WHAT IS IT?
The Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (“NPI”) is a new program initiated by the Portland Development Commission (“PDC”) to strengthen the economic competitiveness of neighborhood business districts through community-planned and community-implemented actions and projects.
Specifically, NPI areas will focus on:
- Increasing the visibility of the business district
- Growing more jobs
- Strengthening existing businesses
- Filling vacant spaces
With support from the PDC and the City, each neighborhood will be best positioned to decide what actions and projects will improve its local business districts. For more information, visit PDC’s “Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative” page.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Six neighborhoods have been selected as NPI Urban Renewal Areas, including the Cully Blvd Alliance. Each of the selected NPI areas will become small urban renewal areas (URA)administered by the local NPI district. URAs generate revenue through tax increment financing, or TIF, which will provide funding for capital improvement projects such as: improvements to business exteriors and interiors, street furniture, trash cans, lighting, district signage, gateway markers, and other small-scale, permanent capital improvements.
Funding from the URA should be available by February 2014, with approximately $65,000 available for projects in the first year. Each district’s investment of TIF funds will be guided by a community developed action plan and implemented consistent with statutory requirements.
In addition, PDC anticipates providing an annual grant of $30,000 to match annual community fundraising to hire a local district manager and get the work off the ground.
HOW IS IT ADMINISTERED?
Neighborhood buy-in is critical. That’s why the process starts with organizing a broad cross-section of people representing the area’s business community, residents, property owners, district organizations, and community groups. Everyone with a stake in the district and its future should be involved in preparing the best plan for the neighborhood.
The management of the district will occur at a local level. PDC’s role will be to support the districts in their management of the district through seed funding, technical assistance, and overall support.