Does your downtown have an institution of higher learning, such as a university, technical college, or satellite campus? No? See Question Two.
Does your downtown have vacant properties with adjacent available parking? If so, then let’s move on to Question Three.
Why not use vacant properties to bring higher education to your community?
Did you know that by 2020, it is projected that over 60 percent of jobs in Georgia (and most other states) will require a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree? That means the state will need an additional estimated 250,000 graduates in five years. Filling your vacant building with a satellite campus will potentially bring hundreds of new customers for your downtown businesses. Faculty, students, and administrative staff could be bringing their dollars for shopping, dining, and living in your downtown. A vacant, lifeless, or dilapidated property will become a thriving center that catalyzes growth at its core and for surrounding properties. With encouragement and support, graduates of the new school program will seek locations for business start-ups, possibly filling other vacant downtown properties.
Who are the partners who will help your downtown land a campus in one of your vacant buildings?
Chances are there is more than one public or private college main campus with 50 miles of your location. And, it is likely that some of your local leaders and influencers are alums and financial supporters of those institutions.
Question Five. So, why not start this project today?
Working with your board and city leadership, gather an action team to identify potential institutions, local alums, and potential properties. Make a plan and work the plan for a catalytic project that brings new energy, new customers, new residents, and new investment into your downtown.