The primary goal of FORA’s ED effort, as referenced in the 1997 Base Reuse Plan (“BRP”) and 2012 Reassessment Report (“RR”), is to assist the three county region in general and FORA jurisdictions specifically in economic recovery from the employment, business, and other economic losses resulting from the departure of soldiers, civilians, and families after the base closure. BRP projections for full recovery include: 37,000 replacement population; 15-18,000 jobs to replace military employment; 11-12,000 homes (6160 new units); and approximately 3 million sf commercial/office. Progress towards these targets to date include: 14,600 population; 4500 FTE jobs; 5191 homes (1000 new + 4191 reused); and 660k sf commercial.
FORA’s ongoing ED strategy is based on the following key components:
- Build upon Regional Economic Strengths (Agriculture, Tourism, Higher Education/ Research, Military Missions)
- Pursue New & Retain Existing Businesses/Enterprises.
- Engage Internal & External Stakeholders (i.e. FORA Jurisdictions, California State University Monterey Bay (”CSUMB”), University of California Santa Cruz (“UCSC”), Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (“MBEP”), Monterey County Business Council (“MCBC”), Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (MPCC), and others).
- Develop and Maintain Information Resources.
- Report Success Metrics.
Per ongoing Board direction and following the strategy outlined above, staff continues to make progress on a number of key projects. The following notes summarize and highlight progress since the January 13, 2017 Economic Development Quarterly Status Update:
- Business Recruitment/Retention. FORA staff continues efforts to both respond to and broadly refer inquiries from businesses/contacts interested in location or relocation and reuse of former Fort Ord real estate. Working with the Monterey County Economic Development office, staff continued recruitment efforts of a new international cosmetics production company. Staff has contributed to the successful reconstitution of the Central Coast Marketing Team (“CCMT”) as a regional business attraction/retention organization/ entity. Efforts are underway to develop a new CCMT website – TeamCentralCoast.org, which will integrate the use of OppSites software as an attraction/retention resource. Efforts are also underway to prepare/package marketing content for sites in collaboration with partners. Staff continues working with relevant jurisdiction staff and elected officials where appropriate to advance new and emerging opportunities.
- UCMBEST. The vision for UCMBEST as a regional R&D tech innovation and regional employment center has yet to be realized. Even after 21 years of UC ownership only a small fraction of new venture and employment opportunities exist on the lands conveyed for that purpose. FORA has a critical interest in seeing progress made on the UCMBEST vision. To that end, Executive Officer Michael Houlemard and Mr. Metz have taken active roles in convening relevant stakeholders to infuse the effort with new energy and craft a viable route forward. Advancing existing planning efforts to conclusion and entitlement for future sale, lease or other transfer, as well as exploring a wide range of future ownership/management structures are key areas of staff/stakeholder focus. Vice Chancellor Scott Brandt provided a UCSC-UCMBEST Status Report at the November 14, 2016 Board meeting. Since then Mr. Metz has continued to represent FORA in bi-weekly status update calls with UC Santa Cruz and Monterey County representatives. Focus of the planning group includes: Moving West Campus parcels to auction in Q2 2017; Completing North Central Campus sub-division map and specific plan (City of Marina) – then water and environmental – targeting completion in Q4 2017; advancing East Campus mixed-use development planning with UCSC and County.
- Start-up Challenge Monterey Bay/CSUMB Collaboration. FORA continues to support expansion of regional entrepreneurship through support of CSUMB and Start-up Challenge Monterey Bay. This multi-day competitive pitch event cultivates entrepreneurship skills and identifies promising start-up concepts. Registration for the 2017 Startup Challenge closed Monday March 13 with a total of 90 completed applications (49 Venture Division, 29 Main Street Division, 12 Student Division), which represents a 9% increase over 2016 numbers (82 total: 40 Venture Division, 34 Main Street Division, 8 Student Division). Qualifying round pitches will be presented April 8, 2017. Final round pitches and Venture showcase will be held Friday May 12 at the CSUMB BIT Building. FORA continues working with campus partners to grow Startup Challenge quantity and quality; supporting entrepreneur and developer efforts to realize new coworking facilities; supporting campus economic development staff in realizing goals; and supporting success of CSUMB-SBDC.
- Collaborating with CSUMB Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED) faculty, Mr. Metz led a Coworking Space Market Feasibility Study. This completed study demonstrates Monterey Bay region market readiness for additional shared workspaces, with particular emphasis on the Monterey Peninsula to Salinas sub-region. The study is available to interested parties via the FORA website – results were presented to the Monterey Tech Meetup and MBEP Workforce Committee meetings. The study has generated active interest from entrepreneurs advancing plans to open coworking facilities as well as developers interested in potential inclusion of coworking facilities in evolving plans. Since January, Mr. Metz joined by CSUMB iiED Faculty and a developer representative visited active coworking/accelerators in San Luis Obispo (SLO Hothouse) and Santa Barbara (ImpactHubSB, Work Zones, SandboxSB) on a fact finding and potential recruitment mission. This effort yielded insights into potential financial and operating models; business sector and university partnerships; management strategies; and market opportunities.
- On February 23, 2017, FORA supported the Sustainable Hospitality Development Symposium put on by the CSUMB Sustainable Hospitality Department, held at the Intercontinental Hotel – The Clement on Cannery Row. This first of its kind, 1-day symposium brought together 130 participants including a distinguished list of speakers including remote appearances from the President of Costa Rica; a delegation of business and government representatives; regional hospitality and tourism industry leaders; university leaders; and elected officials. The vision for the symposium was to further the establishment of the Monterey Bay region as an international example of quality sustainable tourism development, hospitality and eco-recreation. Symposium outcomes include deepening of the international relationship with tourism leaders and developers in Costa Rica, plans for subsequent exchanges, and future symposium. Additional information including presentations and video can be found at https://csumb.edu/green.
- Community Engagement/Jurisdiction Support: The MBEP staff and Workforce Committee in partnership with the Bright Futures program at CSUMB recently launched Career Coach Monterey Bay as a new web resource to help students and the community at large navigate career planning. This valuable web resource provides tools to explore specific career pathways, required education, salary information and links directly to posted vacancies. This new resource enables students to plan for specific careers to close the gap between job seekers and employers. Staff continues serving as a technical and information resource to support jurisdiction economic development initiatives. Specific examples include: securing ESRI Business Analyst license to support site characterization and marketing; participating in Main Gate RFP review and developer recruitment; working with City of Marina staff to advance economic development projects; continuing support and engage with City of Salinas staff in agtech sector growth efforts.
- Metrics: Housing Starts: New residential development at the Dunes on Monterey Bay, Marina Heights, and East Garrison continues to gain momentum. A summary of CFD fees collected over the past 3 years is provided below:
|New Residential||FY 14/15
|Total CFD Fees||$1,982,669||$5,202,626||$7,096,500|
- Jobs: Staff began conducting the 2017 Jobs Survey in January, through email surveys, followed by phone calls, then site visits. Initial results indicate a total of 4989 jobs (3576 Full-time Equivalent (“FTE”) and 1413 part-time (“PT”)) on the former Fort Ord. These results suggest a 14% increase in total jobs from 2015 (1% growth in FTE and and 49% growth in PT jobs). Factors affecting these numbers include 18 new employers to the region, and 27 previously un-reported businesses. Most new employers are located at the Marina Dunes Fast Casual Restaurants. In addition, we estimate there are in excess of 10,000 students (7122 at CSUMB). A full Jobs Report will be released during Q2 2017.