Emanuel by World Business Chicago and a team of consultants, including RW Ventures. It begins with an overview of the necessary foundations for growth in the “next economy,” followed by an assessment of the region’s economy along five market levers that drive regional growth and a set of ten transformative growth strategies informed by this rigorous analysis. The report ends by considering potential impacts of and risks to implementation and outlining the next steps in implementation.