Economic Development and Retail Strategies

Strategic Economics works with cities and regions to prepare strategic plans and documents that facilitate the growth and expansion of businesses. We deliver implementation-oriented economic development and retail strategies for cities and regional governments that incorporate the diverse perspectives of community members, employers, and policymakers.

Pleasanton Economic Development Strategic Plan

Client: City of Pleasanton
Location: Pleasanton, CA

Strategic Economics was retained by the City of Pleasanton to update its Economic Development Strategic Plan in response to economic changes since the Great Recession and new competitive challenges in attracting and retaining businesses. Strategic Economic’s research and analysis showed that while Pleasanton had been successful in growing employment across industry sectors, its economy was threatened by increasing regional competition, heavy reliance on in-commuting, outdated suburban office and retail centers, and limited land supply for additional growth. Strategic Economics created an Economic Development Strategic Plan that identified strategies and actions to improve business retention and attraction, re-orient the built environment to meet modern workforce preferences, and grow the City’s retail and hospitality base. Strategic Economics also developed an “Economic Assets Report” to assist with the City’s marketing efforts. Strategic Economics worked extensively with Staff and the City’s Economic Vitality Committee throughout the process to ensure the Plan represented the community’s interests. The Economic Development Strategic Plan was unanimously adopted by the Pleasanton City Council in 2014.

Rancho Cucamonga Economic Development Strategic Plan

Client: City of Rancho Cucamonga
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Strategic Economics updated the City of Rancho Cucamonga’s Economic Development Strategic Plan to identify opportunities for economic growth in a city that was transitioning from a traditional suburb into a more mature, compact community. Strategic Economics completed an analysis of the local and regional economy, commercial real estate market, and retail trends. Based on this analysis, Strategic Economics developed a strategic plan document that identified opportunities for revitalizing aging commercial areas, intensifying existing business districts, and leveraging new transit connections. Working closely with representatives of various city departments and key stakeholders, Strategic Economics identified target industries for growth in Rancho Cucamonga, and developed specific land use and transportation strategies to attract and retain them.

The final Economic Development Strategic Plan provides concrete implementation actions for the next three to five years, and was unanimously approved by the City Council in 2015.

San Francisco Formula Retail Analysis

Client: City and County of San Francisco Planning Department
Location: San Francisco, CA

Strategic Economics was hired by the City and County of San Francisco to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of San Francisco’s formula retail establishments and controls, which were originally enacted in 2004 and subsequently expanded in 2007. San Francisco’s formula retail controls apply to retail uses commonly referred to as “chain stores,” and were intended to “protect San Francisco’s vibrant small business sector.”

For this study Strategic Economics identified and mapped all of the existing formula and independent retail establishments in the city, and conducted extensive research into topics such as the employment and real estate impacts associated with formula retail. The study included an evaluation of potential impacts of changing the definition of formula retail as proposed by several ordinances considered by the Board of Supervisors. Strategic Economics also researched the role that formula retail establishments and formula retail controls play in shaping different neighborhood commercial districts throughout the city. At key points throughout the study, Strategic Economics presented results to focus groups of stakeholders, and augmented and revised the analysis to reflect feedback from focus group participants, the Planning Commission, and city staff.

The study provided a comprehensive, data-driven profile of San Francisco’s existing formula retail establishments and addressed specific economic and land use concerns raised by community members and policymakers about the prevalence of formula retail in the city and the impacts of existing policies regulating formula retail. The analysis and resulting reports informed city staff’s policy recommendations to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, which passed the Formula Retail and Large-Scale Retail Controls Ordinance in 2014.


lucas@hanyok.coEconomic Development and Retail Strategies