Community and

Economic Development

Community. The word brings to mind togetherness, family, friends, and where we live. Economic Development invokes jobs, purpose, and vibrancy in your community. We consider both concepts critically interrelated and critically important to your community. Together, they form our CED practice.

Hickory Convention Center (Hickory, NC)

Hickory Convention Center (Hickory, NC)

Local Government

& Partners Focused

  • In our CED practice, we work with local governments and their partnering non-profits.
  • We’re unique in this way—we watch out for your interests and specifically don’t represent companies or adverse non-profits in these transactions.
  • All of our attorneys come from a local government and community development background. That’s to say we speak your language.

Added Value of

Local Finance Experience

  • We bring over 25 years of local government finance background to our transactions.
  • Often, that is a component of a CED project, so we’ll talk you through your options and how to use the various tools together in a cohesive way.
  • We also have experience working in a practical way with local governments. We’ll talk about legal implications, but we also help you think through the administrative ones.

Willing to Travel &

Fee Sensitive

  • If it is important to your community, it’s important to us. We think by being there, we can help you solve the problems you have in your community where growth hasn’t occurred or where you think you face an intractable problem.
  • We’re fee sensitive—we will talk with you up front about our costs, give fixed fees where we can and always give estimates. We check in with you about your project, rather than just sending a bill when it’s done.



CED is a big practice area—below you’ll see parts of our niche described by project types.



Downtown Rocky Mount, NC

Downtown Rocky Mount, NC

“Sanford Holshouser was responsive to the city’s needs in downtown development. They were thorough in their review of our grant program, incorporated the city’s particular concerns about the grant, and developed easy-to-use documents. Their final product struck the right balance between encouraging development and protecting the city’s interests. They did all of this at a very reasonable rate.”

John Jesso
City of Rocky Mount
Downtown Development Director



  • Establishing small business loan and grant programs.
  • Review of downtown improvement loans and grant programs.
  • Establishing Business Improvement Districts or other types of service districts to target growth in revenue base/provision of services.



  • Financing improvements to your downtown infrastructure to attract new development.
  • Can include water/sewer, streets/sidewalks, public buildings, greenways, and many others.
  • We were the first law firm in North Carolina to act as bond counsel for special assessment revenue bonds. We also have experience with “Synthetic” Tax Increment Financing (or “Synthetic” Project Development Financing)



  • “Gamechangers” change the face of your downtown. We work on these sorts of projects often.
  • For example, we helped the City of Hickory with their downtown events center (above).
  • We also helped Orange County with their Sportsplex facility.
  • Building these “gamechangers” often involves a mix of financing tools, but also finding the right core financing to fit the project. We’ll help you get there.

Business and

Industrial Development

Incentive Negotiation &

Policy Development

  • We help local governments with a research-based approach to negotiating incentives. We take the time to find comparable incentive packages to your decision so you can make an informed decision for your community.
  • We also develop policies for local governments—it can help to have a set incentive policy and agreement on the front end both for attracting particular types of businesses, but also for your broader decisions as a local government.



  • Business Park financing and development
  • Industrial Revenue Bonds
  • Shell building financing
  • Local government financing for economic development
  • Synthetic TIFs
  • Special Assessment Revenue Bonds
  • Economic Development Corporation Financings for economic development



  • Projects along the spectrum of local government contracting for services and provision
  • Local government joint ventures





  • Projects

County and Housing

Authority Finance

  • Projects

Federal Home Loan Bank

AHP Review

  • We work with member banks to perform due diligence for FHLB AHP grants, applications, and accompanying materials
  • We review of real estate documents, operating agreements, environmental impacts, lien priorities, and other critical parts of the transaction to protect our clients
  • We know what it takes to help your project in the AHP review process and will help guide a project sponsor through the process.

Some of Our Prior AHP Projects