Publishing Available Property Information

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With the recent downturn in the economy over the past few years, two
of the biggest challenges for local government are retaining businesses
within their communities and promoting available facilities or real
estate for new businesses or future development. To assist with making
this kind of information more accessible, the City of Des Plaines
Community and Economic Development (CED) Department turned to the city’s
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department to develop a basic
mapping tool on the city’s website where interested parties could view
the location of an available space within the city and obtain basic
information such as the property leasing agency name, amount of space
available, and property cost per square foot.

To reach that goal, the CED department provided a list of known
available spaces within the city to the GIS staff, which was then mapped
out and formatted as needed to provide a clean collection of data for
general consumption. Once the data was made available in a GIS
format, it was added as a display layer to an existing mapping
application available on the city’s website, called MapOffice™. Once
the data was made available as a display layer, a weblink was added to
the website’s Available Building and Sites page that not only allows a
user to launch the map, but also turns on the available site layer so it
is automatically displayed for viewing. Using this approach removes
the need to provide instructions to the map user on how display this
information for use.

The primary goal of this project was to not only provide information
about each available space, but to give the context of where each
property is located within the city. Making this information available
for consumption in a spatial environment helps to maximize the impact
of external factors surrounding the property that might make it more
attractive to prospective businesses, thereby increasing the chance it
will be purchased or leased.