When you Google the phrase “economic development” you get an interesting mix of various international councils and state agencies focused on economic development. At the time I did my search, the Portland Development Commission was among the top five hits. In fact, a variety of Portland sites held positions on the first Google page. Most interesting: the wide range of topics covered (from PDC’s cluster strategy to local sustainable infrastructure to rural development). What this means, from my perspective, is that economic development is limited primarily by our imagination.
In my practice as a real estate and land use lawyer, economic development typically means public money used to either finance (in whole or in part) or provide infrastructure for a real estate development. Such money is hard to find, particularly in the current economic climate. Projects are taking longer to get off the ground and putting the money together is significantly more challenging, if not impossible. But it isn’t all doom and gloom.
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