Expanding economic development becomes more important - yet difficult - during a financial downturn. Annika Schilke is ready for the challenge.
Schilke took on the new role of assistant city planner and economic development specialist for Urbandale on Nov. 10. The position has a starting salary of $39,080.
"I was particularly interested in the economic development aspect of this position," she said. "Plus, I've fallen in love with this area."
Thats the introduction... now for future plans...
Planning for future
In addition to current available retail space, Urbandale has 1,000 acres of land for new commercial development along the Interstate Highway 35/80 corridor. While there isn't a high demand for that space right now, Schilke sees that changing during the coming decade.
"As Urbandale and the western suburbs continue to grow, demand for retail space and services will be higher, so we'll be able to fill all that space and more in the future," she said.
Schilke believes Urbandale's response to economic development has been as aggressive as surrounding cities. To continue this, she hopes her new position will "allow the city to be more proactive, and be better able to execute its marketing plan, respond quickly to inquiries about land use and incentives and better track available land and buildings."
"We really want to make the process at the city level more user-friendly and inviting," she said.
Be nice to see more of this kind of talk, wouldn't it??