Make New Friends, Revitalize the Old (Buildings): Best Practices and Opportunities in Municipal Redevelopment Policies
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. AKST
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This session explores the important role local governments can play in promoting growth and revitalization of underutilized property. The panel presenters will highlight best practices in property redevelopment policies from elsewhere in the U.S.; describe how tools from development agreements to tax abatement can solidify relationships between municipal governments and the private sector; and analyze how these tools are working or not working in Alaska’s urban areas. Growing demand for housing and urban amenities, paired with a shrinking supply of land for greenfield development, suggest that we may be particularly well situated for investing in redevelopment. This session is intended to provide an overview of how municipal governments can partner with the private sector to encourage economic growth and development, and more specifically the policy and financial tools available. It is also intended to highlight current barriers to effective redevelopment in Alaska, particularly flaws in the currently available redevelopment tools, and the absence of other mechanisms common in many U.S. cities. The intent of the session (a) is to inform Alaskan planners of how these tools are used, and to suggest ways that such tools could be improved. This session (b) will be relevant to anyone without in-depth knowledge of public finance and real estate development policy, and (c) is not intended to highlight only the presenters’ own interests. The format (d) will consist of an informational talk about the policies, some examples of their use in other cities and in Alaskan cities; time for each panelist to highlight a case study or a particular project that illustrates how these tools are used or not used; and allow time for more open-ended discussion among the panelists and with the audience. The demonstrated need (e) is the increasing need for development in Alaskan cities, particularly housing, and the challenges of re-using existing properties.