The UCEDIT Place-Making Economic Development Symposium

Real estate is the “currency for economic development and job creation” in today’s economy. Creatively repositioning under-productive real estate assets through “Place-Making” economic development strategies will stimulate new demand and private investment in communities.

Generating new demand for under-productive real estate remains a major challenge during these uncertain economic times. That is why understanding the importance of “Place-Making” and the “Creative Class” to driving real estate demand is essential today, since the most important decision in people’s lives today is where they choose to live. Communities that recognize this and develop innovative real estate and “Place-Making” strategies targeting the “Creative Class” will capture more than their fair share of future market demand, economic growth and new jobs.

Corporations, universities, government, and healthcare providers also play a critical role today in “Place-Making,” attracting the “Creative Class”, and developing ecosystems that drive economic development. The goal of our Symposium is to present new insights on how key stakeholders can take corporate location decisions, downsizings, facility closings, and consolidations and turn them into exciting and innovative new value creation strategies that result in future social value creation and community benefits.

Sperry Van Ness, Delaware State University’s Center for Economic Development and International Trade (UCEDIT), and The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School present an academic and professional program designed to foster economic development and create new private investment through:

  • Creating Strategic Marketing Plans and new “Market stories” that transform under-productive real estate assets into economic development catalysts that attract new investment.
  • Developing “Place-Making” and branding strategies that help communities “tell their market story” and articulate “why” someone would want to choose to locate their company or family there.
  • Exploring how corporate, governmental, and university real estate decisions can foster new economic development, business entrepreneurship and acceleration, and social value creation through rebranding real estate. (University Research Parks, Logistics, City Labs, Mid-Atlantic Aerotropolis)

The Symposium will culminate with the announcement of several catalyst projects in Dover which have resulted from our panelists “connecting the dots” between Wallops Island Spaceport, Dover Air Force Base, ILC Dover’s innovative products, DRBA’s regional infrastructure, a regional educational cluster including Delaware State University, University of Delaware, Wesley College, DelTech, Wilmington University, Salisbury University, and UMES, and Delmarva’s food and agricultural supply chain. The catalyst projects will spark new energy and excitement and bring a “wow” story to the market that “place-makes” the Dover to Wallops Island corridor of Delmarva as an aerospace, aviation, logistics, and food innovation mecca.

Marketing Strategies that Create “Place-Making” Economic Development and New Demand for Real Estate (Mid-Atlantic Aerotropolis, Dover Innovation and Aero-Tech Corridor, Food Innovation Districts)

  • Caroline R. Massey, Assistant Director for Management Operations, NASA, Wallops Island, VA
  • Alan Levin, Cabinet Secretary, Delaware Economic Development Office, DEDO
  • Dr. Michael H. Casson Jr., Director, Delaware State University’s Center for Economic Development and International Trade (UCEDIT), and Associate Professor of Economics
  • Jim Waddington, Director, Kent Economic Partnership, Dover, DE (Food Innovation Districts)
  • Scott A. Green, Esq., Executive Director, Delaware River & Bay Authority
  • David J. Wilk, CRE, MAI, Sperry Van Ness and John Hopkins University (Moderator – Both Panels)
  • Corporate/University/Government Real Estate’s Connectivity to Social Value Creation and Innovation for Communities (Aerospace and Aviation Clustering, Logistics/Supply Chain, CityLabs)

    • Brigadier General Howard Yellen (Ret.), HWY Consulting LLC, Chairman, Army Aviation Assn.
    • William Wallach, President & CEO, ILC Dover
    • Andrew Duffell, CEO, Research Park at Florida Atlantic University
    • Lindsay Thompson, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins (Social Value Creation and Entrepreneurship)
    • Bill Neaton, Economic Development Manager, City of Dover

    Dover RE Symposium Brochure click to read the .pdf article.