Retail Strategies officials to tour Montgomery county

The Montgomery County Development Corporation met for its regular monthly meeting April 8.
MCDC Board President Ann Carder said that the county’s consulting firm, Retail Strategies, will be present to tour the county on April 26-27. Carder said a recent meeting between Retail Strategies representatives and her, MCDC Board Member Brad Wright, and MCDC director Steve Adams was positive.
“They are going to be focusing their efforts, and they are very interested in seeing properties, including the former K-Mart building, since we’re looking at putting in new retail using existing construction rather than new construction due to the cost of materials,” Carder said.
Carder added, the Retail Strategies representatives were made well aware the county was focused on retail sales, and secondarily clothing retailers, such as shoes. She also urged the board to submit other available spaces that might have been missed.
“If anyone knows of any additional development land, or existing buildings, let Steve know and we will get them added to Steve’s list. It might turn into a long list of available properties, but that’s a good thing,” commented Carder.
Carder felt that having the tour stretched out over two days would give the Retail Strategies representatives plenty of time to learn the details of everything they needed to know. Wright would assist in giving tours, as would Elaine Carlson with the Red Oak Chamber and Industry Association.
Wright said during the prior meeting, they’d heard a lot of the same things from Retail Strategies, but he had pushed for more answers.
“We’ve heard there are certain large retailers looking at small communities, and I may have gotten a little blunt when I asked them what they are doing to get them here, and what we need to do to help them get them here,” Wright said. “They are going to show us more information that shows their process, but I made it clear that we need the opportunity to present and make our pitch and find out how we can stand out among other communities.”
Carder agreed with Wright and said she was appreciative of Wright’s more direct approach in asking for stronger results.
Currently the contract with Retail Strategies is in place for six months, and their progress on the objectives set in the first six months of the contract would determine if the contract was renewed.
Adams gave a brief update on the work being done in the fiber/broadband committee, and said he and committee member Jason Orme have been contacting other cities that have built public and private partnerships, but they have yet to find a method that works successfully. However, they did have one other option.
“Everyone is waiting for the announcement of the Reconnect III grant funding, and how that will tie into the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton’s fiber project. so in the interim, we’re working on different plans to move forward,” Adams stated.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for May 13.

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