Economic development and redevelopment opportunities are core to a community’s growth. If successfully planned and implemented, each project can create new jobs and revitalize neighborhoods.
For these projects, Ehlers can assist clients in determining need, evaluating options and assessing risk. We can help secure financing and manage the details through to completion.
Ehlers services include:
Development and Redevelopment Projects and Tools
Redevelopment Planning and Projects
Ehlers has extensive experience working on redevelopment projects, including high-profile and politically charged projects. Our role in redevelopment is more than just running the numbers. If requested Ehlers will take the lead on high profile developments to address the concerns that inevitably arise in redevelopment. We have provided educational work sessions and presentations to the governing board and public prior to major decision points to diffuse anxiety about change and answer questions regarding details of the project.
We have assisted in negotiating development agreements with an aggregate value of over $1 billion on public-private development projects.
Developer Selection/Pro Forma Analysis/Negotiation
Ehlers can help you select an appropriate partner who will help you meet your development or redevelopment goals. One of the biggest challenges communities face in working with developers is to determine and negotiate the appropriate level of assistance. Ehlers knows the industry standards and typical construction costs for differing real estate products. This knowledge takes the mystery out of analyzing developer needs. We regularly conduct pro forma analysis for communities pursuing redevelopment to help them assess the appropriate level of need and developer assistance.
Financing for Government-Owned Housing
Financing housing owned by a local government requires experience with debt options and operating cost projections that Ehlers specializes in for local governments.
Establishment of Special Districts
Many states provide for the creation of special districts to help spur economic development, finance redevelopment, create business opportunities and create jobs, and in some cases, finance capital and operating costs unique to targeted areas within a community. The needs and tools are similar, but the legal process, eligibility tests, eligible revenue sources, etc. are unique to each state. Ehlers can assist with evaluating your goals and the potential benefits of establishing any type of district for your community and has the expertise to help guide you through the process.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Resources
Tax Increment Financing District Creation/Establishment/Amendment/Modification
Tax increment financing (TIF) serves as the primary development financing tool for many communities. Ehlers assists with the creation or modification of several dozen districts per year. We can provide the “soup to nuts” approach to TIF by guiding you through the entire process, including assessing the legal and financial feasibility of the TIF, drafting of TIF plans and cash flow analysis, and guiding you through the required steps in the adoption and implementation process.
TIF Cashflows and Feasibility Analysis
Property tax and TIF laws change on an annual basis. We can assist you in updating an existing project’s performance or evaluating changes in a TIF district to ensure that you are using all of your available resources. As budgets tighten, we can highlight opportunities to maximize TIF dollars from existing districts for new projects.
TIF Status Reports, TIF Administration, TIF Reporting
Ehlers prepares dozens of TIF reports each year. We use this process to not only review the past work of the TIF authority, the progress of the TIF district and the administrative practices, but to look forward and determine if changes need to be made proactively to avoid future liabilities. We also identify if there are financial benefits and opportunities for the client.
Project Management and Policies
Project Management Services
Local governments often find they do not have adequate staff for major or specialized projects such as large-scale redevelopment or economic development projects.
We have assisted communities in the redevelopment/economic development process from project inception through implementation on projects ranging from $500,000 to $170 million with an aggregate value of $1.7 billion. Ehlers can step into the role of a staff person for a local government from writing reports to council, coordinating developers’ applications to working with community-based task forces, developing and coordinating of RFP’s, developer selection, and grant writing.
Project Management Website Services
Ehlers can set up a password protected project website to serve as a shared subdirectory for all parties involved in a major project which may span several months or years. This service has been successfully used by many clients and proven to be a quick resource for needed and/or the most current documents required for review.
Economic Development Assistance Policies
Governing bodies are often faced with evaluating, granting and monitoring requests for assistance for a variety of economic development initiatives. Some states regulate business subsidies which adds to the complexity of the development process. Ehlers has helped dozens of councils and boards draft policies to help them evaluate, grant and monitor requests for subsidies, and the ability to craft the policies to comply with any applicable statutory constraints.