Inside Our Work

CIB goes beyond consulting and community planning. We deliver results that are borne out of decades of experience, strong relationships, and continual success serving communities of all sizes. By eliminating barriers to development and opening doors to new resources, we discover creative solutions to development challenges. We combine community planning with marketing, branding and implementation strategies; building tools for communities to transform their vision into reality while being a collaborative and trustworthy partner in every step. We work closely with community leaders to construct a unique path to meaningful growth.

As a technical assistance consultant for MEDC’s RRC Certification program, CIB has helped many Michigan communities plan for new investment and reinvestment, identify assets and opportunities, focus limited resources, attract and retain businesses, and streamline development approval processes. CIB’s team of passionate, committed experts have the real-life experience and every-day practice that goes beyond consulting—by  integrating economic development strategies with place branding & marketing strategies, we build customized, thorough, and creative step-by-step plans for communities of all sizes. Learn more here.

CIB’s team has in-house expertise to craft customized marketing and branding strategies that outline deliberate steps to tell a community’s story to the people who need to hear it. CIB Marketing’s approach involves a five-step discovery process. We gather the facts, then we analyze the facts; we set the direction; we execute the vision; and finally, we measure our efforts. Learn more here.

Accelerate: A Plan for Regional Prosperity

Accelerate is a unified plan that creates a road map for unified actions leading to jobs, international marketing opportunities and investment. CIB Planning led public involvement efforts, facilitated steering committee meetings and SWOT sessions, assisted in project identification and prioritization and helped write the plan. CIB Planning managed the economic development, public involvement, intergovernmental cooperation, and tax increment financing for this project.

CIB Planning was the lead planning firm for the collaborative planning process for a seven-county area coordinated Federal Economic Development Strategy and State Prosperity Plan. Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Tuscola, Huron, and Sanilac counties in the northeast region of Michigan’s lower peninsula worked to establish, evaluate, prioritize, and develop a unified vision and economic development plan for the prosperity of their region.

Economic Development Strategy: Grand Blanc, MI

The City of Grand Blanc adopted the Economic Development Strategy created by CIB Planning on March 13, 2019. 

The plan is a road map to improve economic vitality through education, infrastructure, regional collaboration, industry, and destination strategies. For example, a collaborative partnership objective includes steps to enter discussions with Grand Blanc Township about the possibility of expanding the city footprint to accommodate new growth opportunities. A destination action item is to continue efforts to make Grand Blanc a destination city with a high quality of life by becoming a Certified Welcoming Community through Welcoming America. CIB Planning continues to assist Grand Blanc throughout the plan’s implementation. To date, the project included leading and facilitating steering committee meetings with SWOT analysis sessions, stakeholder engagement activities, presentations to the planning committee, market research, demographic analysis, and project management.

Tax Increment Financing Assistance (TIFA)

The April/May 2019 issue of the Michigan Planner magazine recently featured an article about a tax increment financing tool developed by CIB Planning. Meridian Township’s DDA is benefiting from the use of this tool in the Village of Okemos’s redevelopment.

A number of properties in the Village of Okemos in Meridian Township (Ingham County) are vacant and deteriorating. What’s more, some of the properties have underground contamination issues that are area-wide and very expensive to clean up. While some state funding is available for cleanup, actual redevelopment of the properties will take additional monies not available from traditional private sources.

Without an alternative financial tool, redevelopment in the Village of Okemos cannot happen. CIB Planning, working with Advanced Redevelopment Solutions and the Meridian Township DDA, went to work developing a financing tool to fund this “gap”. This involved updating the Township’s DDA and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Plan. 

Click here to read the full article.

St. Clair Riverview Plaza

While with LSL Planning, Carmine Avantini was the project manager for preparation of a redevelopment plan for Riverview Plaza in St. Clair, MI. Located in the downtown area, Riverview Plaza was once a shining example of a federal Urban Renewal project of the 1960s. Where once stood a traditional downtown then stood an urban mall, designed to take advantage of its proximity to Palmer Park and the St. Clair River across the street. Unfortunately, the center had difficulty competing with areas shopping centers and experienced associated vacancies.

Building upon ideas generated through stakeholder meetings and public workshops, an innovative plan was prepared for the redevelopment of the center utilizing the existing layout. Interior corridors are to be revitalized with a glass roof system and overhead doors that can be opened on warm days. The center courtyard is to be redeveloped as a recreation and entertainment destination spot facing and opening up to the waterfront. 

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