LA City Council Approves Recommendations for New Economic Development Agencies


On February 5, 2013, the City Council of Los Angeles voted unanimously in support of a new framework for the City’s economic development structure prepared by HR&A. HR&A was engaged in late 2012 by the City Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst of the City of Los Angeles to analyze and recommend a new approach to citywide economic development following the State-mandated elimination of Community Redevelopment Agencies throughout California, including the Los Angeles CRA, and the lingering effects of the Great Recession. HR&A led a team that included ICF International and Renata Simril.


HR&A’s report recommends a new public-private structure for delivering economic development services in Los Angeles, including strategic planning for growth, real estate-related services, and business and industry-related services. The new model would include:


  1. A new Economic Development Department (EDD) to consolidate certain economic development functions from existing City entities;
  2. A new, nimble, independent, transaction-oriented Citywide Economic Development Nonprofit (CEDN) partner, with majority private-sector governance, operating under a contract with the City; and
  3. An empowered Deputy Mayor for Economic Development charged with ensuring coordination among the EDD, CEDN, other related City departments, City proprietary agencies, and external economic development stakeholders.


Once operational, this proposed structure would provide the organizational platform required for the City to create new jobs, attract new business and industries, remain competitive on the global stage in the 21st Century, and increase General Fund revenues.


The recommendations presented in the report are based on the HR&A project team’s analysis of interviews with more than 80 key stakeholders involved in economic development throughout Los Angeles, including General Managers of City departments, business leaders, nonprofits, developers, and community-based organizations; an online survey sent to an additional 130 local stakeholders; detailed analysis of department and agency budget documents, supplemented by additional interviews with department and agency management; review of ongoing work by local universities and non-profits; and detailed case studies of eight U.S. cities with high-performing economic development organizational structures.


Available for download are the HR&A report.