Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I am the President of our local Community Development Corporation (CDC) in a second-tier community and am not sure where we should be focusing our efforts right now. What proactive initiatives can we adopt to make my town more competitive in the eyes of developers and corporations once the economy becomes reenergized?

A: All communities big and small should be taking advantage of this down time to regroup. Financial institutions will eventually have to loosen underwriting guidelines [such as lowering the Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio for the purchase of land and construction projects] which will at least encourage the revival of the many projects that are currently “on hold”. While no one can predict when that will be, it is safe to assume that when it happens the competition for those projects that have undetermined destinations will be fierce. The easier it is for an interested party to conduct business in your community, the better the chances of you landing new development projects AND retaining your current business population. Here are a few tactics you can consider to make your town more development-friendly:

  • Reevaluate incentive programs locally and familiarize yourselves with state and federal programs that could potentially benefit a land shopper;
  • Appoint a designated real estate contact in your organization to field questions and follow up with possible end users;
  • Streamline your town’s approval process for new projects in order to avoid lengthy delays;
  • Target key areas that are in need of revitalization;
  • Apply for grants and low or no-interest loans to purchase and remediate vacant or underutilized properties;
  • Update zoning laws and revisit the current zoning for key areas;
  • Land bank key properties to protect against unwanted development and control future development and;
  • Adopt policies that facilitate public-private partnerships.