In his second week on the job, Upper Arlington's new community and economic development manager Bob Lamb said he's already seeing a lot of things he likes about the community.

In his second week on the job, Upper Arlington's new community and economic development manager Bob Lamb said he's already seeing a lot of things he likes about the community.

"It's a really good mix of businesses in the area," Lamb said. "From what I've seen so far, it's a good mix of both corporate and local businesses, which is a really nice community to work with. You can find ways to partner up the locals and nationals together and utilize some of the resources that both bring to the table to help others with questions that might come up."

Lamb began work with the city on March 13, after serving for five years as the economic development administrator for Glendale, Ariz., a city of about 233,000.

In the new position, Lamb's role will include working closely with the Upper Arlington Community Improvement Corp. (CIC), the board of zoning and planning (BZAP), the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce and to represent the city at the regional level. He will also be responsible for implementing objectives in Upper Arlington's master plan.

Lamb said the UA city staff shows some of the same excitement for their community that he found in Glendale.

"Going through the hiring process, I felt a good connection with (staff), and the excitement they have for the community. That's what pulled me in," he said.

"I believe Upper Arlington is really well-positioned over the next several years to capitalize on what's been going on in the economy. It's a closed-in suburb right up against Columbus, and I think you're going to see a lot of fill-in projects come along over the next few years," he said. "I think Upper Arlington has a lot of commercial property that's positioned well to capitalize on that."

Lamb said during his first few weeks with the city he has been familiarizing himself with areas of redevelopment focus such as Lane Avenue and Kingsdale, as well as planning a business retention program.

"Business retention is a core of any community," he said. "Eighty percent of your existing business opportunities come from businesses that are already in your community, and new jobs stem from that. Having a good business retention program is key for any community."

When asked if UA's status as a landlocked and primarily residential community would present a challenge in terms of economic development, Lamb responded optimistically.

"I don't know if 'challenge' is the right word," he said. "I think it creates a unique position, and it's something fun to be able to work on and tackle by community leaders. It's finding the best way to use the parcels in existence to the benefit of the community and the residents."

Originally from Ohio, Lamb said he's excited to be back in the Midwest.

"Glendale was an exciting place to work, but I really wanted to come home to Ohio," he said. "My wife has a lot of family in the Columbus and Cincinnati area, and most of my family is in Cleveland, so the Columbus region is perfect for us."