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Downtown Idea Exchange — Web Extras

September 1, 2021
TIF remains popular, but beware the pitfalls — Tax-increment financing (TIF)  is a common tool for cities to fund economic development. City leaders assume that TIF will spur new development, increase property values, and create new tax revenue that would not have existed otherwise.  Read more from David Merriman on Tax Increment Financing. ...

Five strategies downtowns are using to come back from the pandemic — the wave of downtown initiatives reinforces the resilience of downtowns, not to mention the crucial importance of city centers in communities everywhere. • The Rosslyn Business Improvement District in Arlington, VA, set up an outdoor office area. Watch the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-CpxXnefU8&t=9s • Many downtown organizations are developing programs that focus specifically on providing support for black-owned and other minority-owned small businesses. See Building on Recovery for Urban Place Management from the International Downtown Association and Stantec. ...

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City Sacrifices Ownership of City Hall for Downtown Redevelopment

August 12, 2021
As part of a redevelopment of their downtowns, two mid-sized cities are making an unusual move: They’re giving up the traditional model of a city-owned parcel housing City Hall. Instead, the cities are spurring downtown redevelopment projects by partnering with private developers. In the process, they’re moving city administrative offices into mixed-use developments. The cities…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

August 1, 2021
With many office workers still staying home, downtowns try to woo them back — City centers everywhere face a conundrum: Office workers have yet to return en masse, even as vaccines are readily available, coronavirus infections have dwindled, and local authorities have lifted restrictions on public gatherings. See McKinsey & Co.’s report on the future of office work. ...

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Billions Are Heading to States and Cities; Make Sure Downtown Gets its Share

July 30, 2021
The federal government is directing hundreds of billions of dollars to states and cities, a windfall that has downtown leaders nationwide positioning themselves to get much needed funds. In March, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law. The initiative calls for $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus, including an infusion of $350…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

July 1, 2021
Billions are heading to states and cities; make sure downtown gets its share — The federal government is directing hundreds of billions of dollars to states and cities, a windfall that has downtown leaders nationwide positioning themselves to get a piece of the pie. Watch presentations from the Pennsylvania Downtown Association and the National Main Street Center below. https://vimeo.com/555865910 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmcDKb6sHcc ...

Six reasons to consider a form-based code — The little town of North Bend, WA, enacted a form-based code for its downtown in June, making it the latest municipality to embrace this type of zoning. See the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s guide to enacting a form-based code.  ...

Parking garage converted to apartments — The pandemic has accelerated two trends which significantly cut demand for parking. Both the increased use of app-based, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, and a rise in the number of people living within walking distance of their jobs have reduced demand. Learn more about the Broadway Autopark conversion.  ...

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Lessons From a Downtown Improvement District’s Demise

June 4, 2021
For a quarter-century, the Downtown Improvement District (DID) in Reading, PA, managed the city’s declining urban core. The DID’s ambassadors picked up trash, and the organization hosted summer concerts, a holiday parade, and other events. However, Reading never experienced a true downtown renaissance, and questions about the DID’s effectiveness festered. Those doubts came to a…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

June 1, 2021
City uses array of strategies to create bike-friendly vibe — Thanks to years of effort, biking is big business in Fayetteville, AR. The investment includes an expansive trail network, on-street cycling infrastructure, and ambitious biking initiatives. See Fayetteville’s Active Transportation Plan.  ...

Redefining formula restaurants — To preserve small businesses and local flavor, some cities are passing rules to limit the number of national businesses that can set up shop downtown. Read more about limiting formula businesses.  ...

Converting retail to residential — Many have predicted that a shift from retail to residential uses was a likely outcome of the pandemic. For more information, read the article, “As retail industry struggles, cities can encourage commercial-to-residential property conversions.” ...

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Retail Village Boosts Local Economy

May 20, 2021
Following the lead of similar successful projects, Kuna, ID, will launch its own retail market village in June. The village will consist of 12 small shops in re-purposed garden sheds. The sheds will surround a central green space with room for food trucks and small gatherings. Lisa Holland, the city’s economic development director, says that…Continue reading

 

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Bringing Small-Scale Manufacturers Downtown

May 7, 2021
A new breed of business could lead a wave of downtown revitalization. Niche manufacturers — think craft jewelers, makers of small-batch lotions and cosmetics, and microbrewers — are a growing, but often overlooked, segment of the post-pandemic economy, says Ilana Preuss, founder of consulting firm Recast City. "There is this hidden economic engine in every…Continue reading

 

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