About N. David Milder

N. David Milder is nationally recognized for his expertise on the new normal for downtowns, downtown entertainment niches, the deliberate consumer, downtown multichannel retailing, downtown niche retailing and office development. His skill set is not just strategic planning or retail recruitment or redevelopment or non-profit administration. It includes all of these.

David provides economic revitalization consulting to downtown, commercial district and local government organizations. David consistently creates highly customized programs for its clients, based upon rigorous research, 40+ years of experience in urban revitalization, and a creative, non-cookie-cutter approach. David has a long history of tackling difficult problems and devising reasonable, affordable and quickly implementable solutions.
Most importantly, David takes a results-oriented view of revitalization issues.
David provides actionable strategies – whether for attracting new retailers, marketing existing attractions, mapping potential redevelopment or planning for economic development overall.  David has worked with big cities and small towns, urban centers and rural communities, from Pasadena, CA to Meredith, NH and many points between.
Representative Client List
Recent Project Partners

 N. David Milder

D. Milder

David founded his private consulting practice in 1977 to confront downtown and commercial district revitalization issues in his own dynamic and no-nonsense way. In the past 40+ years, he has helped to formulate the programs that have revitalized downtowns such as Charlotte, NC, Jamaica Center, NY, Rutland, VT, and Englewood, NJ.

Most recently, David has completed leading edge work on downtown multichannel retailing (see his research paper on this website) as well as retail assessments and revitalization strategies for the City of Gering, NE, the Village of Sherwood, WI, the Morristown Partnership (NJ), the Long Island City Partnership (NY) and the City of Peoria, AZ. David also has been involved in stimulating Transit-Oriented Development projects in Cranford, NJ, and Bayonne, NJ. In Bayonne, he also created Jump Start, a novel and effective facade improvement program, and Kick Start, a sister program aimed at stimulating residential development above existing commercial spaces. Since 1990, when many experts felt downtowns could no longer be successful retail locations, David has formulated numerous niche-based retail revitalization strategies that have stimulated growth in communities across the nation, including Rutland, VT, and Englewood, NJ.
In the 1980s, David created the Downtown Safety, Security and Economic Development Program for Regional Plan Association to address a key barrier to downtown revitalization. Prior to that, he helped create the Charlotte Uptown Development Corporation and the municipal service district it managed.
David also has direct knowledge of what it is like to run a downtown organization, having spent several years managing the Cedar Lane SID in Teaneck, NJ, and the Bayonne Town Center SID.
David has published numerous articles in periodicals such as Urban Land, Main Street News and Downtown Idea Exchange. He has also contributed chapters to several books produced by the American Planning Association and the International Downtown Association. David is the author of two books on downtown revitalization: Niche Strategies for Downtown Revitalization (1997, Downtown Research & Development Center) and Downtown Business Recruitment (2005), which is available for download from this website.
David holds a Ph.D in Government from Cornell University and taught at Cornell and the Ohio State University. He was the vice president for marketing for ManData Corp. At the Ohio Department of Economic and Community Development he designed the Ohio Housing Needs Plan and created and managed the Ohio Cities Consortium, a 16-city public management technology transfer network. He then went on to direct the Urban Institute at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he created a downtown revitalization technical assistance program.

N. David Milder’s Areas of Expertise

      • Downtown niche revitalization strategies and action plans
      • Retail niche marketing programs
      • Retail, office and housing market analyses
      • Feasibility studies
      • Business recruitment
      • Downtown multichannel retailing
      • Downtown trends analysis
      • Downtown redevelopment
      • Creating business friendly permissions and approvals processes
      • Creating or turning around downtown district organizations
      • Survey research and analysis of lifestyle data.

Representative Client List

      • 34th Street Partnership (NY)
      • Bayonne Economic Development Corp (NJ)
      • Bayonne Town Center (NJ)
      • Belmont Business Improvement District (NY)
      • Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce (PA)
      • City of Charlotte (NC)
      • City of Gering (NE)
      • City of Peoria, (AZ)
      • City of Toledo (OH)
      • City of White Plains (NY)
      • Cranford District Management Corporation (NJ)
      • CUNY Research Foundation (NY)
      • Downtown Research and Development Center (NY)
      • Elizabeth Avenue Partnership (NJ)
      • Elizabeth Development Corporation (NJ)
      • Englewood Economic Development Corporation (NJ)
      • Executive Office of Communities & Development (MA)
      • Forest City Development California
      • Grand Central Partnership (NY)
      • Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (NY)
      • Greater Meredith Program (NH)
      • Historic Midtown Elizabeth SID (NJ)
      • Hunts Point Local Development Corporation (NY)
      • Long Island City Partnership (NY)
      • Main Street New Jersey
      • MetroTech Area Business Improvement District (NY)
      • Morristown Partnership )NJ)
      • Mosholu Preservation Corporation (NY)
      • National Institute of Justice (Washington, D.C.)
      • New York City Public Development Corporation
      • Ohio Dept. of Economic and Community Development
      • Regional Plan Association (NY)
      • Research Triangle Institute (NC)
      • Rutland Partnership (VT)
      • Teaneck Economic Development Corporation (NJ)
      • Town of Maplewood (NJ)
      • Town of West New York (NJ)
      • Town of West Orange (NJ)
      • Trenton Downtown Association (NJ)
      • Uptown Charlotte Development Corporation (NC)
      • Village of Garden City (NY)
      • Village of Sherwood (WI)
      • Wisconsin Downtown Action Council.

Recent Project Partners

      • CBD Consultants
      • CHA Planning and Design Services
      • Downtown Hospitality Advisors
      • Eastern Research
      • Frances Ink
      • Garnet Consulting Services
      • Mary Mann & Associates
      • Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH)
      • Wadley Donovan Growth Tech
      • Wilbur Smith Associates.

They Like His Articles, Books and Presentations

    David is  always pleased when his publications are made available by other organizations in the downtown revitalization field. We thank the following for doing so either by hard copy reproductions or by posting them on their websites or providing links to the relevant pages on his website :

    • American Planning Association
    • Connecticut Main Street Center
    • Downtown New Jersey
    • Florida Main Street Center
    • Heritage Ohio
    • International Downtown Association
    • International Economic Development Council
    • Maine Downtown Foundation
    • Montana Associated Technology Roundtables
    • New Jersey League of Municipalities
    • Oregon Downtown Development Association
    • Pennsylvania Downtown Center
    • University of Wisconsin Extension
    • Wisconsin Downtown Action Council.

 Publications by N. David Milder

  1. Milder, N. David. “Some Aspects of Crozier’s Theory of Bureaucratic Organizations: Charles de Gaulle as an Authoritarian Reformer Figure.” Administration & Society 3.1 (1971): 61-82.
  2. Milder, N. David. “Definitions and measures of the degree of macro-level party competition in multiparty systems.” Comparative Political Studies 6.4 (1974): 431-456.
  3. Milder, N. David. Tools and Techniques for Financing Downtown Revitalization. Institute for Urban Studies and Community Service, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1978.
  4. Milder, N. David. “An Evaluation of NRRI’s Needs Assessment Design,” a paper presented to the National Regulatory Research Institute, Columbus, Ohio, January 1978.
  5. Milder, N. David and Cheryl E. Furr. Municipal Service Districts in North Carolina. University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Institute for Urban Studies and Community Service, 1979.
  6. Milder, N. David. “Using the Nominal Group Process in Assessing Needs.” Perspectives on Urban Affairs in North Carolina. May 1979. Urban Studies Council: The University of North Carolina—pp. 226-235.
  7. Armstrong, Regina B., and N. David Milder. “Employment in the Manhattan CBD and Back-Office Locational Decisions.” City Almanac 18.1/2 (1984): 4-18.
  8. Milder, N. David, et al. Downtown Safety Security and Economic Development.  New York: Downtown Research and Development Center. 1985 – pp. 141
  9. Milder, N. David and William B. Shore. Jamaica Center 1987: An Office Enterprise Zone. Regional Plan Association, 1987, pp. 53.
  10. Milder, N. David. Crime and downtown revitalization. Urban Land 46.9 (1987): 16-19.
  11. Milder, N. David.  “Planning, Community Policing and Neighborhood Revitalization.”  Planning and Community Equity. American Planning Association, 1994 — pp.139-158     .
  12. Milder, N. David. Niche strategies for downtown revitalization: a hands-on guide to developing, strengthening, and marketing niches. Downtown Research & Development Center, 1997.
  13. Milder, N. David. The Superstore Quandary. Urban Land, July 1999, pp. 46-49, 77.
  14. Milder, N. David. On The Right Track! Englewood, New Jersey: A Model Comprehensive Revitalization Program, Main Street News, July 1999, pp. 1-7.
  15. Milder, N. David. The Major Social And Economic Trends That Are Now Shaping Downtown Revitalization. DANTH Research Paper, April 2003
  16. Milder, N. David. Time-squeezed Americans Need Convenient Downtowns. Downtown Idea Exchange. July 2003.
  17. Milder, N. David. Downtown Business Recruitment. Lulu.com, 2005 – pp. 125.
  18. Milder, N. David. Nail, Hair and Skin Salons: Bane or Boon?  Downtown Idea Exchange. October 2005
  19. Milder, N. David. “Managing the Politics of Downtown Redevelopment Projects.” Making business districts work: leadership and management of downtown, main street, business district, and community development organizations (2006): 325.
  20. Milder, N. David. Downtown Movie Theaters Will Be Increasingly In Great Danger. Downtown Trends. DANTH Research Paper. March 2008.
  21.  Milder, N. David. Downtown Retailing: Buckle Your Seat Belts, We’re In For A Bumpy Ride. Downtown Trends. DANTH Research Paper. March 2008.
  22. Milder, N. David and Mary Barr Mann. Cultivating the Mommy Niche. Downtown Idea Exchange. April 2008.
  23. Milder, N. David. The Downtown Crime Problem Redux? Downtown Trends. DANTH Research Paper. March 2008.
  24. Milder, N. David. Parking Trends. Downtown Trends. DANTH Research Paper. May 2008
  25. Milder, N. David. Rethinking Downtown Entertainment Niches: Non- Formal Entertainments And Work As Entertainment: bringing people downtown and keeping them there. Downtown Trends. DANTH Research Paper. June 2008.
  26. Milder, N. David. Food: Capture What You Should Own. Downtown Trends. DANTH Research Paper. June 2008
  27. Milder, N. David. Apparel And Home & Hearth Niches: the growing importance of independent operators. Downtown Trends. DANTH Research Paper. June 2008
  28. Milder, N. David. As We Leave the Recession, Affordable Retail Rents Are a Revitalization Imperative. Downtown Idea Exchange. May 2010
  29. Milder, N. David. The Emergence Of Downtown Multichannel Retailing: Challenges And Opportunities. DANTH Research Paper 100711FV, Oct 2011. Presented at the 2011 Wisconsin Conference on Downtown Revitalization, Fond du Lac, WI, October 20, 2011
  30. Milder, N. David. The Growing Importance of Downtown Multichannel Retailing. Downtown Idea Exchange  May 2012
  31. Milder, N. David. E-Marketing: How EDOs Can Help Independent Downtown Merchants Engage Effectively in E-Marketing. Economic Development Journal (IEDC), Summer 2013, pp. 34-40.
  32. Milder, N. David, and Andrew Dane. Some Thoughts on the Economic Revitalization of Small Town Downtowns. Economic Development Journal of Canada, August 2013. http://www.ecdevjournal.com/en/News/index.aspx?newsId=acaba33d-0e15-4994-b899-eacd1c6d8d21#!.
  33. Milder, N. David, and Andrew Dane. Some More Thoughts on the Economic Revitalization of Small Town Downtowns: Financial Tools. Economic Development Journal of Canada, November 2014.   http://tinyurl.com/qcbnefh