Friday, October 26, 2012

"ONE REDMOND" Chairman Bill Biggs gives progress report to Redmond city council

UPDATED:  Bill Biggs, V.P. Administrative Services for Group Health and Chair of Redmond Economic Development Association (REDA) gave Council a progress report on ONE REDMOND (OR) this Tuesday during their study session.  Mr. Biggs was introduced as the new Chair of OR. 

Biggs defined OR as an organization that "integrates community development, business retention, and business recruitment and choreographs how they connect and work together."   He said integration of the city into OR is important to land new businesses. 

Andrea Lachmann of PS Business Parks and Chair of the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce and Nancy McCormick, a Director of Realize Redmond (RR) and Past Redmond Council President were present and gave insight into how their organizations would fold into OR.  REDA, the Chamber and RR planned to finalize their recommendations for a OR work plan yesterday with a specific work plan expected by December, 2013. 

Chair Biggs said "assimilation of the Chamber of Commerce into One Redmond is going very well and this week we'll bring that to culmination." He said the legacy of the chamber is business retention and that chamber staff will be folded into OR.  Biggs said OR will keep the Chamber brand and maintain it's association with the Eastside and National Chambers.  On web searches it will be found rostered under ONE REDMOND. 

Andrea Lachmann wrote a thorough update on ONE REDMOND in the October 2012 Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce newsletter.   I recommend you read it here. 

McCormick said Realize Redmond is aligned with OR in their mission to develop the community by focusing on:  a sense of place, community involvement, cultural attributes, cultural diversity, and quality educational system.  She said they've been involved with writing the By-Laws of OR during a quiet fundraising period. 

Councilmember Tom Flynn asked if Realize Redmond was still fundraising for the Downtown Park and McCormmick no, it's delayed.  Mayor Marchione said park construction isn't planned untill 2016-2017 with 2014 being a "design year" and 2013 a "community input year."  (write:

President Vache' said the $50,000 feasibility study showed the Downtown Park was not a top priority.  Chair Biggs said "the first park priority is what happens in and around the park, the buzz, and how it creates a sense of place and attraction to the people to visit here, work here, and live here."  He hadn't seen traction from the community side to see how the park would perform.  Read More >>

Councilmember Hank Myers asked about the need for municipal involvement in the three private non government organizations.  Biggs said city integration with economic development associations is common in the country, referring to Bellevue, Kirkland, and Renton.  He indicated the city can help attract new business with entitled zoned property, building permits, and transit facilitation - resources only the city can provide.  The Mayor has proposed a $200,000 commitment to OR in his 2013-14 Preliminary Budget.

Chair Biggs said OR is in the quiet phase of fundraising and moving toward a public phase in December and more noticeably in January.  He is looking for five-year fundraising commitments rather than tying up resources with continuous efforts.  OR is hiring a consultant, interim executive in November to write a business plan for next year.  A national search for executive leadership is expected early next year.  The By-Laws are in place and OR is looking for office space. 

By Bob Yoder

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