Urban Research & Development Corporation
Landscape Architecture and Planning
Economic Development and Special Studies
URDC has performed economic development studies for counties, sub-county regions, and municipalities throughout Pennsylvania. Our work includes identifying suitable sites for business/industrial development, determining areas for business attraction in which our clients excel and those that need improvement. We identify potential projects, funding, and can provide our clients with pro forma analyses of business finances. We also examine the strengths and shortcomings of local work force skills and recommend ways to better match local skills to current and potential employment opportunities. Our economic development services are targeted to helping our clients develop and implement successful business plans.
URDC also performs special studies in areas not previously identified. Our staff is qualified to perform required housing market analyses and needs assessments for low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. We also prepare studies in other specialized areas, many of which relate to our primary areas of expertise, including:
School district enrollment projections and demographic analyses
Heritage plans to identify and develop areas that speak to the area’s history
Transition plans to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Land use assumption studies required in Pennsylvania to assess impact fees
AFFORDABLE HOUSING MARKET STUDIES
URDC has been preparing market studies for affordable housing complexes for more than 25 years. We work with both private developers and non-profit organizations to analyze the market for both family housing and units for senior residents. Many of our market analyses are done according to the guidelines for tax credit financing administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). Recent successful projects include:
Mann Edge Terrace, Lewistown
Mann Edge II, Lewistown
Grove Street Commons, Williamsport
The Old School on Luzerne, West Pittston
Lehigh Coal & Navigation Bldg., Jim Thorpe
Cedar 500, Scranton
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Scranton
Mill Race Commons, Montoursville
Parkside Manor, Montoursville
EPHRATA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STUDY
URDC created a strategic economic development program for the Borough of Ephrata. The purpose of this study is to create central leadership and direction for implementing economic development in the Borough. The Ephrata Comprehensive Plan outlines many economic development goals and needs to be accomplished in the Borough. The plan includes information on demographics, existing conditions and analysis of Ephrata's existing economic development related entities, a strategy for implementing the goals and objectives of Ephrata's economic development program as "Discover Ephrata", methodology and implementation.
MACARTHUR PARKWAY, WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, PA
This plan studies the past, present and future of MacArthur Road south of Route 22 to the City of Allentown border. The study area includes sections of Jordan Parkway, Mickley Road, Sumner Avenue and N. Sixth Street. The plan includes information on demographics, traffic, pedestrian and bicycle circulation, land use and zoning, park and recreation, historic preservation, business retention/reinvestment, signage, and many other factors related to revitalization efforts.
SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC UTILITY INDUSTRY
URDC has assisted Electric Utilities, including PPL and others, in preparing land use and environmental studies that are used in the siting of high voltage transmission line routes throughout PA. URDC has also prepared the Exhibit R - Public Recreation Use Plans that are licensing requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing for the utility land holdings and the impounded bodies of water serving hydro power plants of Electric Utility Companies.
WESTERN MARYLAND RAIL TRAIL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY
URDC completed a study on the economic impact of the 23-mile Western Maryland Rail Trail for the Town of Hancock in Washington County, MD. The Study findings were used to assess the direct impact of the WMRT to the Town of Hancock and identify new commercial opportunities. The WMRT is estimated to generate $2.9 million in annual gross direct spending from approximately 95,000 user visits from URDC’s 2006 study.