Hamden Economic & Community Development
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Dale Kroop, Director
Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization
2750 Dixwell Ave.
Hamden, CT, 06518
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2015 Progress Report

Report Card:  Evaluation of Previous Plan Results


The Townfs current Economic Development Plan included goals for business incentives, physical improvements to neighborhoods, and growth in commercial districts.  These incentives and improvements have resulted in increases in the commercial tax base, and the creation of jobs will generate important infrastructure improvements adding to the general appearance of commercial and residential areas.



See Exhibits for full individual reports for each of the programs summarized below.  It should be noted that the Town of Hamden has the most expansive economic development strategy in the region, making Hamden a very competitive marketplace.  Exhibit A outlines what each Town in the region offers.



Economic Development Incentives to Attract New Businesses and Encourage Expansion


To maintain its competitive edge in the region, the Town of Hamden offered incentives to businesses considering locating to Town or expanding at their current Hamden location.  The following analysis reflects results from 1999-April 2015:






Business Incentives:



Tax Deferrals, Grants, and Permit Waivers.  Since 1998, the Town has approved 129 applications including 86 projects that have been completed, 3 are currently under construction or are awaiting approval at zoning, etc., and 40 projects never went forward or were not completed.



From a sample of 50 projects completed, the type of projects included manufacturing (19), investment properties (8), retail/restaurant (5), construction (7), service (8) and misc. (5).




Small Business Loan Program(s)*:



Since the inception of the program, the Town has made 12 loans totaling $377,250 under the Down-Payment Assistance and Micro-loan Program(s).  There have been 3 defaults.



There are 2 loans currently active.  Since 2011, there has been either very little interest in our loan program or loan applications have not been financially feasible.



The total amount loaned (as account receivable) as of 4/1/15 will generate income (revenue) back to the program (to be re-loaned) in an amount of roughly $40,000 over the next 3-4 years.  Since the programfs inception, several loans have been paid off.



Total Impact on Grand List From Businesses Taking Advantage of Incentives



As a result of the Long-Range Economic Development Plan, the commercial grand list (assessed value) will increase by a minimum value of $23,000,000 from projects/businesses that were directly or indirectly assisted through the program.  Over 50% of this potential growth can be attributed to the most recent three-year plan.  This increase does not include personal property or other new tax revenue generated by other business locations and expansions leveraged by the success of these projects such as Home Depot, Highwood Square, State Street redevelopment, etc.




Jobs Created



Because of the general state of the economy, it is hard to pinpoint how many jobs were created by companies assisted by our program.  Based on data accumulated, we estimated that over 500 jobs were created and another 300-400 were retained in Hamden by companies who participated in our incentive program from 2004-2014.  That number fluctuates somewhat, based on seasonal and contractual work.


The Intangibles



The success of the incentive program isnft only being measured by new taxes collected and jobs created but also by other impact-type development in which staff plays a direct role.



For example, as the Town has completed infrastructure improvements and promoted its Business Incentive program, many new stores have opened, such as Home Depot, LA Fitness, Panera Bread, Price Rite, Walgreens and several restaurants.



The purchase and rehabilitation of blighted or run-down buildings improves the quality of neighborhoods, improves the confidence (and bottom line) of local businesses, and encourages additional investment.  Recent examples of this kind of investment include the Highwood Square development at the site of the former Johnson Perfume Company and the adjacent Nabisco Bakery ($12 million total investment).  This investment resulted in a tax-generating development of 27 artist housing units and 14,000 S.F. of commercial space.



The following pages describe the successfully completed projects under the expiring plan.



Infrastructure and Redevelopment



The Town of Hamden has little developable land (5.7% commercial) of any substantial size for commercial and manufacturing development.  In fact, the Town has the lowest vacancy rate in the region.  The total commercial vacancy rate in Hamden is 7.5% and in the region it is 13.6% (source C.B. Richard Ellis 12/31/13).  More recently, as of March 31, 2015, Hamdenfs industrial vacancy rate was 6.7% as compared to its region (12.7%)



Strategic Initiative 2.1:  Utilize the Hamden Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) for the development of difficult or brownfield properties


The Hamden Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) has achieved IRS non-profit status (501c4).  HEDC has created administrative capacity by opening several bank accounts, a post office box, etc.  The HEDC has established a strong track record through its role as a developer and project manager for the Town of Hamden.


Projects Completed


400 Goodrich Street:  Remediation and Sale of a 16,000 S.F. industrial building


New Haven Structured Repair Program:  Renovation of 99 units of housing


Newhall Deconstruction Program


Projects Underway/Planning Stages


Hamden Business Incubator:  40,000+ S.F.


Rochford Field/Villano Park Redevelopment


Soil Management Fund





Strategic Initiative 2.2: Continue a Predevelopment Cost Fund


This gseedh fund was available for legal costs, appraisals, environmental assessments, etc., to secure parcels for site assemblage and redevelopment.  Costs will be reimbursed to the fund where possible.  Projects that benefited from this Initiative include:




a)      Route 15/Operating Engineers land purchase


b)      Tabor Road Redevelopment


c)      Westwoods Road Land Swap for the redevelopment of a major traffic intersection


d)      Appraisals of several properties being negotiated


e)      Daddio Farm subdivision plan


f)       Canal Line Disposition




Small Business and Entrepreneur Assistance



The Town will offer technical assistance to people opening or running small, town-based, and start-up businesses.



Strategic Initiative 3.1:  Continue the Business Assistance Center (BAC) to Help Small Businesses with Business Planning, Raising Capital, and other Technical Needs.


The BAC was opened in 2005 for small businesses (in particular start-ups) needing technical help and guidance in developing business plans and handling accounting, marketing, and development issues.  Since that time, the BAC has worked with over 230 clients, offering a variety of services.  There have been many success stories from the BAC including a variety of pedestrian-type businesses (ie. copy center, bakery, coffee shop).  See report in Exhibit 3 for additional information.


Out of 239 businesses assisted, 30 opened, 170 continue to work at it, and 39 decided not to proceed.



Strategic Initiative 3.2:  Continue the Business Education Series and individual seminars using technology and hands on sessions.


Topics to include business formation, cost flow analysis, and preparing a business plan.



Planning, Marketing and Communication



Hamden must market its unique strengths and positive climate for business development and investment.  To do so, the Town has identified key target industries and companies, trade associations, realtors, and other organizations.



Strategic Initiative 4.1: Continue to make the Economic and Community Development Web Site more useful as a business recruitment tool for the Business Assistance Resource Center and the Town-wide Business Community.


The Town made numerous upgrades to the Economic Development web site.  This page provides more frequently updated announcements, information on available development sites for major employers and outside users such as our realtor community, and other State and Federal links.



Strategic Initiative 4.2: Continue Recruitment of New Developers, Investors, and Businesses


As part of the Townfs marketing efforts, the Town continued to network in regional, Statewide and national organizations (both public and private) to bring investments throughout the Town.  This effort includes attending trade shows, conferences and continuing education opportunities.  The Director is now part of several collaborations and serves in the following capacity:



Connecticut Economic Development Association


Hamden Chamber of Commerce


Greater New Haven Leadership Center


National Business Incubation Association


International Council of Shopping Centers


National Brownfield Association


CT Community Development Association


Northeast Economic Development Association



Strategic Initiative 4.3: Continue a Town Database of Available Properties and Financial Resources


Such an updated and accurate database continues to include:




Available locations of technology infrastructure resources.


List of available Hamden properties by category (e.g. size, locations), etc.


List of Brownfield properties, including opportunities for finance.



Strategic Initiative 4.4: Continue Planning Collaboration to Study The Viability of Commercial Districts


Such collaborations include:




gMagic Mileh and/or Retail Committee


Study of Entertainment and Cultural Enhancement Districts


Quality Development along the Farmington Canal Line


Continued Study & Planning for the State Street and Highwood Commercial Corridor


Business/Industry Clusters


The Department has been an integral part of committees that study these important areas. Additionally, the Department has formed several Industry Clusters that are big taxpayers and employers.  They are:





Workforce Development




Financial Services/Insurance




Creative Industries


Real Estate


Green Industries



Strategic Initiative 4.5:  Targeted Marketing Efforts



Market the Town for Media (film, etc.).  The Town has begun to market itself through the CT Film, Video & Media Office to prepare itself for the media industry.  Some smaller art & education films have been made in Town.  The Department of Economic and Community Development has also begun work with the Tourism Committee of the Hamden Chamber to continue this initiative.


gSolopreneaursh, in partnership with Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce, will be focused on home-based businesses and/or single person business operations.  Assistance will be provided following the development of this new Chamber Committee and analysis of the unique needs of this area of the local economy (i.e. marketing, time management, etc.)



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