Results of the Arlington Economic Development Self-Assessment Tool (EDSAT) are now available online. The EDSAT examines Arlington’s economic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges as compared against a comparison group of U.S. municipalities who have completed the EDSAT. The process rates Arlington on 38 broad themes relevant to economic growth and activity that were developed for the Dukakis Center by the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) and CoreNet Global, the professional association of in-house location experts. The
results report “deal makers” and “deal breakers” as seen by industry location decision-makers.
“Although the results of this survey are focused on attracting office parks and large industrial campuses, which are unlikely in a developed community such as Arlington, the analysis still has information that can help the Town’s economic development strategy,” said Town Manager, Adam Chapdelaine.
Among the key findings for Arlington are the “deal maker” strengths of having a higher percentage of professionals in the workforce and having a higher percentage of college educated residents than comparison communities. Arlington’s “deal breaker” weaknesses for industry location experts are a slightly longer permitting process, less on-site parking, and higher rents than the comparison communities. The identified “deal makers” and “deal breakers” help the Town to address areas within its control, and help us to promote our advantages to companies and businesses. For example, the Town can work to improve efficiency of the permitting process through engagement with the Town’s Economic Development Officer and use the Town’s website and other media channels to reach
out to industry to promote Arlington’s unique assets.
“With many lifestyle amenities within walking distance, Arlington is a vibrant, compact and highly-connective community that is exceptionally attractive to emerging and innovative commercial enterprise”, said Economic Development Officer Alan S. Manoian. “Arlington’s traditional and sustainable New England development pattern will prove effective in attracting new businesses while supporting the expansion of existing businesses and strengthening the character of the Town.”
Participants in the Arlington questionnaire for the EDSAT included Arlington commercial landlords, Arlington business owners, banks, realtors, and Town Boards and staff.
The EDSAT was prepared by the National League of Cities and the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, with support to the Town from Cambridge Savings Bank.
The survey and results can be viewed online here.