Economic Development & Redevelopment
City of Fremont/Cisco-Pacific Commons Land Use Study
During the dot.com boom years Cisco had acquired hundreds of acres in Fremont near Automall Parkway and an emerging retail center called Pacific Commons, which included a successful auto mall. Cisco’s plan was to develop a major high tech campus involving several million SF of R&D uses. As a result of the dot.com bust, Cisco cancelled this plan and began to look for a buyer for the property. While with CBRE Consulting I worked closely with Fremont’s Community Development staff proposing and evaluating alternative land uses for the Cisco land and other nearby sites. We developed a preferred alternative which included an expanded auto mall, additional retail some of which would be ethnically themed (reflecting the City’s large and growing South Asian populace), local serving medical and other professional offices, light industrial/R&D flex product and finally 80-100 acres featuring a range of residential products including condominiums, townhomes and small-lot single family. This plan was put on the “back burner” in 2006 when the Oakland A’s approached Cisco about a new Cisco-sponsored baseball stadium.
City of Huntington Beach/Downtown Retail and Hotel Support
While with Sedway Group I analyzed the potential of Huntington Beach’s beachfront downtown area to capture additional retail and lodging facilities development. In addition, sites located adjacent to the downtown area were examined. The analysis provided a realistic assessment of the downtown area’s retail potential, allowing for it to nearly triple its leasable space in a relatively short period of time. Demand was also identified for additional conference hotel rooms, and limited service, all-suites and interval-ownership facilities. The project, called The Strand, opened in 2006.
City of South San Francisco/El Camino Corridor Market Assessment
I was retained by the City of South San Francisco to conduct a market assessment of the potential for commercial office and/or retail uses on three specific sites along the El Camino Corridor in South San Francisco. The three sites are located within a redevelopment area and include the Macy’s warehouse site, a golf driving range, and the county government center. The City and Agency wanted to make sure they were not unwisely converting potentially valuable commercial sites to other uses. I concluded that one of the sites had some limited potential for retail or office use, included a strategy for near-term evaluation of the site’s potential, and offered suggestions for a flexible long-term approach to the zoning of the three properties in the context of the general plan revision. A second and arguably more important aspect of this assignment was my pivotal role in alter helping the City convince BART and MTC that the rail line should be undergrounded throughout the City.
Folsom Redevelopment Agency/Railroad Block Analysis
The City of Folsom was interested in creating a vibrant public plaza around a railroad theme in conjunction with other public and private uses, in an effort to revitalize the downtown. While with Sedway Group I analyzed the financial and market feasibility of various redevelopment scenarios for Folsom’s Railroad Block, located in the city’s downtown historic district. As part of the analysis, we conducted a survey of downtown retailers in order to capture both qualitatively and quantitatively the current retail conditions. Survey results also provided insight regarding a future tenant mix for the Railroad Block project that would be synergistic with existing retail businesses.
Forest City Commercial Development/Emporium Site, San Francisco
While with Sedway Group I assisted Forest City in analyzing the market and financial feasibility of redeveloping the historic Emporium building (now Westfield Center) on Market Street in San Francisco. Plans call for total development of 1.6 million square feet of mixed-use space, including a Bloomingdale’s department store, entertainment retail, theater, hotel, and other retail uses. Sedway Group analyzed construction costs and projected revenues to estimate the level of Redevelopment Agency assistance required. In addition, we assisted Forest City in defining and communicating its financial assistance needs to the Redevelopment Agency.
Port and City of Oakland/Hegenberger Gateway Development Plan
In 1997, the Port of Oakland and the City’s Community and Economic Development Agency (CEDA) initiated this important study aimed at developing near- and long-term urban design and economic development strategies for the “Hegenberger Corridor/98th Avenue” planning area, defined as properties fronting and adjacent to Hegenberger and 98th between Doolittle and I-880, plus the Coliseum Arena complex. The study sought to address the numerous major transportation changes in the area, the continued expansion of the Oakland Airport, the recent major improvements around the Coliseum Arena complex, as well as some substantive concerns about the economic viability of Hegenberger. The study included an assessment of physical conditions in the planning area, assessments of the market conditions for hotel and dining businesses, and a range of office uses. The results of the work, the Gateway Development Plan, provided a detailed set of near-term actions (planning, design, and financial) for the corridor. Also, our work identified key opportunity sites and recommended a longer term economic development strategy, in the context of the Coliseum redevelopment area.
Santa Cruz Seaside Company/La Bahia Hotel Feasibility Analysis
While with Sedway Group I analyzed the financial feasibility of the proposed redevelopment of the historic La Bahia hotel, located near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. Sedway Group analyzed several concepts for the proposed hotel project, ranging from a boutique hotel to a high-end conference center. For each alternative, I calculated the relative feasibility, given differences in achievable room rates and construction costs. In addition, the amount of city subsidy was calculated for each scenario.
City of Mountain View/Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Economic and Fiscal Analysis
While with Sedway Group I led an economic and fiscal analysis of PAMF’s proposed 250,000-square-foot medical office building, at the former Emporium retail site, in order to facilitate the city’s review of the development proposal. The site is designated for regional commercial uses, and a change, if granted, would remove a prime retail site from Mountain View’s inventory of commercial land. As PAMF is a non-profit entity, this change would also result in reduced revenues for the City of Mountain View relative to the current vacant use, as well as other prospective uses, such as regional retail or office. Accordingly, Sedway Group was asked to conduct a limited quantitative analysis of these potential impacts. The assignment involved identifying alternative allowable uses and value estimates for the site, estimating the prospective tax revenues and impact fees for each use, and projecting those revenue streams over a 25-year period.
City of Mountain View/Costco Expansion Fiscal Analysis
While with Sedway Group I assisted the City of Mountain View analyze a financial assistance request submitted by Costco pertaining to the proposed expansion of an existing Costco store. I was asked to perform due diligence analysis of the potential provision, level, and type of subsidy. The assignment involved compiling information on prior requests for assistance in Mountain View and other cities with Costco stores, reviewing the reasonableness of Costco’s estimated expansion costs, estimating the financial returns to both the City and Costco under different levels of assistance, and researching the availability of sites in nearby cities that might represent alternatives to expanding in Mountain View.
City of Concord/Wal-Mart
While with Sedway Group analyzed the fiscal and economic impact of the proposed development of a 146,000-square-foot Wal-Mart store and associated shops and restaurants on the City of Concord. The study’s primary objective included an analysis of the impact of the proposed development on the existing retail activity in the city. In addition, the net fiscal impact of the proposed Wal-Mart and an alternative industrial land use was analyzed. The study was utilized by the Concord City Council in its deliberations concerning a request for rezoning of the site.
Mills Corporation/Piers 27-31 Project
In 2001, the Mills Corporation was selected for exclusive negotiations to be the developer of Piers 27-31, a unique waterfront property owned by the Port of San Francisco. The proposed development would have included a mix of major uses, including retail, restaurants, Class A office space, a YMCA facility and excursion vessel operations. While with Sedway Group I conducted a tightly focused analysis of the likely economic impacts of the Mills Project on selected existing area retailers, restaurateurs, fitness clubs, nearby office buildings and the Port’s existing excursion vessel business and then to estimate the potential impacts of the proposed project on the Port’s net lease revenue. The analysis, based on a competitive assessment of each of the proposed mixed uses, assisted the developer in formulating the final configuration of the project and the terms of the long-term lease transaction with the Port for this high-profile waterfront property.
Hayward Redevelopment Agency/Hayward
For the Hayward Redevelopment Agency, I conducted a market and financial feasibility study for high-density housing on three redevelopment sites located in downtown Hayward adjacent to BART. We determined the most viable housing prototypes given local market conditions and successful models achieved near public transit in other similar communities. Estimated project costs and revenues were incorporated into a pro forma model to determine the site’s residual land value.
Santa Cruz Seaside Company/Strategic Planning and Marketing Services
While with Sedway Group I was hired as the Seaside Company’s strategic advisor on a range of issues related to the planning, marketing and redevelopment of its properties. Sedway Group assisted in the marketing of four different sites, including hotel, retail and multifamily residential opportunities. All four have been successful joint venture marketing efforts. With regard to the hotel opportunity, the main issue has to do with defining a project that is financially feasible and that meets city goals with regard to design, historic preservation, and conferencing capability.
While with Sedway Group I developed a market repositioning and feasibility strategy for the owner of the then-ailing Cinerama Dome, a once-flourishing landmark movie house in Hollywood. The single-screen theater was suffering financially, the victim of a market trend toward large, multi-screen theater complexes. Sedway Group analyzed the feasibility of converting the historic theater into a broader entertainment and retail center that included 10 additional movie screens and structured parking. The family later negotiated with the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles for redevelopment assistance to implement Sedway Group’s repositioning strategy.
City of St. Louis/Economic Development Strategic Plan
Sedway Group prepared an overall economic development strategic plan for the City of St. Louis with a focus on immediately implementable programs and initiatives. Included in this study were recommendations for attracting and developing businesses, revitalizing the downtown area, providing desirable urban residential environments, and maintaining and enhancing transportation and other infrastructure. In particular, the firm identified two major sites for immediate industrial development, providing estimates of gap financing to support development. The strategic plan also included a three-year capitalization plan for a small business revolving loan fund and identification of recommended mechanisms to support industrial land assembly. CUED played an integral role in this project, providing assistance in the formulation of the revolving loan fund and a “best practices” effort in an earlier market and economic base analysis that preceded development of the strategic plan, prepared by a consulting team led by Sedway Group.
Contra Costa County Airports/Buchanan Field Airport Site
Researched the viable uses and potential tenants for a 4.4-acre site adjacent to a freeway, an auto dealership, and a private airport. The purpose of the assignment was to provide Contra Costa County Airports with an understanding of the potential ground rent achievable at the site and identify key industries as well as specific tenants to target in a marketing effort. The tenant industries analyzed included auto dealerships, auto care uses, boat dealerships, lumber yards and building material retailers, nurseries, industrial-office flex users, and mini-storage. The potential development on the site is limited because a significant portion of the site is within a navigation easement.
Contra Costa Transportation Authority/Economic Development Assessment of Two Alternate BART Station Locations
Was retained by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to assess the economic development potential of two alternative BART station locations in East Contra Costa County. A focus of the assignment was to assess the degree to which each alternative site could stimulate economic development, with particular attention to the potential economic impact on Pittsburg’s downtown, bearing in mind that station development would occur within the next 20 years. To conduct this economic development assessment, I analyzed surrounding land uses, assessed demographic and economic trends, and reviewed relevant city plans and policies. In addition, I identified the key determinants that seem to affect the amount and timing of station area economic impacts to facilitate comparative analysis of the two sites. This included a qualitative discussion of the reasons for the vast differences in economic development impacts that have been experienced at BART stations located in outlying, suburban locations, as well as the reasons for similar variations at transit stations in other regions of the country.
Golden Gate National Parks Association/Fort Baker Economic Impact Analysis
While with Sedway Group analyzed the economic impact of a proposed 350-room Conference Center and National Lodge at Fort Baker, the former Army base located in southern Marin County. The analysis estimated both the one-time construction-related employment and permanent employment generated by the project, aggregate wages, and visitor spending. Sedway Group commented on the project’s potential impact on southern Marin County hotels and retail outlets and also analyzed the economic impact of an alternate development scenario that included office, restaurant, and gymnasium uses.
Decisions Investment Corporation. Biosphere 2 Property Reuse and Development Strategy
While with CBRE Consulting performed a high level analysis to evaluate the optimal reuse and development strategy for the Biosphere 2 Property, a non-profit education and research center located on 250 acres in Tucson, Arizona. The analysis included developing alternative strategies for the site and over 1,000 surrounding acres placing particular emphasis on the potential for residential development.