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Economic & Community Development

We partner with organizations working to strengthen the economic vitality and social fabric of communities. Our approach to economic and community development puts community needs first to create development plans that grow from a place of trust and shared goals.

Public Works Partners practices an equity-centered approach to economic and community development that leaves no one behind in the pursuit of growth.

We enable communities to pursue networks not just of traditional capital and community wealth building, but the social and cultural capital necessary to take charge of their own prosperity.

Our strategy is based on engaging individuals and the constellation of public sector and nonprofit community-based organizations that serve them. We conduct effective community and business needs assessments and translate them into actionable recommendations geared towards generating economic prosperity. At the end of the day, we understand that economic development must be viewed holistically and at multiple scales, which may mean we partner with an established affordable housing developer one day, the operator of a local bakery with a youth workforce development program the next, and a growing business improvement district the day after that.

Source: MD Duran

Our Impact

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Public Works Partners was engaged by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to help jump-start the process for reactivating the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal by convening a task force of local business owners and nonprofit leaders. We relied upon a keen understanding of the dynamics within the community and among the task force members to develop effective facilitation approaches. Less than six months after we began, NYCEDC was able to issue a request for proposals to use the site that included the task force’s consensus-driven goals.

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Leaning on its expertise in nonprofit program design, workforce development policy, and small-scale food & beverage production, Public Works helped Hot Bread Kitchen create a small business program framework and an accompanying series of evaluation metrics for the anticipated relaunch of its incubator kitchen.

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In response to a New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) funding opportunity for innovative ways to support a cluster of emerging small businesses, we informed the development of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s proposal to develop a shared distribution system for emerging Brooklyn-based food and beverage manufacturers.

Celeste Frye, AICP

Founder & CEO

Melissa Lee, CNU-A


Benjamin Martinez Newman

Senior Manager

Daniel McCombie, AICP

Senior Manager

Related Projects

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