Many Renewal Areas Succeed In Salem, But Some Are Struggling

<p>Salem, Oregon has used urban renewal areas to bring economic development to many of its neighborhoods. But the success of these areas is variable, and some say it may be time to stop designating places for renewal.</p>
October 2, 2007, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"In recent years, Salem has become increasingly aggressive in its use of urban renewal areas to redevelop the community. The special districts provide a dedicated public funding source for improvement projects within a specific area by directing increased tax revenues toward redevelopment. While that means more money for redevelopment, it means less money for other taxing districts such as transit and counties."

"The city has created three urban renewal areas in the same number of years; the latest one, South Waterfront, was approved this month. Meanwhile, it continues to maintain five others, the oldest of which dates to 1971."

"Officials say the city has used urban renewal with great success, revitalizing areas of the city that otherwise might have remained stagnant or underdeveloped. There have been cases, however, in which areas have not lived up to expectations and languished."

"Some residents also have raised concerns about the growing number of urban renewal areas in Salem and the effect it's having on other taxing districts."

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Published on Sunday, September 30, 2007 in Statesman Journal
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