Economic Development & Tourism Goal 2
Existing developed commercial properties within town will be utilized for their highest and best use.
2.1 Utilize Existing Developed Properties as a Priority
STRATEGY: Adopt development policies that strongly encourage new and expanding businesses, during the development review and application process, to consider using existing developed properties and sites prior to pursuing a greenfield site for development or expansion.
JUSTIFICATION: Encouraging redevelopment of existing properties helps maintain and rebuild business clusters, while utilizing existing infrastructure. Greenfield sites for new or expanding development may increase some service costs delivered by the Town due to the loss of efficiencies gained by businesses being located close to one another and potential expenses associated with utility extension and related infrastructure improvements.
2.2 Consider Redevelopment Incentives
STRATEGY: Develop financial incentives such as rent subsidies, tax credits and other means to encourage the adaptive reuse of existing commercial structures that are vacant or otherwise underutilized buildings for new or expanding businesses.
JUSTIFICATION: In the short-term, historic properties are typically more expensive to redevelop for individuals when compared to the lower building costs of associated with the development of a greenfield site. Financial incentives for entrepreneurs will help fill the gap in traditional financing for the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of existing commercial properties, helping offset the lower initial costs associated with greenfield development. As an important note, the cost to the Town in greenfield situations can be much higher as a result of utility and service expansions in lieu of utilizing existing infrastructure first.