Amid debate about whether the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area is successful in accomplishing its stated goals, The North Northeast Economic Development Initiative Community Advisory Committee voted earlier this month to approve a proposal recommending expansion of the areas covered by the Interstate URA.
The Portland Development Commission and the city itself need to sign off on the recommendations, which include adding MLK all the way from Broadway Street to Lombard Avenue to the Interstate URA. Currently, MLK Boulevard from Rosa Parks Way to the Convention Center is included in the Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Area (OCCURA), which expires in 2013.
Some useful links:
- A map of OCCURA and the ‘catalyst projects’ that the Portland Development Commission (PDC) has funded through it
- The PDC’s announcement of the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to change URA boundaries
- The PDC’s ‘Future of Urban Renewal’ Initiative, with some explanations of what ‘urban renewal is and how it works
- PDC’s page for the MLK & Alberta projects in the OCCURA
- The Daily Journal of Commerce’s announcement of the proposed changes to the URAs, which includes the note that the advisory committee “supported making the Interstate urban renewal area project list the top priority for the adjusted area”.
Urban Renewal Areas are concatenations of complex policies about land use and planning, and can be difficult to understand. It’s important to note that the OCC Urban Renewal Area has helped rehabilitate old buildings and construct new ones on King Boulevard, though it’s anyone’s guess how much attention development on MLK will get if the street joins a URA centered on Interstate Avenue.