All three of these proposals are attractive, and as mentioned previously, subject to extensive design and appearance guidelines, as well as prohibitive use restrictions. These types of guidelines and restrictions are what ‘placemaking’ is all about – and they are expensive. Any developer measures the investment costs required when the quality of materials used, the design, and the appearance are specified. Getting the type and quality of development the City desires has a cost – but will pay huge dividends for generations.
Fortunately, previous City and DDA leaders have provided the tools to invest in this placemaking initiative. The recent sale of a DDA-owned building often referred to as the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) building created investable funds for the DDA. The Tax Allocation District (TAD) created years ago is now yielding available tax revenues from the downtown area to invest back into the public infrastructure. Briefly speaking, in a TAD, county property taxes generated above a baseline level, which has now been exceeded, stay IN the City, and can be used on infrastructure investment back in the district.