|Abstract or Summary
- This paper seeks to answer the question of the effectiveness of urban renewal through a decennial review and analysis of the costs and benefits of the Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA) in Albany, Oregon. The topic is especially relevant at this time of constraining budgets, as a bright light is being shone on all uses of revenue and government spending; of which urban renewal is one through its use of property tax increment. To date CARA has used about $11M of property-tax revenue, which is 3% of the AV of the city. It is worth noting, that a portion of $11M used by CARA might not be on the tax-rolls, but for the investments that CARA has made—we cannot say for certain due to a lack of counterfactual, and that is what makes this an imperfect science. The $10.2M spent on public-private partnerships leveraged $74.4M in private investment—a ratio of $1 of public money to $7.30 of private funds. Also, the investment of funds has met many of the plan goals including: reduced blight, lowered police activity, cleaned-up contaminated land, and spurred redevelopment. The paper recommends the collection and reporting on metrics including time series data, better tracking of jobs (both temporary construction and permanent) on a per-project basis, as well as better tracking of people attractors, the visitors they draw and how much those visitors are spending in the community.