Three Reasons You Need to be Prospect Ready for Success in Economic Development

Joe Hines, PE, MBA By: Joe Hines, PE, MBA

These are some of the basics of the site selection process.

It is actually SITE “ELIMINATION”, vs. SITE “SELECTION”.  I’m sure many of you have sat through presentations by site selection consultants that show the “funnel” process.  Basically in the early stages of a site search, the consultants are looking for anything that can eliminate your site, such that they can get down from 30 sites, to 15 sites, then down to 3 or 4 finalist sites. Your objective at this point is to simply SURVIVE the PROCESS OF ELIMINATION, and become one of the finalist sites.

Most consultants or prospects are performing what I call a “Stealth,” or “Drone” search, of both your site and community prior to showing up.  This means that approximately 80-90% of their research, and subsequently site search, is complete prior to them even picking up the phone to contact your locality.  They have researched demographics, logistics, regional assets, among many other things during this process.  Chances are you have been eliminated more than once from someone’s sight search.

We’re starting to see shorter and shorter timelines from initial project contact, whether as a response to an RFI, or a site visit, to project announcement, and subsequently project construction.  As I mentioned about the Amazon deals in the previous posts, the developer did not close on the deal until they had permits in hand and knew they could start construction and remove any risk for delaying construction.

The VBRSP Site Characterization Grant Application can help position your site for success. Applications are NOW OPEN!