Committing to inclusive growth: Lessons for metro areas from the Inclusive Economic Development Lab

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nashville is the leading economic success story of the new South, held up by most other mid-sized U.S. metro areas as an aspirational example of what successful economic development looks like. 

Beginning in the late 1990s, the city pulled ahead of a pack of sprawling southern cities, fueled by its specialization in professional and health care services. Newly-acquired professional sports teams and a growing music scene gave the city the varnish of big-city success. Growth skyrocketed, churning out jobs and turning the city into a magnet for skilled workers. Forbes recently ranked it as the top metro area–by far–for creating high-wage professional services jobs. Unemployment is below the national average for every racial group. Today, cranes dot the downtown, old neighborhoods are quickly being redeveloped with high-end housing and retail, and Nashville hot chicken and country music are the province of hipsters around the country.

But that’s only one side of the story.

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“Birmingham Landmarks, Inc. certainly made the right decision in selecting NCDS to raise the $7 million needed to fully restore our sadly dilapidated and abandoned former vaudeville theatre in downtown Birmingham.  Your firm provided the wisdom and experience to position the project as worthy of support, then structured a winning campaign that was creative, energizing, and relentless in pursuit of the goal.  We were especially appreciative of your flexibility relative to our early cash flow issues, and even more so in the selection of the assigned NCDS Project Executive.  Because of the success and momentum of your phase of this exceptional campaign, the Lyric staff was able to continue seeking commitments utilizing tax credits, and the total raised now exceeds $11.8 million.  Thanks to NCDS, Birmingham can boast of having one of the most spectacularly restored performing arts theaters in America.”

Brant Beene, Executive Director • Birmingham Landmarks, Inc.

National Community Development Services, Inc.
6300 Powers Ferry Road, Suite 600-165
Atlanta, GA  30339
Phone: (404) 231-0730