Lynn professors assess land development in the city of Lake Worth

Farazmand says Lake Worth must decide between allocating land to small residential homes or to commercial high rises

Published May. 30, 2012

Farideh Farazmand, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.In April 2011, Farideh Farazmand, professor of international business in Lynn’s College of Business and Management, began assisting the city of Lake Worth with a Fiscal Impact Analysis of Land Development project.

“The conversations started when Lynn business students were offered internships at the city of Lake Worth,” said Farazmand. “When Lynn faculty members asked what we could do to help, the city and former vice mayor [current city commissioner] Suzanne Mulvehill suggested a fiscal impact analysis. City officials provided us with the data and models we needed to complete the report including actual budget, property appraisers’ information, employment number and tax revenue.” 

Farazmand, who collaborated on the project with Lynn business professors Robert Green and Mike Petroski, assessed the total cost, revenue and net financial impact of new residential and commercial property land development projects for Lake Worth using 2010 data.

“The results have provided baselines to estimate the net (revenue – expense) financial impacts of land development proposals for the city of Lake Worth,” said Farazmand. “The project was completed in January of this year (2012), and we presented our findings to City Commissioner Mulvehill at that time.”

Although the study’s findings are thorough and diverse, Farazmand, Petroski and Green found that positive net impact is higher for businesses. This is due to higher tax revenue and lower service costs of business units compared to residential units. However, according to Mulvehill, Lake Worth has a need for more small homes. Also the costs of losing the historical nature of Lake Worth to the high rise business buildings are not part of the model and have not been included in the estimation. 

“There are a lot of immigrants in Lake Worth where the residential situation is not good,” said Farazmand. “If the project moves in the direction of developing more high rises, the loss to the historical nature of the city and allocation of less resources to small homes for the residents of Lake Worth will be the results.” 

In addition, Farazmand concluded that “destroying a historical building is another cost for putting up a high rise or putting another business in place of it, and preserving these buildings can benefit not only the environment, but also the flow of revenues from tourism to the city of Lake Worth.”

Farazmand, who specializes in public finance and urban and regional economies, has completed the city of Lake Worth’s Fiscal Impact Analysis of Land Development, but she would entertain the idea of conducting another similar study.

More on Farazmand:

Farazmand teaches a variety of classes on macroeconomics, international business, international finance, global business and urban and regional economics. She is an expert in macroeconomics and global issues and at the intersections of political and economic issues. In this role, she can speak to the media on current economic issues, the effects of oil prices after a natural disaster and the changing role of business and government due to globalization.