Category Archives: Economic Development

Economic Development Studies

Master Planning Reports to Secure Revitalization Funding

Creating Economic Development Studies as amendments to Comprehensive Plans helps secure and meet state funding grant requirements to revitalize communities.

Shaping your Vision

Barth Consulting Group creates data-driven Economic Development Studies to analyze a community through resident and business surveys, town hall meetings and with detailed research reports summarizing community engagement and aspirations. The finalized Economic Studies provide insight and pathways into how you can Revitalize your town.

These Economic Development studies address common issues that plague many communities such as blighted properties, vacant storefronts, sustainable municipal revenues, and unwanted or undesired development and offer solutions to fix these problems.

What is an Economic Development Study Plan?

Municipal Economic Development Studies unify and articulate a community’s vision by forging a partnership from amongst municipal leaders, businesses, organizations, and residents gaining first-hand perspectives to craft their own future with new and desired development. This process assists elected officials in shaping a shared community vision, created by voters and is based on the collective goals of the entire community.

A completed Economic Development Study is then approved by elected officials through resolution, then amended into the municipality’s Comprehensive Plan, thus qualifying them for state grant programs. State organizations such as the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) require current Economic Development plans to be in place before awarding grants. These plans outline strategic goals, show community support and define clear action plans to achieve project goals.

Examples of successful Grant Awards for our municipal clients include a $100,000 DVRPC Main Street Economic Development Study that led to a $600,000 Multi-Modal Sidewalk Grant for New Britain Borough and a $30,000 DVRPC Parks Master Planning Grant for Main Street Hatboro.

Barth Consulting Group provides strategic and high-level consulting for municipalities to design and facilitate strategies shaped through community engagement. This Development by Design™ process takes into account the dynamic and ever-changing economics within communities and how they interrelate and impact each other.


Economic Development – Measuring the Returns

A Blighted Project Case Study – Perkasie, PA

Perkasie Borough is a charming, Victorian-era town with 8,500 residents. It’s branded tagline is “America’s Hometown,” for its Norman Rockwell-like setting and beauty. Perkasie boasts America’s Oldest Tree Lighting Ceremony dating to 1909 and recorded with the US House of Representatives.

Perkasie’s Town Center was largely destroyed by fire in 1988. There had been no major development of any kind for 20 years. Perkasie’s dynamic Borough Council initiated a new visioning and forward thinking Comprehensive Plan in 2013 and hired Barth Consulting Group to collaborate with the Bucks County Planning Commission who produced the plan.

Case Study: Perkasie Borough, PA

  • Redeveloping a blighted, 16-acre Industrial Complex
  • 165,000 sq/ft industrial building
  • High visibility industrial building bordering two parks and shopping center.


  • Company closes
  • Declares Bankruptcy
  • Lays off 50 employees
  • $4 Million Foreclosure Note
  • $1.5 Million DEP Environmental Clean-Up
  • 165,000 sq/ft Industrial Building crumbling and in poor condition
  • BCG courts multiple industrial tenants
  • The $5.5 Million base cost, plus $2.0 Million in renovations do not make this parcel feasible for redevelopment.  Existing industrial properties available that are one third the price.


  • Property sits between two municipal parks
  • Appropriate zoning should be residential
  • Changed zoning from industrial to residential
  • Courted residential town home developers
  • Swapped residential zoning of existing industrial park to retain zoning balance

Economic Development – The Results

  • Perkasie Woods – Ryan Homes
  • 144 – Unit Townhome Complex
  • 101 – Sold as of September 2018 – Average Sale price $345,000
  • Real Estate Transfer Taxes – 101 units @ $345,000 = $34,845,000 @ .5% = $174,225
  • Developer Impact Fees – 1x Dedicated to Parks = $1,500 per unit x 101 = $151,000
  • Perkasie Borough Electric- 1x Tapping Fees = $1,500 per unit = $151,000
  • Perkasie Borough Electric = Approximately $2,000 per household x 101 = $202,000 annually
  • Perkasie Regional Water Authority – 1x Tapping Fees = $979,200
  • Average Household Income = $100,000 x 101 = $10,100,000 Total Income
  • Earned Income Tax on $10,100,000 @ .5% = $50,500 annually
  • New Disposable Income to Perkasie = $10,100,000 supporting all goods and services

The Upside of Economic Development – How the Community Benefits:


  • $100,000 of developer impact fees went directly to Menlo Park for playground improvements and new equipment.
  • Enhancements included-
  • Air Walker (Zip Line)
  • Spiral Adventure (Jungle Gym)
  • Slides
  • Hexagon Net (Spider Web)
  • Swings
  • Improvements to existing  Pavilion
  • Improvement to Parks drainage system

Contact Us For More Information or for a free consultation


Economic Development – Revenue Beyond Your Current Tax Base

Economic Development

Beyond Your Current Tax Base

Balancing your budget without increasing taxes or cutting services….

Economic vitality increases municipal tax revenues through increased Real Estate Transfer Taxes, Earned Income Taxes, Local Service Taxes all the while revitalizing your downtown and repurposing blighted buildings.

Increasing tax ratables through strategic economic development leads to new revenue streams that can be reinvested back into the community.

Orchestrating this cycle of prosperity takes visioning, imagination, and planning.

Revealing the Revenue

Client: Main Street Hatboro, Hatboro, PA 19040

  • $25 Million – Toll Brothers – Hatboro Station
  • 72 – Unit Transportation Oriented Development
  • Opened – April 2018 – 25 Units Sold of 72 to date
  • Average Price: $366,000
  • Townhomes sales total $9,150,000 Million in 2018
  • Generating: $47,500 – Real Estate Transfer Taxes,
  • $18,750 – New Earned Income Taxes

Client: Perkasie Borough, Perkasie PA 18944

  • $43 Million – Ryan Homes – Perkasie Woods
  • 144 – Townhome Project
  • 72 – Units sold – Average Sale price – $300,000
  • Townhome sales as of 2018 total – $21,600,000
  • Real Estate Transfer Taxes = $108,000
  • Developer Impact Fees to Borough Parks – $1,500 per unit = $108,000
  • Borough Electric Utility Tapping Fees – $1,500 per unit = $108,000

Client: New Britain Borough, New Britain, PA 18901

  • Commercial Real Estate Sales – 3rd Quarter 2018 = $8.2 Million
  • Real Estate Transfer Taxes related to sales = $41,000

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