The Downtown Waterfront Urban Renewal Area (DTWF URA) is one of Portland’s most successful examples of urban renewal and tax increment financing. Since 2001, assessed land values in the DTWF URA have increased an average of four percent annually, from a total of $653 million to $918 million. To continue strengthening downtown’s role as the regional center for finance, trade, education, culture, retail, professional and governmental services, Prosper Portland facilitates both private and public partners’ revitalization efforts to keep downtown Portland vibrant and healthy.
Over the years, Prosper Portland has worked with community and business partners to complete a number of successful development and rehabilitation projects and public improvements in the URA, including:
- Tom McCall Waterfront Park—Portland’s signature riverfront park
- The Yards at Union Station—housing development
- Pioneer Place
- Union Station preservation
- Old Town/Chinatown: 3rd and 4th Ave. Streetscape Improvements
- 8 NW 8th
- White Stag building
These efforts have leveraged a significant amount of private investment, generated additional property taxes for multiple taxing districts, and transformed the downtown area.
Old Town/Chinatown Five-Year Action Plan
The historic Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood spans two urban renewal areas. While it originally lay within the Downtown Waterfront URA, expansion of the River District boundaries in 2009 included portions of Old Town/Chinatown to help meet community goals and objectives for the area. In July 2014, Prosper Portland launched the Old Town/Chinatown Five-Year Action Plan, which outlines recommended steps and resources to create a safe, vibrant, economically healthy neighborhood that will maintain Old Town/Chinatown’s unique character and harness its opportunities. Thirteen key actions are identified to achieve three strategic objectives:
- Attract new neighborhood investment to activate key properties and improve district connectivity;
- Promote business vitality by increasing employment and retail activity; and
- Align resources and build local capacity for improving district livability.