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Plan for long-term economic development being prepared

Posted March 10, 2017

city skyline at sunset
A forthcoming economic development plan will seek to enhance Fort Worth's economic vitality and attractiveness.

Fort Worth launches its first economic development strategic planning initiative this month, a document that’s expected to provide guidance and strategies across the community for the next five years.

TIP Strategies, with offices in Austin and Seattle, won a request-for-proposal bid process against 11 other companies. The study is funded through a $350,000 allocation from the city’s general fund.

TIP Strategies was selected after an extensive review and interview process and was chosen based on its experience and quality of the team assembled, said Robert Sturns, director of the city’s Economic Development Department. The company has worked with more than 300 organizations in 37 states and four countries. It has engaged Fregonese Associates, JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle) and Isaac Barchas, director of the Austin Technology Incubator, to assist with the Fort Worth project.

The plan will outline a set of strategic initiatives to recruit new businesses to the area, attract and retain talent, develop the local workforce, and expand existing industry and business sectors, Sturns said. The document also will outline approaches to promote investment in targeted areas and enhance the city’s quality of life.

“This plan will be geared toward implementation as we seek to enhance the economic vitality and attractiveness of the City of Fort Worth, as well as strengthen its status in the North Texas region and as one of America’s most livable cities,” Sturns said.

“A successful economic development strategy requires significant stakeholder engagement. Meaningful opportunities for engagement will be available, including one-on-one interviews, issue-specific roundtables, town hall meetings, online surveys and social media.”

The report from TIP Strategies is expected by late summer and will guide decisions on the fiscal year 2018 budget, including additional resource allocation, staffing and programming. Longer-term strategies will be worked into future budget requests, Sturns said.

“Our goal is to have specific, defined metrics that will gauge how successful we are as a community in moving the needle forward on commercial investment value, wages, corporate attraction, workforce development, small-business development and revitalization activities,” he said.

At various stages of the process, document drafts will be provided to the Executive Committee and City Council. The schedule calls for the City Council to review the final document in late summer with implementation to begin immediately after approval.

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Building Standards Commission - Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. March 27, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled Disciplinary Appeal of Indefinite Suspension of Lonny Brooks: March 27, 2017,–March 28, 2017; Training Room #623, 6th Floor, City Hall Annex, 908 Monroe Street.
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Building Standards Commission - Meeting: 9:30 a.m. March 27, 2017; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall , 200 Texas Street.
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Urban Drive & Northeast Parkway Water & Wastewater Improvements Project Meeting: 2 p.m. March 27, 2017; Fort Worth City Hall, 200 Texas St Room 380.

Fort Worth Transportation Authority - Board of Directors: 3:30 p.m. March 27, 2017; 2nd Floor Community Room, lntermodal Transportation Center (ITC), 1001 Jones Street.
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District 9 Sidewalks & Curb Ramp Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. March 27, 2017; R.L. Paschal High School, 3100 Forest Park Blvd.

Joint Meeting of the City Council and Advisory Commission on Ending Homelessness : 6:30 p.m. March 27, 2017; Great Hall, First Presbyterian Church , 1000 Penn Street.
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East Fort Worth Water & Stormwater Utilities Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. March 27, 2017; Handley United Methodist Church, 2929 Forest Ave.

Special Called Meeting of the Fort Worth City Council (Tour of Stop Six/Cavile Place): 9 a.m. March 28, 2017; City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Stop Six Update Press Conference: 10 a.m. March 28, 2017; Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church Auditorium, 1901 Amanda Ave.

Step One: Starting a Business: 11 a.m. March 28, 2017; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 S. Freeway.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. March 28, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Notice of Public Hearing - Forest Park: 7 p.m. March 28, 2017; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. March 28, 2017; CIty Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Forest Park Easement Public Hearing: 7 p.m. March 28, 2017; City Hall Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.

Fort Worth Transportation Authority Tour of Hunter Plaza: 3:15 p.m. March 29, 2017; Hunter Plaza, 615 West 7th Street.
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Mayor's Rolling and Walking Town Hall Kickoff: 6 p.m. March 29, 2017; Casa MaƱana, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave.
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Forest Park & Zoo Drainage Project Meeting: 6 p.m. March 29, 2017; Botanic Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd - Rosebud Room.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission: 6 p.m. March 29, 2017; Tarrant Regional Water District, Conference Room, 800 East Northside Drive.
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Fort Worth Transportation Authority Tour of Cavile Place Apartments: 11 a.m. March 30, 2017; Cavile Place Apartments, 1401 Etta Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Public Meeting: 5:30 p.m. March 30, 2017; Wayside Middle School Cafeteria, 1300 Old Decatur Road .
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City of Fort Worth and Fort Worth Police Officers Association - Meet and Confer: 11 a.m. March 31, 2017; Azalea Room, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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