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Economic Development Strategy for Powell, OH

May 12, 2023

Powell OhioThe Challenge

The City of Powell is a suburb of the Columbus, OH, metro area. The city has experienced substantial population growth over the last decade, driven by a strong market in Central Ohio.

Historically, the city has been a bedroom community of the metro region situated near some of the region’s biggest entertainment draws including the Columbus Zoo. Yet, Powell has its own notable commercial and service sector, including a historic downtown with a well-established food and beverage scene that continues to see new offerings.

With positive market forces at Powell’s door, it is imperative that Powell grow at a rate and scale that is authentic to the character of the community while also progressing overall service offerings and supporting a fiscally sound City budget.

The Solution

The Powell Development Corporation (PDC) retained Camoin Associates to develop the city’s first-ever economic development strategy, along with an organizational assessment that would help the PDC grow its capacity and portfolio offerings.

Camoin Associates analyzed how Powell’s market opportunities fit within the larger context of the metropolitan region, including the significant investments occurring in and around the city. This includes a $133.9 million investment by Ohio State University in Powell for a 251,000-square-foot outpatient care center, which will be the largest single economic development project in the city’s history. Powell is also close to Intel’s mega site in New Albany, where thousands of new jobs and additional ripple effects are expected in the coming years.

The Impact

On-the-ground conversations facilitated by Camoin Associates have fueled spirited discussions among City staff, the business community, and residents. These conversations have brought to light an honest assessment of where the PDC and the City may need to adjust and evolve to prepare for market opportunities.

Camoin Associates developed an action plan matrix that establishes near-term priorities that will enable the PDC to accomplish more in the coming years. The City is also ready to hire a full-time economic and community development staff member who will be able to proactively manage Powell’s evolution.