For those of us steeped in economic development, constantly promoting and growing our communities, every week is economic development week! This year more than ever, we welcome the opportunity to pause and take stock of our accomplishments, as we all seek to lift our communities beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
ReCharge NY is one of the state’s signature economic development initiatives. Through the program, qualifying businesses and nonprofits can focus on retaining jobs and strengthening their operations by controlling energy costs with stable, predictable pricing.
One of the most important ways Invest Buffalo Niagara can assist companies with an expansion project is through the identification of suitable commercial real estate. Utilizing our vast market knowledge and close relationships with the commercial real estate professionals across our region, Invest Buffalo Niagara conducts site searches and presents the findings to our prospects in a timely, detail-orientated manner. Similar to the consideration of incentive programs, there are some important factors to keep in mind before engaging in a commercial real estate search for a business expansion project.
There was a time in Buffalo Niagara’s not too distant past where industrial real estate availability hovered around or above the double-digits, absorption rates were routinely negative and the local economy suffered mightily as manufacturing operations closed shop permanently or moved overseas.
Another successful Site Selectors Guild Fall Forum is in the books. It is always beneficial for economic developers to interact with site selection consultants to build new relationships and nurture existing ones, as well as learn about developing industry trends and best practices. I was fortunate to be joined by several Upstate NY economic development colleagues in Greenville, South Carolina at the event, which was highlighted by five breakout sessions focused on the theme “The Risk of Complacency.”
When it comes to large economic development projects, every community in the nation pictures itself as Santiago, the experienced fisherman in Hemingway’s classic The Old Man and the Sea, ready to land the “big fish” project in their backyard.
In September, my travels took me to Seattle where (outside of my investigatory work traversing Amazon’s HQ1 and urban campus) I participated in the Fall Forum hosted by the Site Selectors Guild, the premiere professional association of global site selectors.
Know any commercial real estate professionals? We do. Just a few though. Oh, only a little over 300 of them.
Among the many benefits Invest Buffalo Niagara provides to the companies with whom we work is the ability to tap our vast network of local professional service providers, perhaps best evidenced when conducting a commercial real estate search.
The availability of suitable buildings/sites is one of the most important site location decision factors for companies considering an investment in our region. Invest Buffalo Niagara identifies, collects, and transmits commercial real estate data to our prospects by communicating with over 300 commercial realtors, real estate developers, building owners, and economic developers.
The process begins when the prospect provides information on the specific real estate specifications that are necessary for the business’s operation. An email, commonly called a “Site Broadcast,” is created and transmitted to our extensive network of commercial real estate professionals for consideration. Responses are received, organized, and transmitted to the prospect for review and Invest Buffalo Niagara staff communicates with those who submitted sites throughout the project lifecycle.
Additionally, those wishing to conduct a general search of available commercial real estate in the region can do so through Western New York ZoomProspector. The comprehensive database also provides demographic data through detailed community profiles, as well as local business search functionality.
Invest Buffalo Niagara is proud to have such a strong relationship with commercial real estate professionals across the eight counties of Western New York. Bill Heussler, president of the WNY Chapter of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors (NYSCAR), was recently elected to serve on Invest Buffalo Niagara’s board of directors and InBN’s research manager Matthew Hubacher (yours truly) serves as our liaison to WNY NYSCAR’s board.
The close working relationships Invest Buffalo Niagara staff enjoys with commercial real estate professionals across the region is of great benefit not only to us, but to the numerous business attraction opportunities we assist in expanding their operations in Western New York.