Economic Development

"Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. " Ed McMahon, the Conservation Fund

We help communities find the right mindset and position in the emerging people-and-place-based economy where "place" matters more than "location," innovation matters, bigger is not necessarily better and talent drives business choices. Our portfolio includes strategies that use arts, cultural and heritage organizations as anchors, and others that integrate emerging agricultural amenities. Our economic development practice informs our perspective on community planning and enables us to build successful initiatives that create work and wealth for local residents. We recognize that many northeastern communities are built-out, and land for new development is scarce, so we are specialists in neighborhood mixed-use, mixed-age and mixed-income infill neighborhood development. We have experience envisioning new LEED ND neighborhoods expressing the best of green urbanism to putting urban 19th century industrial land into 21st century commercial use by evaluating market realities, structuring relocation strategies and identifying cost effective clean-up standards.

A partial list of our economic development work includes:


River Street Planning & Development
4 Ridge Road
Troy, New York 12180

Phone: 518.273.8980


About River Street

River Street Planning & Development, LLC is a NYS Certified Woman Business Enterprise owned by Margaret Irwin, formed in 1997 with offices in Troy, New York. The company employs five staff members and provides services to a diverse group of organizations including Federal, state, county, and municipal governments of all sizes, public agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, universities, investors and developers in the northeastern United States.  Services offered include public meeting planning and facilitation, focus groups, mediation, economic development, downtown and Main Street revitalization, design and administration of small business support programs, land use planning, zoning, historic preservation, and housing and commercial market analysis. River Street specializes in facilitating community engagement and identifying a consensus vision that can be shared and supported by diverse stakeholders. We offer an effective, outcome-oriented approach that builds consensus and community capacity, strengthens local leadership and shapes community pride and vision –  vital ingredients for successful community action.

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