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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Evaluating Arts and Entertainment Opportunities
    to 40k Musical Plays Jazz Classical Music 40k to 50k Musical Plays Jazz Classical Music 50k to 75k Musical Plays Classical Music Plays 75k and over Musical Plays Plays Classical Music Musical plays plays and classical music are the three most popular activities across all demographic categories in terms of cultural arts Income education and age are strong indicators of what types of art and cultural activities will be attended by community members Age Generational differences will translate into different arts and entertainment attendance patterns Participants who are currently middle aged have the highest participation rates It will be important to use your data from the market analysis to determine what age categories are in your community and surrounding area and how to gear your programming and marketing towards them accordingly Education Education is another factor you can use to help determine your community s art and entertainment preferences Similar to income higher levels of education attained generally equates higher participation rates in art and cultural activities Those who have completed some form of college and or graduate level of schooling have significantly higher rates than those who have only completed high school or less Income Understanding local income levels is important in attracting people to arts and cultural events and in determining what type of events they can afford Income is a significant factor in terms of predicting arts or cultural participation rates Across almost all of the art activities mentioned in this section those making over 100 000 or more had much higher participation rates than those in the lower income brackets Lifestyles Marketing data firms such as Claritas and ESRI also produce a number of industry specific reports that describe arts and entertainment potential for a specific trade area These reports provide estimates of market demand based on local demographic and buying power and combine indicators such as population workplace population income wealth home value lifestyles race education and occupation As stated above studies have shown that high income high education and middle age can usually be equated with high arts and entertainment participation rates across most cultural activities For example in a participation survey done of 28 art and cultural organizations in Denver Colorado the average participant had the following characteristics Average Characteristics of Art and Cultural Patrons in Denver Colorado Average Characteristics of Residents in Denver Colorado Median Age 55 33 3 Median Household Income 88 000 45 438 Education 33 High School 38 College 24 Graduate 23 High School 23 College 15 3 Graduate Married 72 40 Exhibit source TRS Arts Market Segmentation Study May 2011 The factors highlighted above by no means indicate that other demographic groups do not attend art or entertainment activities They are simply the demographics groups with the highest participation numbers related to the cultural arts Demographics of Movie Theater Attendees The Motion Picture Association of America MPAA publishes an annual movie attendance study entitled Theatrical Market Analysis While families teenagers college students and young couples are essential to movie ticket sales it is important not to overlook any demographic A community with a sizable retirement population may want to program special daytime screenings The presence of a local film society could also encourage sizable ticket and concession sales at the movie theater A large number of stay at home parents with younger children may support daytime programming of family films A large teenage population may sustain midnight screenings on weekend nights Collaborations with local groups and organizations along with targeted marketing and promotions may provide the needed boost in admissions The 2011 MPAA Theatrical Market Analysis issued the following information about age demographics of those attending movie theaters in 2010 Ages 2 to 11 15 Ages 12 to 17 11 Ages 18 to 24 12 Ages 25 to 39 38 Ages 40 to 49 15 Ages 50 to 60 plus 24 Frequent moviegoers those attending at least once per month in a year make up 11 percent of total admissions The most frequent moviegoers are those aged 25 39 years old 21 percent Surveys and Focus Groups Surveys can help assess arts and entertainment demand specific for your particular community and or trade area These surveys should be conducted to study local and regional residents daytime workers and night time visitor to your downtown Questions could include How often do you participate in these list arts and entertainment activities Where do you typically go for these activities list places How often do you currently come downtown for art or entertainment purposes If you do not attend art or entertainment events downtown please indicate why What additional arts and entertainment activities would you like see available in the community Focus groups are another way to obtain information viewpoints and attitudes about arts and entertainment activities in your community from local residents If a downtown is without existing art or entertainment venues focus groups provide an opportunity to drill deeper into some of the reasons why Questions could include Think about other downtowns where you may have seen a play or music performance What characteristics of those places make them more desirable than our downtown What characteristic of those places make them less desirable then our downtown From your perspective what do you feel are some potential barriers for attracting arts or entertainment venues to the downtown area Interviews with key members of the local arts community can also be used gauge local demand These interviews can be conducted using the same questions listed above Available Arts and Entertainment Facilities The evaluation of facilities available to accommodate arts and entertainment events is an essential next step If appropriate spaces are not available or cannot be developed further analysis is not warranted Each event type live performance comedy clubs visual arts etc will have its own set of location prerequisites Below is a list of some of the attributes that should be included in an inventory of downtown s existing or proposed event facilities Type of Space Name and Address of

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Evaluating Housing Opportunities
    supply of housing units provides a basis for assessing the future availability of housing In order to understand the nature of a community s housing stock information about size and characteristics of existing housing units must be gathered and compiled For the community wide housing market assessment the following types of information must be collected Use the blank forms in Appendix A to assemble data for your community Number and Type of Housing Units will quantify the number of housing types including single family detached homes duplexes multifamily structures and mobile homes manufactured If possible the housing supply data should be broken down into segments consisting of different types of uses quality and affordability Tenure refers to whether the housing unit is owner occupied or rented by the occupant Information on tenure is important because the community should have a sufficient supply of units to satisfy the needs of both renters and owner occupants Vacancies provide a count of the number of housing units that were vacant and available for rent or sale The vacancy rate the number of housing units vacant and available divided by the total number of units is an important measure of whether the housing supply is adequate to meet demand It is important to note that some vacancies are necessary for a healthy housing market According to HUD an overall vacancy rate of 3 allows consumers adequate choice For owner occupied housing an acceptable rate is 1 5 and for rental housing it is 5 Housing Prices refers to the price of owner occupied housing The median price as it varies over time is an indication of housing demand It is equally important to know the distribution of housing of different values Rental Rates refers to data on market rents for housing It is important to track the number of rental units available at different rents as an indication of the availability of an adequate supply of rental housing for different income groups in the community In addition to the data above local real estate trends should be collected This can include condition of current housing stock construction trends time on the market absorption rates and subsidized special needs housing In addition information on any new projects should be collected including location number of units type size and rent or sales price Data for analyzing current and projected housing supply in your community can be obtained from the U S Census Bureau private data firms community and regional planners and other sources Updated vacancy data can usually be obtained from assessors homebuilders realtor associations and rental management groups Contact apartment owners and associations for rental rates Real estate multiple listing services MLS and homebuilders associations can provide data on home prices Conversations with sales agents appraisers and mortgage brokers are useful for gauging trends in home selling prices Newspaper house and rental listings also provide useful information in estimating housing costs Assessment of Community Housing Needs The projected number of additional housing units needed in the community wide market area can be approximated through a simple model It is based on the data provided earlier for examining community housing demand and supply The following exhibit provides an example of how to calculate the future need for additional housing units in your community Use the blank form in Appendix A to develop this projection for your community Exhibit Sample Assessment of Community Housing Needs The previous calculations provide a preliminary analysis of demand and supply conditions in the community wide market area including and extending beyond the downtown area A more comprehensive and refined housing study for the entire community would be needed to address specific housing issues such as How do factors such as school quality and tax rates affect demand for housing in the community Is rehabilitating existing housing stock more important than creating new housing Is adding rental housing more important than adding owner occupied housing For what income groups is housing most needed Does housing stock reflect the needs of a maturing and aging community Does housing stock accommodate the needs of persons with special needs Will there be changes in household size due to in migration or to the increasing number of older persons These important questions are beyond the scope of this preliminary assessment However the guidelines for preparing a more comprehensive community housing plan identified earlier in this section are available to guide you in this process Assessment of Downtown s Market Opportunities Before additional market analysis specific to downtown housing is conducted it is important to step back and examine whether your downtown is ready to pursue new housing development For your downtown to be an attractive place to live it must be an attractive mixed use environment for living working shopping and entertainment A paper prepared for the Brookings Institution titled Ten Steps to a Living Downtown describes two preconditions for successful downtown housing efforts The physical environment must be of a character and quality that people will want to live there Downtown must be perceived as a comfortable and safe place It should have boundaries be of human scale and have clusters of housing that are obviously distinct from businesses Neighborhoods must provide places to play direct access to food shopping services and neighbors Downtown neighborhoods must be clean and must above all be safe from threats and crime Downtown residences must offer an investment motive for home ownership For downtown housing to take root people must be willing to purchase their homes not just rent For this to happen they will have to have confidence that they will eventually be able to sell for a higher price than they paid to buy Like the suburbs downtowns must meet at least these two conditions be a safe quality environment and provide investor confidence before they can effectively compete for residents The paper also offer steps city officials and others can take to foster a living 24 hour downtown These steps outline ways that local public policy might strengthen the two threshold conditions a strong quality of life and market conditions that are necessary to attract residents to central business districts The complete paper Ten Steps To A Living Downtown A Discussion Paper prepared for The Brookings Institution by Jennifer Moulton October 1999 can be found on the Brookings edu website Survey and Focus Group Research Survey and Focus Group Research can be a useful step in evaluating residential opportunities in your community This type of research provides information on how people perceive the quality of life downtown the importance of various housing amenities and the desire to rent or purchase Specific market segments can be targeted such as downtown employees or existing community residents Surveys while expensive can be very useful in determining resident s feelings towards downtown housing The answers can be used to adjust your housing plan and can be given to potential developers who are in need of information regarding resident s preferences The following are important questions that should be asked and included in the downloadable survey instrument in the Consumer Survey section of the toolbox If you moved or stayed downtown would you prefer to rent or own This question allows you to examine your housing mix and work to develop new housing that meets the demands of potential and current housing consumers What type of downtown housing is most attractive to you This question allows you to determine what types of housing condos apartments townhouses etc should be built and adjust your housing plan accordingly What size housing unit do you require The answer to this question will help you determine if the current housing options of bedrooms of bathrooms meet the needs of potential residents Do you prefer historically renovated or newly constructed buildings This will help determine if historical buildings should be converted into living units instead of office or retail space What features amenities are important to you Knowing what amenities are desired AC dishwasher parking washer dryer etc will help you compete with other housing options in the community and allow you to tailor your housing projects to meet the needs of potential and current residents Conducting focus group research is an important way to enhance the findings from a survey Focus groups allow participants to share information that they may not have been asked about in a survey They allow you to obtain an in depth understanding of consumer preferences Areas that participants could be asked about include project locations housing amenities design issues purchasing motivation and financing options For more about conducting a focus group please see the focus group section of the toolbox It is important to conduct a few focus groups aimed at different markets For instance one would be aimed at current residents of downtown with the purpose of determining what areas need improvement The second group would target potential residents who may be considering moving downtown This group would seek to determine what amenities and housing options are needed to attract new residents to the downtown area Demographic Characteristics Important to Downtown Housing While most community residents may desire single unit homes the dynamics of households are changing Over the last few decades national trends have moved towards smaller households The household mix now includes a variety of non traditional family and non family forms As the dynamics of the population change different types of housing units are needed Also as householders progress through time or a life cycle their individual housing needs also change Not only do children move out but aging homeowners retire as well This often results in the increase of demand for condominiums and high end rental units Finally household income levels also change with time Changes in Income levels will affect the type of housing demanded All of these factors create movement within the housing market The housing industry will have to cater to an increasing range of needs and preferences as demographic changes occur at both the national and community level Listed below are the needs and preferences of specific market segments as they relate to downtown housing These segments need to be analyzed in relation to the community demographic data analysis presented earlier in this section Those segments which are growing in your community and are most inclined toward downtown living downtown workers singles and couples without children should be included in your assessment of downtown housing opportunities Householders less than 24 Years Old A number of householders less than 24 years old are upwardly mobile professionals with high household incomes Some may be employed in the downtown area and others include college students married and single attending nearby campuses Many householders less than 24 years old are in the rental market or just moving on to homeownership Householders less than 24 years old tend to have many of the same characteristics generally attributed to householders between 24 and 35 years old see next category Many aspects of downtown living are attractive to this group They are willing to trade space for convenience and the diverse neighborhood character Additionally this group is much more flexible in terms of location as they are technically savvy and often have the option to work from home Downtown apartments on upper floors over retail and live work units are likely to be attractive to the householders less than 24 years old Downtown workers in this segment are key prospects for downtown housing This substantial market segment is just beginning to make its presence felt in the residential market and downtown has a lot of the amenities they are looking for in a community Householders 24 35 Years Old Householders 24 35 years old have long escaped the attention of the real estate industry Members of this generation are more likely to be individualistic driven professionals that work long hours have significant disposable incomes and are very focused on lifestyle choices Furthermore they express a strong inclination towards home ownership One clear trend among this age group across the country is their willingness to sacrifice space for convenience They prefer live work units flats and condominiums in infill locations close to work and services Location is clearly an important factor in their decision to rent or own a home Essentially they want their daily needs met a short distance from their doorstep Householders 24 35 years old that have yet to start families and appreciate an urban atmosphere convenience and entertainment amenities are likely consumers of downtown housing Again downtown workers in this segment are key prospects for downtown housing Householders 36 55 Years Old Householders 36 55 years old have been the defining market segment for over half a century As they get older they are expected to redefine what are considered typical preferences for the empty nester retiree age group In addition to this they don t see themselves as older until their upper 70 s and will not make lifestyle or housing choices that appear geared towards old age or slowing down This group appears much more predisposed towards convenience and an urban lifestyle with more compact living quarters than previous generations A growing number of 36 55 year old householders are looking for the flexibility and cultural offerings of a city center Householders 36 55 years old are more likely to own than to rent though there will be some demand for rentals from those who want the option to move away if the lifestyle does not suit their needs Many will require spaciousness or the illusion thereof state of the art home amenities and nearby recreation A downtown that puts daily activities within walking distance ensures a greater level of independence as they get older Furthermore historic downtowns that offer civic and cultural amenities and opportunities to engage in community activities will be especially attractive to this market Again downtown workers in this segment are key prospects for downtown housing Householders 56 69 Years Old Householders 56 69 years old are a group whose children have typically moved out of their home As a result they live in a home that is too big for their needs and are looking to downsize In addition they often do not care to deal with the maintenance of a home as they age People in this segment are moving towards retirement and are looking for a sense of community with ample entertainment options to fill their free time It is also important to note that without dependents this age group typically has high disposable income Downtown condominium units have been popular among householders 56 69 years old because they are able to walk to coffee shops restaurants stores the library theaters or the civic center Overall this group is looking for a place where they are able to enjoy life and more leisure time without dealing with the maintenance of their homes Because this is a large segment a modest percentage of householders 56 69 years old moving downtown would add significant demand for downtown housing Householders 70 Years Old Householders 70 years old can be segmented into independent elderly and needy elderly The independent elderly are disproportionately married couples in good health and with middle class incomes while the needy elderly are generally over 75 years of age many have lower incomes and depend on assistance from family members These groups are less likely to live in large cities or suburbs Rather many prefer non metropolitan areas such as small towns and retirement destinations Retirement housing options reflect a hierarchy of needs They include active adult units targeted to independent older residents congregate care limited assistance with transportation or meals assisted living for more frail elderly nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities mixture of senior housing types Rental retirement housing demand will increase as the householders of the area age Depending on income levels retirement households will also increase the demand for condominiums Possible Housing Types for Downtown Downtown housing developments typically involve utilization of existing buildings as well as infill projects to create a higher density residential neighborhood Best practices in downtown housing include rental and owner occupied units reflecting rents and prices that serve all segments of the market The following are some of the general categories of downtown housing that exist in small cities Upper Floor Units These units are often located on the upper floors of downtown stores offices restaurants and other businesses Most are rented out but sometimes the unit is occupied by the building owner or operator of the first floor business These units can offer low rent options for those who require affordable housing Townhouses Townhouses provide the amenities of a house in a downtown setting Most townhouses share common walls so a significant number of units can fit onto a small city lot They attract people who do not want to live in an apartment style unit but do want to live in or near downtown Apartment or Condominium Building These freestanding buildings can bring significant population density downtown and can serve those looking for rental units or owner occupied units By offering convenience and center city amenities that are not available at other apartment condominium buildings in area downtown housing can gain a competitive market advantage Live Work Units These units allow the occupant to comfortably live and work in the same unit They are appropriate for a number of service businesses that are run from the home and help the tenant save on renting an additional office For those residents intending to work from home or telecommute live work units provide office space or even a small business under one mortgage Having these units downtown will help attract entrepreneurial minded residents Loft Units Loft units are created by converting former office industrial or warehouse space into apartments or condominiums These units offer unique spaces that are sought by downtown residents and provide a good way to rehabilitate older or unused buildings downtown The process of incorporating housing into the downtown mix will involve an

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Office Space
    Resources Market Area Profiles Retail Trade Analysis Minnesota Business Retention Expansion Strategies Contact Contents Introduction I Understanding the Market Trade Area Analysis Demographics Economic Analysis Business Survey Consumer Survey Focus Groups Peer City Analysis II Analysis of Opportunities by Sector Retail Services Restaurants Arts Entertainment Housing Office Space Lodging III Putting Your Research to Work Niche Development Building Usage Marketing Business Retention Entrepreneurship Bus Recruitment Benchmarking University of Wisconsin Extension

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Evaluating Lodging Opportunities
    associated with conferences board meetings training programs seminars trade shows and other gatherings Often the sponsoring organization will be from the local area Out of town organizations may use local meeting facilities because they often rotate the sites of their regional meetings Information on the group meeting market can be obtained through state chapters of Meeting Planners International and the American Society of Association Executives Your community s convention and visitor s bureau or chamber of commerce can usually provide a good estimate of local group meeting activity Other Travelers Various lodging customers cannot be classified under the categories of business leisure or group These travelers may include construction workers truckers utility crews airline personnel and others Activity at local truck stops distribution centers long term construction projects and other sources of demand could help you estimate the significance of this market segment Lodging Competition Analysis The most important part of a lodging market analysis is the study of current and proposed competition The operating performance of existing local competition is a key indicator of market potential Conduct interviews with area hotel operators to effectively complete this part of your study An important part of your competition analysis is estimating the monthly and annual operation performance of each competitive property Performance can be measured in terms of occupancy percent and average daily room rate Occupancy Percent number of rooms sold number of rooms available Average Daily Room Rate total room revenue number of rooms sold In addition to occupancy and average room rates each operation should be carefully studied to determine its strengths weaknesses and competitive position in the market area Information on your competition can be obtained from interviews with management hotel websites American Automobile Association Tourbook Mobil Travel Guide and state and local lodging directories You should also investigate any plans for other new lodging operations in the area Too many new rooms can lead to depressed occupancy levels and price wars Local planners and the development departments of hotel companies are usually aware of developments proposed for your community The following items will help you analyze each competitor Location proximity to sources of lodging demand accessibility visibility and surrounding neighborhood Facility age exterior appearance and condition interior appearance and condition cleanliness signage types of rooms suites standard room food and beverage outlets function rooms and recreation pool fitness center Service quality of service and extra services offered Operating Information from managers weekday vs weekend demand patterns historical occupancy growth or decline monthly occupancy levels number of 100 occupancy days per month average room rate per month after any discounts major market segments served per month and major sources of demand General Information number of rooms months open published rates franchise affiliation ratings in travel guides local reputation and plans for expansion or improvements Location Analysis Location is a critical consideration because it impacts your ability to draw customers It is important that your location be visible accessible convenient and attractive to your market Surrounding land uses are important for all types of lodging operations High traffic volume is very important Aesthetics of the area noise safety and other factors should be considered How you evaluate your location will depend on the type of property you are considering and the customers you hope to serve Hotels benefit from high visibility and proximity to generators of room night demand Local colleges hospitals attractions services and entertainment are examples of room night demand generators Be sure to consider future growth patterns when analyzing your location Hotels in resort areas generate most of their business form leisure travelers who see the lodging facility and surrounding area as their destination Access and visibility while important are secondary to the quality of the facility services amenities and nearby attractions Different types of lodging operations will have different location requirements Analyze your location using the factors listed below Be sure to consider other location criteria to your particular hotel development Description of Immediate Area commercial profile adjacent land uses proposed developments safety and availability of nearby services food services shopping Proximity to Demand Generators businesses colleges hospitals and other institutions convention facilities and tourist attractions museums historical sites recreation Traffic Volume highway street traffic counts and traffic patterns Accessibility proximity to major streets and highways ease of entrance and exit Other Issues Site size and social political and environmental concerns related to development downtown Project Refinement In planning for a new downtown hotel it is essential to understand the lodging needs of people visiting your community Using data already gathered this part will help you refine your proposed hotel concept so that it can effectively serve your market area Segments of the industry include luxury full service midmarket economy resort extended stay and subcategories of these hotels It is important to match the lodging concept or segment considered with the needs of travelers to the area For example the extended stay hotel concept works best in areas with a high concentration of office and corporate headquarters that bring in people for longer stays One of the most important considerations in refining your hotel project is estimating the total number of guestrooms Optimum room size is dependent on a number of variables including market area room demand as measured by occupancy rates financial resources available to the developer and minimum room size allowed by a franchiser Keeping the project within the optimum size range will help ensure financial success while reducing the risk of over building within a market area Using the items below identify development criteria for a new hotel in your downtown area Affiliation independent or chain Product Category limited or full service Room Type and Number standard rooms suites and specialty rooms Amenities and Facilities restaurant and lounge function facilities recreation pool and fitness center Market Area to be Served as defined by primary competition Market Segments to be Served business leisure group and other categories Expected Price Range peak and slow periods Sales Projection Room sales in a hotel are a

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Niche Development
    and entertainment but also opens up opportunities for other alternatives in the downtowns including festivals museums lodging facilities and promotional events Since tourism is usually seasonal downtowns that have successful tourist niches have coped with the challenges posed by the off season Office Workers While many downtown office workers prefer to make larger purchases at shopping centers close to their home many specialty items such as cards books CDs and some apparel are very convenient lunch time purchases Merchants targeting this market segment must recognize that office workers will 1 only walk about five minutes to lunchtime destinations 2 spend far less than 60 minutes away from their desks 3 be enticed by corporate cafeterias subsidized meals and work pressures not to leave their buildings Artists and Crafters Many downtowns have recognized that local artists and crafters and those interested in their work provide a unique and active consumer segment to target Communities serving this niche often have galleries restaurants and bars and unique specialty retailers Their downtowns may include a mix of professional offices and business support services such as copy shops and office supply stores They also may have specialized operations such as foundries arts supply shops framing shops arts conservationists etc County Government Users In addition to attracting residents from throughout the county county seats often attract lawyers mortgage companies title companies public management consultants and others Medical Facility Users In addition to the visitation of patients and their families and friends hospitals also attract visiting medical professionals A mix of medical offices and retail businesses drug stores florists medical supplies etc are often found in these downtowns within 0 5 miles of a major hospital Mineral Point Wisconsin has developed a niche focusing on tourists interested in the arts The community has related businesses including pottery woodworking glass jewelry and weaving studios In addition home based artisans use this consumer niche to sell their products at existing downtown stores The mix of businesses and historic charm of the community draws visitors as well as area residents to the downtown area The local resident consumer segments are also served by traditional downtown retail including hardware pharmacy and various merchandise categories These businesses are able to survive thanks to a combination of local and tourist spending Goods and Services Niches Some communities have developed a niche focusing on particular goods and services Examples of niches based on categories of goods and services include Home Furnishings A cluster of related businesses may include home remodeling furnishings and decorative design Specific businesses might include hardware floor covering furniture lighting paint stores frame shops antique stores window treatment stores electronics stores upholsterers etc Many of these businesses do not require large class A spaces and look for affordable rents Consequently they often give downtown locations serious consideration Pamper Niches Spas gyms hair and nail salons martial arts studios etc can bring a lot of patrons with significant disposable incomes and a proven willingness to spend it into a downtown shopping district The activities in their windows as opposed to those of professional services often can provide pedestrian reinforcing eye appeal Pamper niches have been mainstays of many well known shopping districts including Beverly Hills and Midtown Manhattan as well as many strong smaller downtowns Other merchants would do well to cross market with pamper niche operations Pamper niche firms are now looking for commercial spaces in downtowns large and small Antiques Many small and medium sized communities have been successful in attracting numerous antique shops often in a historic district These businesses work well together in creating an historical craft and hospitality theme and often create very effective niche marketing programs Crafts Some communities focus on craft produced houseware items such as furniture rugs textiles ceramics and glassware Critical to successful craft niches are strong downtown customer traffic a mechanism to enable the crafters to sell in locations far away from the downtown and or affordable high quality of life characteristics that make crafters want to live in or near the downtown Children s Products Some downtowns are successful in this niche by combining stores focusing on children s clothing furniture toys and family entertainment centers Food for the Home This is the most strategically important niche for most small and medium sized downtowns Shops in this niche generate more retail trips than any other Consumers prefer to food shop close to home Included in this niche are specialty foods such as bagels breads wines and cooking items In some communities this niche includes large grocery stores that serve as an anchor for downtown commercial activity In others a general store or gourmet food market are significant traffic generators Jewelry While many large cities have a jewelry district some small towns have their own niche composed of jewelry retailers and service businesses Entertainment and the Arts Large and small cities across the country have improved downtown retail activity and public image by promoting the arts and entertainment Formal entertainments such as cinemas theater concerts ballet museums art galleries craft shops and clubs all bring local and visitor spending downtown Informal entertainments such as those found in great public spaces are basically unscheduled free and can generate very dense flows of patrons Restaurants This is another strategically important niche for downtowns of all sizes Eating places can attract diners from trade area residents tourists and downtown employees In many downtowns restaurants have become the largest retail category keeping these districts active well after 5 00 p m Savvy merchants will stay open to 7 00 or 8 00 p m to benefit from the customer traffic the eateries bring in Weddings Some downtowns serve the wedding market by offering jewelry shops wedding attire florists caterers and other related businesses Wedding niches can bring a hugely diverse group of businesses into a very successful marketing effort Factory Outlets A factory outlet is a store owned and operated by a manufacturer that sells its brand named merchandise at a discount These stores are often

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Building Usage
    clustering to be successful an appropriate business mix is essential Individual businesses must be able to effectively serve the same or overlapping segments of the market Furthermore clusters must be physically located so that they are compact and not interrupted by incompatible space uses The cluster must encourage the customer to shop the entire cluster and conform to the way people shop In small to medium sized communities clusters may already exist but only need fine tuning In other communities there may be totally unrelated retail occupancy within the business district reflecting the past objective of filling empty storefronts Clustering is a tool that can help re focus the local downtown retail mix so that it more effectively addresses the needs and preferences of the consumer Types of Business Clusters There are several different types of business clusters Regardless of the type each cluster is useful because it attracts similar customers based either on their demographics or products and pricing Some common business clusters are listed below Most downtowns will find that compatible and or complementary clusters can help build retail sales Compatible Clusters Groups of businesses that share a particular market segment but offer unrelated goods and services Outlet malls are an example as their tenants share a market segment that enjoys looking for bargains Most downtowns are classified as compatible clusters Complementary Clusters Groups of businesses that share customers and market segments but offer complementary goods and services An office supply store copy center and office furniture store together could form a complementary cluster business services Retailers must offer goods and services of a similar style quality and price range Department stores are typically organized this way Comparison Clusters Groups of businesses that carry the same or similar goods and often appeal to the same markets For instance in some larger regional malls a clustering of shoe stores can be found Consumers are able to shop the various lines and compare goods before purchasing them This arrangement is also observed within many department stores Geographic Information Systems GIS can provide a powerful tool for visually analyzing existing and potential clusters of businesses in your district The following map illustrates how different groups of businesses can be assigned distinct color codes GIS map using different colors to illustrate different business clusters Developing Business Placement Strategies Considering the numbers of businesses and uses in a downtown creating business placement strategies can be an overwhelming task The lack of any centralized management makes it difficult to actively place businesses As a result it is important to work cooperatively with building and property owners The goal is to gain some degree of control and encourage them to cooperate in any business placement plan Some methods for working with business owners include Create a centralized retail management group of property owners and retailers This group would be responsible for coordinating leasing plans developed from the market analysis process Obtain the right of first refusal for new tenants The right of first refusal allows the downtown or business district to have control over the leasing of the property Normally the building owner allows the downtown group to market and promote the property for a given period of time In exchange the building owner is spared the expense and effort of filling the unit However there are occasions when the building owner is paid a fee for the right of first refusal Educate business owners about the value of strategic business placement An educational program can show owners the benefits that are associated with business placement strategies Hopefully the education process will convince building owners to cooperate with the downtown s space utilization plan However education and cooperation can be difficult in those downtowns that have a large number of absentee owners Once a strategy for coordinating different property owners is developed a step by step analysis of business clustering and placement can be implemented The steps in this analysis attempt to reconcile the needs of new businesses with the characteristics of available buildings and sites Step 1 Summarize the strengths and weakness of the existing building and space utilization Summarizing the strengths and weaknesses allows the business district to be examined for areas whose success can be enhanced and areas that need improvement For instance are there incompatible uses present in downtown Are there long stretches of vacancies or blank walls in retail areas that need to be filled Are there existing business clusters that could be enhanced These types of observations can be noted and used in subsequent planning steps The following exhibit shows how building space utilization information can be summarized Strengths and Weaknesses of Existing building and Space Utilization Strengths Weaknesses Strong home furnishing cluster on west end of Main Street Several empty storefronts are next to one another near east end of Main Street interrupting retail continuity Good accessibility and traffic volume for three convenience businesses at the corner of 2 nd St and Main Large vacancy rate of upper level units along Main Street Cluster of restaurants near office building at the corner of Main and 5 th streets Bank and fast food with drive thrus in center of retail district Sample summary for strengths and weaknesses of building and space utilization Step 2 Summarize existing vacancies and catalog their individual characteristics Examine the size of the vacancy the types of nearby mixed uses its floor level nearby traffic volume its convenience and nearby businesses Most of this information about vacancies can be gathered from the building and business inventory For instance the vacancies along with their square footage and floor level can be queried easily from the database If GIS capabilities are integrated with the inventory mixed uses retail continuity and convenience factors can be mapped and used in the building and space utilization plan If you do not have mapping capabilities simply visit the vacancy in person and make notes about the surrounding conditions The following exhibit provides an example of how vacancy information can be examined

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Marketing, Image and Branding
    Branding Branding is the process of selling a positive image of your downtown The brand is a unique set of emotional connections and positive expectations in the minds of residents visitors and others Branding fosters the sense of community that keeps key market segments interested in downtown and that makes the community an attractive destination for various market segments Branding is more than the words and images used along with a place name those things can change over time The slogan logo and design are simply tools to help change current perceptions by appearing not only in printed materials but also in physical promotions such as your downtown way finding system signage and street scaping It is a core promise that is made to the customer According to CEO for Cities A brand clear compelling and unique is the foundation that helps to make a place desirable as a business location visitor destination or a place to call home Development of a brand strategy for a city or downtown leverages the features of that place to provide a relevant and compelling promise to a target audience It is not an ad campaign or a tagline Rather the branding strategy is a deeper more emotionally shared vision that influences actions There are many reasons why it is critical for a place to have a brand strategy but the most common is to stimulate economic growth That s because a strong brand can Shift the perception of a place that may be suffering from a poor image Create a common vision for the future of the community and its potential Provide a consistent representation of the place Enhance its local regional and or global awareness and position Shed unfavorable stereotypes associated with a place and make it more appealing If your city wants to initiate a brand strategy the following questions have to be answered honestly and completely What does the downtown district stand for today both its strengths and weaknesses What can and should the place stand for in the future and how do we articulate that What will make the place unique valued and attractive to target businesses and consumer audiences How will we make this new positioning a reality What role do key stakeholders and community groups have in bringing the brand to life How will we measure success of the brand strategy A successful branding process is neither easy nor quick It involves research design education and maintenance If done well branding can boost retail traffic attract residents to the downtown area and aid downtown and community organizations by increasing volunteerism giving and credibility Return to top 3 Implementing Marketing Programs Marketing programs can implement the brand strategy and encourage key market segments to increase their use of downtown as a place to live work shop and play By marketing the district s unique characteristics consumer and investor confidence in the district can be strengthened resulting in increased commercial activity and investment It is important to remember to

    Original URL path: http://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/putting-your-research-to-work/image-branding-marketing/ (2016-02-18)
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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Business Retention/Expansion
    keep good records to facilitate a timely response A good practice is to have two team members review each survey A viewing by a second set of eyes may uncover issues the first team member did not notice The worksheet contains two important columns 1 level of urgency and 2 organization or person responsible for follow up Certainly not all warning flags have the same level of urgency A business indicating plans to move to another community in the next six months is clearly an urgent matter in need of immediate attention whereas interest in historic preservation tax credits may not be as pressing The worksheet refers to red yellow and blue flags to rate the urgency standard language in a BR E program When considering proper follow up to warning flags the BR E team should not limit itself to its own members skills and abilities but look to other organizations or people who can best assist with the issue at hand The best people or organizations to handle follow up are those who can retain the trust and confidentiality of the business owner Be sure to notify businesses of your intentions to hand off some issues to appropriate resource people or organizations Step 3 Offer Individual Business Assistance A starting point for any BR E team offering assistance to individual businesses is getting the market analysis data into their hands and then helping them apply the information to their operations Based on responses to the business survey the BR E team will know the particular needs of individual businesses and can use the market analysis data as a guide Some businesses may be particularly interested in the customer survey findings for marketing or inventory purposes whereas others keen on expansion may decide the findings on the retail and service opportunities most helpful It s important for the BR E team to determine the appropriate level of contact to best assist businesses Simply mailing out market analysis results would not have the same impact as a member of the BR E team sitting down with business management and discussing possible applications Some uses of the market data include Redesigning marketing plan to attract more customers Opening a complementary new business Motivating existing customers to spend more money Identifying new markets for current product lines Adding new product lines or services to capture a wider market range Opening boutique shops with niche product lines inside other businesses Identifying and adapting to business and marketing trends Repositioning and differentiating the business by changing its image and product mix Expanding existing space or relocating within the district and Opening under one ownership companion shops that support each other Beyond applying market analysis data to business decisions other areas of assistance may include Store presentation and window display Succession planning and business transition Merchandise presentation Merchandise selection Locating buying groups Customer service Developing updating business plans Accounting and record keeping Compliance with local state and federal regulations Inventory control Computer use Website development

    Original URL path: http://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/putting-your-research-to-work/business-retentionexpansion/ (2016-02-18)
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