Identifying an Appropriate Site

The process of choosing the right location should be a collaborative one.

Here we are going to leverage previous analyses to target a site for potential development.

This tutorial will walk you through the process of choosing a location, figuring out what type of business might be best, and also how to share this analysis with others like financial lenders, local officials, retailers, etc. Each of the previous tutorials used different towns to collect the data. In this tutorial, we will combine the data and assume it was all done for the town of Osceola.

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Decide What To Build

Collect your existing documents

Assuming you have ran through the previous tutorials, you should now have enough useful data to make a defensible decision about what type of business to development or attract for development. A good idea is to go through each file you have downloaded and make a note about the main takeaway for that particular file.

For example, in the Market Analysis section we learned from the Retail Market Potential document that a lot residents in our town support products that are environmental safe and considered a “green” product. Most importantly, they behave in this manner to a greater extent than the average American.

Another example is what we learned from the Retail MarketPlace Profile, which showed us that our town is losing a lot of potential local investment to outside Health and Personal Care Stores.

If we had survey results from our community we would use those results to very heavily shape our decisions for site identification.

Using the data we have, let’s to make a decision to build an Environmental safe and “green” business that focuses on Health and Personal Care.


Decide Where to Build

Utilize your existing spatial layers

Now go through all the spatial data you created. If you went through the Inventory tutorial, you should have created a downtown service area boundary, parking data, and demographic information. Open up each layer and view them in Google Earth.

Looking at some of your spatial layers

In the Creating a Downtown Inventory Tutorial, you downloaded a Parcel layer for Mississippi County and saved it in your 00_Source_Folder. In Google Earth, click File>Open…, browse to and select the parcels *.kml and click Open to add the parcels to Google Earth.

Parcel layer

Now update the parcel symbology to make it easier to view. You can change the symbology for all parcels by right-clicking the the parcels layer in the Google Earth Places panel and selecting Properties. In the Edit Folder window, click the Style, Color tab and click Share Style to assign any changes to symbology to all features in this folder. Now update the Lines symbology and set the Area as Outlined. This will symbolize the parcels as outlined with no fill so that you can see the underlying imagery.

Adjusting the style of the parcel layer.

The goal here is to use all of the resources at your disposal to help you make an informed decision.

Look for vacant or underutilized areas that are adjacent to existing development and seem to be ripe for a new business or upgrades.

Looking for vacant parcels, decide which might be best for a new business

Once you have identified your site, use the polygon tool to create an outline of the site. Save this layer as you will want to use it layer.

Create layer for your selected site

Save your layer

You could also take a screenshot of your selected site by clicking File>Save>Save Image… to save the current view as a JPEG image that can be emailed to your stakeholders or inserted into a report.

How to save an image selected site

Saved image of our sitee

For more information and resources, check out the next tab below. To continue working towards downtown redevelopment choose from the following:


Useful links:

Utilizing GIS-Based Site Selection for Location Suitability in the Twin Cities
Top 10 Common Mistakes in Retail Site Selection
Powerpoint on Trade Areas and Retail Site Selection