Commonwealth Strategic Partners Case Study:

Securing Economic Development through Consensus-Building and Adaptive Funding

Download PDF Version

Seeking to establish a manufacturing facility for prefabricated homes in Clarion County, Pennsylvania, commercial real estate developer Greystar initially sought only legislative help from Commonwealth Strategic Partners. What began as a request to facilitate unified support from local legislators, transformed into a deeper opportunity to develop the local economy, garner broad community support, create jobs, and enact meaningful change in the region.

“We realized the project was big, promising, and required adaptive problem-solving to secure both financial and community support,” said Director of Pennsylvania Operations, Sean Schafer. “We set to work not only locating viable funding options through the Commonwealth, but also engaging the community as a valued partner in the project.”

First and foremost, CSP established trust and dynamic working relationships with local legislative leaders, forging a consensus and spirit of enthusiasm regarding the value of Greystar’s proposed facility. With unified legislative support, CSP likewise promoted and discussed Greystar’s project with local residents and community leaders, emphasizing transparency and the myriad economic benefits of the proposed development.

“Following the success of the consensus-building process, we asked Greystar if they had considered an RCAP grant as a possibility to secure supplemental funding for the project. Once we outlined the potential advantages of the grant, our path moving forward was clear,” Schafer said.

RCAP or Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants are state-funded and “support the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects.” Since processing and selection for an RCAP grant is highly competitive, CSP prioritized developing persuasive and compelling grant language to advance Greystar’s initial proposal and include it in a Capital Budget Bill. They also communicated and networked with the Governor, as well as House and Senate leadership, to generate enthusiasm and formidable support for the project.

“We’re happy to say that our initial proposal submitted on behalf of Greystar was recently passed through the State legislature. We’re now guiding the proposal through the final stages of the grant process and feel very confident that Greystar’s receipt of the RCAP grant is forthcoming,” Schafer remarked.

By advancing and legitimizing Greystar’s brand locally, enlisting the support of elected officials and citizens, and locating a promising supplemental funding source for Greystar’s manufacturing development, CSP demonstrated its ongoing capacity to empower its clients while investing in the continued well-being of the people and places of Pennsylvania. Importantly, CSP was well-positioned to help Greystar navigate the complexities of the state governmental process to ensure that their proposal was heard, recognized for its value, and advanced to the final stages of award consideration.

“We and Greystar are awaiting good news,” Schafer said. “This RCAP funding will guarantee that the legislative and community support we’ve cultivated in Clarion County will come to fruition and bring tangible benefits to the region.”