The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

July 23, 2013

Laying the foundation for development

CLINTON — The city of Clinton is paving the way for downtown revitalization and housing by establishing what economic incentives it will offer to developers.

Earlier this month the Clinton City Council approved an amendment to the urban renewal plan that covers a large area spanning from 14th Avenue North to 13th Avenue South and includes downtown.

By amending the plan, the city accounted for revitalization projects that it expects it could consider in the coming years and what kind of perks would be available to people who chose to invest in Clinton’s downtown. Without the projects listed in the urban renewal plan, the city cannot legally offer tax increment financing incentives.

“We’re trying to be more proactive than reactive,” City Administrator Jessica Kinser said. “We didn’t want to have to come back to the urban renewal plan every time something came up. Now we have the legal authority to move forward with TIF as long as we stay within our debt capacity.”

The potential projects listed in the plan include rehab and revitalization of the Roosevelt building, former post office, former YMCA building, Banner Home Furnishings building and Jacobsen building. The city can offer development packages of no more than $5 million per building that can include TIF, grants, loans, infrastructure assistance and other incentives.

“Those are buildings that have the potential for development. They are also historic. We wanted to target big anchor buildings that are like the Wilson building and have both residential and commercial potential,” Kinser said.

While the urban renewal plan names particular buildings, it doesn’t mean there are any active talks about developing those properties. Kinser said property owners weren’t consulted before being put into the plan, which is by no means going to be used to push any business out of its current space.

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