The impact of the New McMillan is far reaching; some elements are observable, like parks, open space and a master plan integrated into the fabric of the neighborhood, while others less visible, such as the long-term economic impacts and job creation continuing long after completion. These impacts have been well publicized – $1.2B in new tax revenues over 30 years, 3,000 new constructions jobs and 3,200 permanent jobs. What is the source of these estimates? Are they correct?
Part of the early entitlement process, VMP retained Green Door Advisors (“GDA”) to conduct a fiscal and economic impact analysis of the proposed redevelopment to the District over a 30-year period. Publicized in a 2011 report, their analysis took account of all relevant District revenues and expenditures expected and incurred from redevelopment.
Changes to the development program resulting from the evolution of the master plan are well documented and have been highlighted by VMP over the past few months during zoning commission hearings. Has the evolution of the development program diminished the economic impact and job creation benefits?
Robert Charles Lesser & Co (“RCLCO”), a renowned expert in strategic real estate impact analysis, conducted a thorough peer review of the 2011 report to confirm three key points – is the GDA methodology sound, is the level of economic impact still valid and are job creation estimates still correct.
In their findings, available here for review, RCLCO confirms the methodology used in the original analysis and states, “changes to the development program would not have a material impact on the very positive results in the GDA study, and would probably result in an even more positive fiscal impact”.
Has the delay in construction lessened the number of jobs created? In their peer review, RCLCO finds, higher development costs from the 2011 estimates may lead to even more construction jobs than the original GDA estimate.
The plan for the New McMillan has evolved for the better since 2011, while the exceptional Job Creation, Fiscal & Economic Benefits to the District remains a key principle of the project.