strategic economic development plan
city of roswell, GA
The City of Roswell was looking to improve its fiscal and economic health through expanded economic development efforts. Historically, Roswell served as a premier bedroom community for the City of Atlanta. Through the 1980s, the City was the residential and commercial center for the area. However, the rest of North Fulton County began developing at that time, attracting new residents, businesses, and investment. As a result, Roswell began losing market share to neighboring communities. Understanding the benefits of strategic investment and economic diversification, the City retained the services of RKG Associates to complete the City’s first ever Strategic Economic Development Plan.
RKG Associates, in partnership with FOCOM, Inc., prepared a comprehensive analysis of the City’s competitive position to attract new jobs, the current and projected opportunities available for the City to begin its efforts, and the City’s capacity to implement an economic development plan. The effort included a regional cluster and target industry analysis to identify and target business sectors representing the highest probability of success for Roswell. The plan also addresses workforce readiness, entrepreneurial development and business growth/retention opportunities and constraints. The effort culminated in an implementation “road map” for the City to succeed in attracting private investment within an extremely vibrant, but competitive regional market.
The City began implementing recommendations during the plan development process, including the creation of an external economic development entity, the creation of is Downtown Development Authority, the approval of a mixed-use development in the City’s downtown area, and the complete rewrite of the City’s zoning code. The Within days of the project’s completion, several interested property owners and developers have approached the City to explore opportunities as a result of the publicity surrounding the City’s new approach to economic development.
A recent sign of the city's successful implementation was the announcement by General Motors on August 1 that it will employ about 1,000 IT workers at a new $26 million technology development center in Roswell. The operation, based in a sprawling facility once used by UPS, is already beginning to hire software developers, database managers and other high-skilled workers to design the company’s back-office technical infrastructure. The Roswell center will be one of four GM opens around the country as it brings IT operations in-house, and Georgia was selected over several other sites in the region. Randy Mott, GM’s chief information officer, said the company was drawn by the region’s talent pool, geographic advantages and quality of living.