The city of Powell has unveiled a study commissioned through a market-analysis firm that details the types of housing and commercial developments the city needs.

In 2018, Powell commissioned Vogt Strategic Insights to perform the study. According to Vogt’s report, the company used “a combination of demographic and expenditure data, interviews with local stakeholders and experts, and our own expertise and experience” to generate its findings.

City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said the study cost $27,500. She said that cost was split evenly between the city and the Powell Community Improvement Corp., the city's economic-development arm.

Canavan said the city is in the process of sharing the study’s results with residents, and said its findings will be used by a variety of city boards and leaders moving forward.

“This specific marketing analysis will be a helpful tool that the planning and zoning commission, City Council and planning department can use as they work with businesses and review proposed development plans,” she said

“It’s going to be a helpful tool for the different departments and the CIC to have as a resource.”

The city held a public forum Feb. 21, described by Canavan as “well-attended,” to announce the results of the study with a presentation from Vogt representatives.

According to the study, Powell has a lack of apartment housing, is nearly “built-out” with single-family housing and could use a downtown business organization, in addition to a variety of recommendations in several specific areas of the city.

The report found that 64 percent of all Powell rental units are detached single-family houses, which means that a “disproportionately low share” of Powell rental-housing options are conventional apartments.

The study’s summary explains that Vogt believes rental housing developments in Powell are “paramount to the long-term success of the community,” and shows that Powell can support the development of up to 800 “conventional market-rate apartments” over the next five years.

Vogt found that opportunity for additional single-family housing is slim, and suggests annexation “may be necessary” to achieve an appropriate number of single-family housing units.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Powell’s housing market is declining.

The study found that demand for housing in Powell continues to be strong, while average house pricing is still on the rise.

The commercial portion of the study was broken into eight different sections, each with specific recommendations.

In the downtown district, for instance, Vogt found that adding more housing units would “help to support business,” while a downtown business organization – modeled after Worthington’s Old Worthington Partnership – would support the downtown economy by “helping downtown businesses in their efforts to draw more visitors.”

For more information on the study, go to cityofpowell.us.

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