New Albany Community Development Director Jennifer Chrysler explains the critical role that strategic planning has played in the city’s successful economic development strategy in This Week New Albany.
The intrinsic relationship between strategic planning and economic development is essential to New Albany’s recent success in attracting industry leaders in information technology, personal care and beauty, health and life sciences and high-tech manufacturing while achieving robust growth among existing businesses.
Since the city’s first strategic plan was adopted in 1998, New Albany has collaborated with residents and businesses in our strategic plan updates to create an enviable work-life balance while guiding commercial development that generates income to support ever-expanding amenities, services and infrastructure.
This planning process articulates our community’s shared vision for the future. Our economic development team translates that vision into tangible, proactive goals that ensure all development – residential and commercial – aligns with our aspirations, contributes to our quality of life, supports the long-term growth of our community and enhances our regional competitiveness.
Our success is also the result of an economic development team that strives to create a business climate that is friendly, supportive and inclusive, from the smallest merchant to the largest corporation. We work with employers to identify and implement strategies that can improve their ability to retain and grow their workforces.
Attracting new businesses and encouraging business expansion increases our tax base, provides sustainable revenue and improves our overall quality of life. Today, income taxes, much of which come from the 19,000 jobs created at The New Albany International Business Park, generate approximately 85% of the city’s general revenues.
Growth does not come without challenges, but strategic planning enables New Albany to adopt a forward-thinking approach to shaping the built environment, from creating community gathering spots to building the infrastructure to successfully accommodate future expansion without compromising our quality of life.
Planning has also allowed us to achieve the tremendous alignment and consensus between the City, the New Albany-Plain Local Schools, Plain Township, The New Albany Company, the New Albany Chamber of Commerce and the New Albany Community Foundation that has enabled us to accomplish so much in a relatively short period of time.
The 205-acre New Albany-Plain Local Schools’ campus with its own nature preserve and the increasing number of shops and restaurants at Market Square are evidence of the commitment to our long-range plan to create an active, pedestrian-friendly community. The planning directives that our community collectively wrote led to the recent opening of Rose Run Park with the Raines Crossing pedestrian bridge and promenade connecting the schools and cultural arts district to Market Square. It inspired the creation of the new Charleen and Charles Hinson Amphitheater adjacent to the McCoy Center for the Performing Arts.
Now, thanks to the increasing amount of private investment in our business park, we have more resources to extend Rose Run Park to the east with a Veterans Memorial connecting Market Square to our historic Village Center and create two new destination parks.
As we continue to experience substantial growth in our business park, residents and businesses alike can be confident that all future development will protect public and private investment for the long term.