Economic Development Strategies & Studies

Economic Development Strategic Plan
The Independence City Council adopted the Economic Development Strategic Plan (EDSP) in December 2013. Through this action, City Council officially recognized the EDSP as the framework for the City’s economic development activities going forward.

The Plan’s adoption was the culmination of a seven-month planning process led by consultant Randy Gross, Randall Gross / Development Economics. During the planning process, Mr. Gross developed a baseline assessment of existing conditions impacting the marketability of the City for business development. He also conducted a number of interviews and focus groups with businesses and real estate professionals, and a survey to reach a broader audience of local businesses. There were also two public workshops to engage residents in the discussion about the future economic development of Independence.

The EDSP and its specific recommendations for the implementation of marketing and development strategies are based on these various economic analyses and stakeholder inputs. Below is a short summary of the recommendations discussed in each section of the plan.

  • Build on Existing Strengths – provides strategies for business development, by focusing on the City’s target industries.
  • Enhance Amenity Value – describes several approaches for enhancing the amenity value of the community in support of business retention and attraction.
  • Strengthen Downtown – provides strategies aimed specifically at strengthening the Downtown Business District.
  • Update Office Product – details a menu of incentives that are oriented to the City’s particular targets, needs, and requirements for meeting key objectives.
  • Enhance Infrastructure and Site “Readiness” – includes several recommendations for enhancing the City’s infrastructure in support of various economic development objectives.
  • Attract Talent and Promote Entrepreneurship – discusses strategies for attracting and strengthening entrepreneurship.
  • Implementation Matrix – details specific actions and timetables, responsibility and indicates costs and sources of funding.

Click here to view the Economic Development Strategic Plan

Area Plans
City Council recently adopted Area Plans for the City’s five non-residential districts. The Area Plans identify physical and market conditions, expose development constraints, and propose high-level recommendations for long-term improvement. For Downtown and Rockside Road, the Area Plans to introduce a new, more progressive era of development. The aspirations for these two important business districts strive to harness the power of placemaking to give amenities and investments the dual purpose of enhancing the quality of life for residents and attracting investment. The logic behind the Area Plan recommendations is simple: green spaces, walkable streets, a unique downtown, attractive gathering places, and engaged citizens are great for communities and businesses.

To view the Area Plan chapters, please click on the links below.

Case Studies
Independence has adopted an incentive policy tailored to meet individual business needs. The Economic Development Department understands each company is different and requires unique solutions when considering retention, expansion, and relocation decisions. The following Case Studies illustrate the creative ways Independence has used incentives to encourage economic development.

To discuss how the City may be able to participate in your company’s expansion or relocation project, please contact:

Jessica A. Hyser
Economic Development Director
City Hall:    216-524-4131 (x2246)
Direct:        216-524-3853