Job Description: Economic Development Specialist

How to apply: Please email your resume and cover letter to No phone calls, please.
Competitive salary. Excellent benefits package including health insurance, 401K, and paid time off.

Position Description

The Economic Development Specialist is responsible for the continued advancement of Downtown Roanoke Inc. as a major force for Economic Development in Downtown Roanoke.  The Specialist develops and implements strategies related to retail recruitment and retention, growth of Downtown as a residential neighborhood, developer recruitment, and positioning Downtown as the region’s premier business destination.  Additionally, the Specialist coordinates with relevant government departments and partner organizations to ensure maximum return for Downtown on existing economic development programs.

The Economic Development Specialist reports to the President and works closely with all DRI staff and the Board of Directors to make the Downtown experience exceptional.  It is the responsibility of the Economic Development Specialist to keep the President/CEO sufficiently briefed of economic development related developments.



  • Combine existing and future DRI, City of Roanoke, and Roanoke Regional Partnership strategies into a broadly adopted economic development strategy for Downtown.
  • In coordination with relevant City of Roanoke departments, develop a new strategy for residential development in Downtown.
  • Assist the President in establishing the yearly Economic Development budget.


  • Maintain, and expand access to, DRI’s database of available retail and development opportunities in Downtown.
  • Maintain the on-line database of Downtown Living options (for-sale and for-rent).
  • Identify existing City and State economic development programs and promote their availability to DRI members.
  • Staff the DRI Board of Directors’ Economic Development Committee


  • Coordinate special projects as necessary to advance the accomplishment of relevant DRI ends statements
  • Continue to promote Downtown as Roanoke’s most dynamic residential neighborhood utilizing DRI’s existing Downtown Living brand.
  • Provide street-level management of the organization’s retail recruitment/retention program; utilize relevant City of Roanoke resources to the maximum extent.
  • Closely coordinate with strategic economic development partners including the City of Roanoke’s Economic Development Department, the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to ensure maximum service delivery for DRI stakeholders with limited redundancy.
  • Attend meetings of the Economic Development Authority and Planning Commission as appropriate.
  • Utilize and expand DRI’s existing marketing platforms to position Downtown Roanoke as the premier office destination in the region.
  • Establish and maintain critical downtown statistics including pedestrian and traffic counts, office occupancy/lease rates, retail sales tax, and residential supply/demand information.


  • Provide consistent and accurate reporting against baseline economic indicators for Downtown.
  • Position DRI as the single and comprehensive repository of all economic development research, economic indicators, economic and real estate development incentive program information, and permitting processes.
  • Work cooperatively with DRI staff in order to best achieve the company mission.
  • Complete in a timely and professional manner special projects as assigned by the President/CEO.


Knowledge & Education

  • Understanding of economic development and Main Street principals as well as zoning and permitting processes in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Experience with public and private economic development and/or real estate development organizations.
  • Adept understanding of real estate finance.
  • Proficiency in Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. 
  • Academic background in city/urban planning, public administration, economic development, or real estate/ real estate development; Masters preferred.

Skills & Personal Attributes

  • Excellent interpersonal, written communication and presentation skills.
  • Strong organization and prioritization skills.
  • Self-motivator with entrepreneurial approach to job responsibilities; aggressive and enthusiastic approach to problem solving and goal achievement.
  • Ability to complete projects on time and in a professional manner.
  • Ability to be a team-player with the rest of the DRI staff.

How to apply: Please email your resume and cover letter to No phone calls, please.
Competitive salary. Excellent benefits package including health insurance, 401K, and paid time off.