Phase I - Background

Phase I of the Economic Development Plan focuses on understanding the existing economic climate, conducts a comparative advantage analysis and defines the city's economic development goals.
Economic Trends Report Cover Image
Economic Trends Report
In order to plan for Menlo Park's future economic development, it is important to understand the existing economic climate. To that end, Bay Area Economics was contracted to conduct an Economic Trends Report. The Trends Report includes an analysis of State and Federal data through 2012, a survey of business owners and stakeholder interviews. 
Comparative Economic Advantage Study

Build Public, the consultant selected to assist with the Economic Development Plan, expanded on the Economic Trends Report in the Comparative Economic Advantage Study. The CEAS analyzes Menlo Park’s existing economic conditions in comparison to other Bay Area cities, characterizes the role Menlo Park plays in the regional economy and identifies areas where Menlo Park could improve in order to become more competitive,

Comparative Economic Advantage Study
Part I of the Study compares Menlo Park to a broad list of cities in the Bay Area based on their basic demographics and how well these cities are currently capturing the benefits of the regional innovation economy.

Part II explores whether Menlo Park is well positioned to capture the future benefits of the regional innovation economy by comparing it to smaller a peer group in regards to tax revenue, land use, office space capacity, and transit services.

A set of case studies summarizing successful upzoning and placemaking efforts has also been included to demonstrate the array of strategies being employed by various cities across the region

Economic Development Plan goals

On November 14, 2014, the Economic Development Plan Stakeholder Group met to discuss the findings of the CEAS and to brainstorm Plan goals. The results of this brainstorming session were used by Build Public in their drafting of an Economic Development Plan Goals which were presented to the Stakeholder group on December 9, 2014, in a public meeting. On December 16, 2014, the City Council hosted a study session on efforts to update the Economic Development Plan.

The City Council provided feedback on the Economic Development Goals and suggested potential strategies that will be incorporated into Phase II of drafting the new Economic Development Plan. On January 27, 2015, the City Council approved the Economic Development Plan Goals and directed staff to return with a budget and scope of work for completing Phase II of the Economic Development Plan. The City Council directed Staff to revise the language of one goal in order to ensure consistency with the Specific Plan. The final revised Economic Development Plan Goals returned to City Council as an informational item on February 24, 2015.