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Griffin selects firm to develop housing analysis, redevelopment plan

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City officials selected APD Solutions Real Estate Group, a national community economic development consulting firm, to conduct the study.

Under its contract, APDS is responsible for collecting, presenting and making recommendations to the city based on property conditions and demographic data. The APDS team will gather and catalog housing types, vacancy data, inventories of commercial developments and other key information for the purpose of creating a data set that identifies specific and unique neighborhood characteristics. The study will also provide critical information on the economic challenges and opportunities for all Griffin neighborhoods and select sections of Spalding County.

“The information we gather in this housing analysis will help us identify and implement strategic redevelopment opportunities,” Director of Planning Toussaint Kirk said. “With this comprehensive review of each parcel, we will be better able to work with all stakeholders and identify plans that have the highest and most valuable impact.”

The analysis project will be conducted in two phases, according to a press release from the city.

The first phase will include an assessment of the city’s current residential housing stock. The second phase concludes with strategic recommendations for city leaders and key stakeholders to seek and attract investment opportunities in various neighborhoods.

For the last several years, APDS has been conducting real estate due diligence and market analysis services for public and private sector clients.

“Each real estate project we engage in usually starts with some form of analysis to help understand real estate market realities, demographics, trends and intangibles occurring seen and unseen,” APDS Chief Executive Officer Vaughn D. Irons said. “We decided we would take our efforts to the next level and try some new innovations for the city of Griffin.”

One innovation is the use of technology in the neighborhood assessment efforts. APDS project management and information technology staff developed an Android-based application for the purposes of collecting data in the field.

For the Griffin study, there are nearly 10,000 parcels of residential real estate being evaluated.

“One of the things that extends the timeline and increases costs is the physical assessment of each parcel,” Irons added. “With our use of technology, we are able to cut our time in half and the city’s costs exponentially in a time when cost savings really matter.”

The consulting firm will also conduct a web-based survey of local stakeholders so that there will be comprehensive input provided by local residents and business owners.

APDS works with local governments and housing community organizations to address their need to jump start and revitalize communities hardest hit by market-based challenges, the press release states.

Submitted to Griffin Daily News May 24, 2017.