The Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area (ICURA) will have $32 million in tax increment funds (TIF) for economic and redevelopment purposes between 2016 and 2021. The N/NE Portland Community Development Initiative, established by Prosper Portland and guided by an advisory committee, developed an Action Plan to guide the investment of those resources.
The goals of the N/NE Portland Community Development Initiative (CDI or Initiative) are to:
increase employment and wealth creation opportunities for long-term and returning residents, business and property owners,
strengthen community capacity to produce economic opportunities, and
support cultural/community assets.
To achieve these goals, the Initiative established desired outcomes and strategic investment priorities for the remaining $32 million in ICURA funds. Investments will be consistent with the ICURA Plan and the Prosper Portland 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, and will build on complementary, community-led initiatives such as the State of Black Oregon. The Initiative focused on TIF-eligible ”bricks & mortar” development projects and also prioritized non-TIF investments that support the goals of the Initiative, such as business technical assistance.
To extend that technical assistance, Prosper Portland has selected Microenterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) as the N/NE Business Navigator to cultivate relationships with business owners or aspiring business owners of color, provide culturally specific support and provide connections to resources and opportunities for those businesses to thrive. For more information about MESO’s resources contact Felicia Wells-Thomas, Business Navigator at 503-841-3351.
The Initiative has incorporated public outreach consisting of individual interviews and focus group discussion with key leaders invested in community economic development activities. In addition, the general public submitted their input at community forums held in September 2016 and March 2017.
The Oversight Committee reviews, advises and monitors redevelopment proposals and projects according to the timelines, metrics, and allocation amounts outlined in the Action Plan. The Plan is a living document, and Prosper Portland under the consultation with the Oversight Committee may recommend adjustments of the investment allocation to take advantage of unique opportunities to promote wealth creation and/or to place resources where demand and the market conditions are the strongest.
Prosper Portland remains committed to fulfilling the commitments of the N/NE Community Development Initiative Action Plan and to the valuable role of community oversight and involvement. Presently, we’re working on standing up a new committee focused on ensuring and supporting implementation of the Action Plan. This transition is to better support meeting the needs of community advisors, critical partners, and staff while we focus on implementing the Action Plan over its final years. The committee will include community members who have direct expertise and lived experience in line with delivering on the goals of the Action Plan in order to get the remaining available TIF resources “out the door” and into the community.