George Garcia to Moderate Panel with Area Mayors.

While investments and progress serve as the foundations for economic development, a broader set of strategies includes streamlined interactions and processes among developers, entrepreneurs and government officials. In turn, the vitality of local and statewide economies often is driven by the businesses, organizations, cities, and people with a desire to create growth-worthy locales.

Relationships between developers or other business owners and community leaders will be explored when our own George Garcia leads a panel discussion at NEDA’s Nevada Economic Development Conference in August.

George founded G.C. Garcia, Inc. in 1995, and since then, we have become a leading commercial real estate development, redevelopment and planning services company. He has helped guide processes for decades that have contributed to the state becoming a mecca for growth, and every day we work with our clients to guide every aspect of redeveloping, acquiring or building new locations.

During the panel, George will engage with two mayors who have expressed support for development projects: Mayor John J. Lee of North Las Vegas, Nev., and Mayor Debra March of Henderson, Nev. John Ramous, senior vice president and regional manager at Harsch Investment Properties, will also be a panelist.

The discussion will take place Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2 p.m. PDT, at the Green Valley Ranch Casino Resort in Henderson, Nev.

The panel will address what best constitutes a good economic development strategy for developers and city governments, including striking the balance between more or less regulation. The related roles of mayors, city councils and planning commissions will be explored.

George has found the best development results derive from city leaders who are strategic in organizing regulations that benefit citizens, while also being conducive to business development.

“The question is not necessarily about regulation levels,” George says. “The question is: Are Nevada cities using targeted regulations, and are the regulations achieving their goals? It’s best to be clear and targeted in assessing regulation’s impacts.”

Photo: George Garcia, president of G.C. Garcia, Inc.

Responsiveness of mayors and city councils is key to making a development’s engine hum. “I believe a mayor’s role should be clear: It’s leadership,” he says. “A mayor should be involved in understanding a city’s marketplace by interfacing with the business community.”

He also has found that when government planning staffs provide information about growth goals, coupled with support of council members, synergy evolves for the advancement of an area and the projects developers are attempting to accomplish.

George says that members of the development community make their determination as to whether a city is conducive for them to do business via a variety of factors. Much of this has to do with time.

“They need to align with the city in which they are developing as well as predict the timeline between the infancy of a project and delivery to tenants,” George says.

Mayor Lee has been hands-on in bringing smart development to his community and recognizing that time stops for no developer.

He says, “One of the most expensive things about development is the price of interest one pays on projects that take you too long to get through the planning process and building process.”

Mayor Lee has created a facilitating approach. “I have two speeds, fast and faster,” he says. “In North Las Vegas, I have built a system that helps businesses expedite opening.”

Lee sees to it that regulations and ordinances are specific to what is really needed.

Photo: Mayor John J. Lee, City of North Las Vegas, Nev.

“We have streamlined so much that I’ve allowed the planning commission to accept more responsibility and leadership. This is so developers don’t have to go through the planning commission, then come to the council, which reduces the time for them to begin projects. We have streamlined everything we can to make it easier for them to be successful as our business partners.”

This sort of streamlining is a prevailing strategy among city officials that encourage commercial development. Mayor March is supportive as well, and she understands the development community likes to have clear expectations.

Photo: Mayor Debra March, City of Henderson, Nev.

“They like to know what they’re dealing with and that there is consistency,” she says. “That’s what Henderson does well. We have a strategic plan and a comprehensive plan. We set the table through good community planning and outreach. Then, the development community knows what to expect when they come to Henderson.”

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