As a partner with economist, Randall Gross, the planning NEXT team developed and facilitated the community engagement strategy for the Economic Development Strategic Planning process. The process sought to identify the key economic assets, liabilities and opportunities for the community through a combination of research and discussion. The team hosted two large public meetings to gather input from residents and business leaders alike.
The final strategic plan calls for a greater focus on the retention of current office, the expansion of recruitment efforts on focus sectors, and finally, the improvement of downtown. It became increasingly clear through the process that one of the key limiting factors to Independence’s continued prosperity was the relative weakness of the community’s downtown. The research and community input indicated that business leaders and young workers were looking for amenity-rich environments that mix homes, workplaces, shopping, and recreation in a walkable areas. Independence does not offer that choice. As a result of the plan, community leaders have begun to identify ways of improving Independence’s image through marketing and strategic investment.
Independence, OH / Area Plans