What is it?
The Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) is a program initiated by Prosper Portland (formerly called 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 Prosper Portland and the City of Portland, each neighborhood is best positioned to decide what actions and projects will improve its local business districts. For more information, visit Prosper Portland’s Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative page.
How does it work?
Six neighborhoods have been selected as NPI Urban Renewal Areas (URA), including the Cully Blvd Alliance. Each of the selected NPI areas will become small URA administered by the local NPI district. URAs generate revenue through tax increment financing (TIF) which will provide funding for capital improvement projects such as:
- improvements to business exteriors and interiors
- street furniture
- trash cans
- district signage
- gateway markers
- other small-scale, permanent capital improvements
Funding from the URA was first available in February 2014, with approximately $65,000 available for projects in the first year. Additional funds have been secured since then to fund projects in the Cully neighborhood. Each district’s investment of TIF funds will be guided by a community developed action plan and implemented consistent with statutory requirements.
In addition, Prosper Portland 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. Prosper Portland’s role will be to support the districts in their management of the district through seed funding, technical assistance, and overall support.