ConsultEcon Management & Economic Insight

ConsultEcon staff have broadly based experience in evaluating market, economic and financial aspects of economic development projects. These include area-wide strategies, district plans, and site master plans, as well as individual development projects and redevelopment and reuse plans.  We often work in multidisciplinary teams that might include planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, and/or public outreach specialists.


Waterfront Plans

Augusta Canal Redevelopment Plan:  Augusta, Georgia
This project was conducted as part of a multi-disciplinary team for the Georgia Department of Transportation and Canal Authority.  It included the evaluation of the economic development components of a master plan for the Augusta Canal.  The canal parallels the Savannah River and traverses rural areas, suburban and urban areas.  The overall project  included an evaluation of historic buildings, regional economic development and real estate trends, recreational development, cultural facilities, and tourism development strategy.  In addition we assisted as facilitators for a series of citizen task force meetings.  The Plan was adopted and implemented by the City of Augusta, Richmond and Columbia Counties, and by the State of Georgia and the National Park Service, and is being implemented.  Funding for signage and interpretation has been supported by private companies.  This project received numerous awards, including a Federal Design Achievement Award and an Outstanding Economic Development Planning award from the Georgia Planning Association.

Niagara Parks Master Plan:  Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
This work prepared as part of a team effort provided an analysis of current market and operating conditions of Niagara Parks, which operates the Canadian side of world-famous Niagara Falls, with a focus on Queen Victoria Park.  It reviewed the experience of comparable attractions in North America and applied it to Niagara Falls.  An important aspect of this analysis was to put into context the strategic issues facing Niagara Parks as it planned for upcoming years in a Master Plan process.  Recommendations on new attraction elements, associated retail and food service were included.  A business plan and warranted investment strategy were central to a major investment program.

Heritage Port Master Plan:  Wheeling, West Virginia
Performed feasibility, planning and financial analysis for a number of phases of Wheeling’s downtown revitalization process.  These included revitalization strategy, analysis of a new intermodal parking garage (funded thru ISTEA), mini-feasibility studies for downtown projects and analysis of a new waterfront park and riverboat landing.  Identification of potential revenue sources and funding sources was also undertaken as well as input to operating and financial projections and organizational structures.  Riverboat casino gaming was put forward and was analyzed within the plan.  Other important issues included river port facilities and operations and connections to the CBD.

Riverfront Master Plan:  North Augusta, South Carolina
Evaluated alternative approaches to developing a major waterfront neighborhood area as part of a multi-disciplinary planning team.  Uses included: residential, commercial, golf course, marina and conference center.  Issues addressed included market support, infrastructure funding, cost benefit analysis, fiscal and economic impacts, and alternative funding strategies including tax increment financing (TIF).

Waterfront Plan: 
Warren, Rhode Island
Prepared a waterfront plan, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, for Warren that focused on opportunities to retain public access to Narragansett Bay.  This plan focused on enhancing the property values of area properties through public access to the waterfront amenity while staying within the Town’s capital budgets and the limited physical opportunities.  Ultimately, a successful public/private partnership was created. 

Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor Management Plan:  Northeast Ohio
Analyzed baseline economic conditions, prepared alternative development and management strategies for this 100-mile-long canal corridor that includes parts of four counties, and the cities of Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Barberton, Massillon and the historic town of Zoar.  The heritage corridor also includes the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area.

Marina Triangle District Master Plan:  White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Evaluated the market support for a variety of land uses in this key waterfront location on White Bear Lake in a suburb of Minneapolis.  The resultant plan included mixed use and a marina.

Des Moines Waterfront Master Plan:  Des Moines, Iowa
Participated as part of a multidisciplinary planning team that prepared a master plan for Des Moines downtown waterfront.  This project focused on the "Principal Riverwalk" that included trails, pedestrian bridges and amenities.  ConsultEcon prepared market analyses and economic impact assessments in support of the plan.  The Principal Riverwalk is being implemented.

Waikiki 2020 Plan: 
Honolulu, Hawai'i
Participated as part of a planning team that developed vision plans for the redevelopment of the Waikiki waterfront area of Honolulu.  Plan elements included consideration of resort elements, a new convention center, and visitor attractions.

Landungsbrücken Mixed Use Development:  Hamburg, Germany
Reviewed the market potential for mixed-use development including an aquarium and large format film theater, evaluated market support factors for the project, and assisted in the financial evaluations and project packaging for this  project on the Elbe River.