Pinole's Economic Development Strategy

Economic Development Strategy

In 2020, the Pinole City Council adopted a thoughtful and ambitious Strategic Plan for the City. Among other things, it directed the creation of an Economic Development Strategy (EDS).

The EDS is a strategic framework to guide the City of Pinole’s economic development policies and programs over the next 5 years and is based on a comprehensive research and stakeholder input process, and reflects consensus views on the most promising opportunities and the most pressing challenges facing Pinole’s economy.
Development of the EDS

The recommended policies and program activities in the Adopted EDS are based on an extensive planning process that included the following components:

  • An analysis of Pinole’s existing and projected demographic profile, providing an understanding of underlying trends that may affect economic growth potentials.
  • Direct input from a cross section of the City’s economic development stakeholders via a series of workshop-style meetings.
  •  A review of the various public- and private-sector entities involved in different aspects of economic development (or related activities).
  •  An industry “cluster” analysis to identify the industry groups (clusters) that are the most important “engines” of the existing local economy, as well as the industry groups that are likely to offer the most attractive growth potentials in the future.
  • A real estate market analysis to identify potential future demand for commercial and industrial development in the City.
Year One (FY23/24) Activities and Progress

Major Initiative 1: Branding/Marketing

A. Create webpage for ED program reflecting marketing targets identified in EDS

B. Coordinate with partners to ensure that EDS marketing targets (and associated “selling points”) are optimally positioned within regional marketing initiatives (including partner websites, etc.)

C. Coordinate with partners to ensure that the message of Pinole’s business friendliness ties into whatever similar messaging is applicable to the region, through their various marketing platforms appropriate

D. In tandem with Sub-strategy 5A below (“Reposition Retail” initiative), launch aggressive retail/restaurant tenant recruitment effort (with a focus on attracting high sales tax generators)

E. Convene “Summit Meeting” of local civic organizations to unveil the EDS and identify specific opportunities for engagement of civic organizations and other community leaders as “ambassadors” for Pinole’s economic development program

F. As part of Civic Organization Summit meeting, define strategy for using positioning or new special events as mechanisms for placemaking and economic development promotion G. Investigate options for professional marketing services to support design/implementation of new marketing program. This program could ultimately include the following components:

 o Industry-specific marketing materials (target industry webpage, brochures, digital/print media)

o Advertising in selected/targeted media (general and industry-specific)

o Attendance at selected industry events (e.g., ICSC)

Major Initiative 2: Business Retention/Expansion/Attraction

A. Identify a “short list” of 6-8 industry clusters for the City’s initial targeting efforts (the consultant’s initial recommendations – based on the industry cluster analysis and the priority levels suggested by the EDS Committee – are listed on page 44 of the EDS)

B. Compile database of existing Pinole/Contra Costa County firms relevant to each targeted cluster

C. Define outreach strategy for maintaining ongoing communication with key existing firms in retention/expansion clusters; outreach tactics could include a mix of industry meetings/mixers, online surveys, site visits, and direct mail

Major Initiative 3: Entrepreneurial Development

A. Conduct meetings with regional partners listed below to unveil EDS target industry cluster program and identify targeted industries likely to offer significant entrepreneurial development opportunities

B. Update webpage summarizing City’s entrepreneurial development opportunities/resources

Major Initiative 4: Business/ Development Friendliness

A. Establish “Business Concierge” program (staffed by City’s new Economic Development Coordinator) and supporting “Quick Response Team” (representatives of other City departments with permitting or project approval roles)

B. Conduct annual review of Pinole’s business/development fee schedules (and survey of competitor’s fees); recommend fee adjustments as needed to maintain competitive position

Major Initiative 5: Business/ Development Friendliness

A. Implement “Reposition Retail” Strategy (see separate box for Sub-Strategy 5A below)

B. Study feasibility of Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) (see separate box for Sub-Strategy 5B below)

C. Systematically review City’s land use plans and policies to ensure alignment with EDS objectives (see separate box for Sub-Strategy 5C below)

SUB-STRATEGY 5A: Implement “reposition retail” initiative to facilitate revitalization and/or repurposing of high-vacancy shopping centers based on potential market demand for other land uses (including “tech flex” space, office, residential and mixed-use)

A. Initiate contact with ownership/management of key shopping centers to assess interest in revitalizing and/or redeveloping properties and to determine means by which City could facilitate/incentivize action on revitalization

B. Investigate potential applicability of Federal and State authorized “tools” to increase the feasibility of redevelopment/reinvestment actions (see list of potential tools below); for example, available ARPA funds could potentially be utilized to incentivize/leverage private investment in shopping center revitalization

SUB-STRATEGY 5B: Study feasibility of Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD)

A. Conduct preliminary (no cost) discussions with consultant firms experienced in establishing EIFD’s to get initial assessment of applicability to Pinole and general estimate of City costs involved

B. Investigate potential for utilizing ARPA funds (or other external resources) to pay for upfront costs associated with establishing an EIFD

C. Based on the above, prepare recommended course of action for consideration of City Manager and City Council

SUB-STRATEGY 5C: Systematically review City’s land use plans and policies to ensure alignment with EDS objectives

  1. Convene working group (consisting of City Manager, Community Development Department staff and Public Works staff) to review existing land use plans and policies relevant to the EDS, and identify any existing policies that could be improved to achieve EDS objectives related to development/ redevelopment capacity
  2. Through the working group noted above, determine the need for (and potential scope of) Specific Plan refinements, taking into account potential interface with EDS initiatives and potential synergies with the recent General Plan Update process
  3. To the extent needed Specific Plan refinements (and/or other desired changes in land use policy) are extensive enough to warrant consultant support (which is not a foregone conclusion at this time), establish preliminary budget for consultant effort (based on initial estimates from multiple prospective consultants)
  4. Investigate potential for utilizing ARPA funds to pay for the Specific Plan refinements (or other policy updates requiring consultant support) E. Based on the above, prepare recommended course of action for consideration of City Council

Major Initiative 6: Workforce interface

  1. Establish and facilitate periodic meetings of a “Pinole Workforce Development Consortium” (including representatives of the partner organizations listed below); this action item would serve the following major purposes:

o Coordination of the various service providers related to workforce training to ensure consistent dissemination of information about available programs/resources

o Facilitating useful connections between employers and training organizations

B. In tandem with partners, establish ongoing mechanisms to improve connection between employers and education/training resources
2024 Economic Development Summit

On February 15, 2024 the City hosted an Economic Development Summit. This specialized information session aimed to connect the City with key stakeholders identified in the Economic Development Strategy.

Cover of EDS
Old Town