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CCAC Subcommittee on Leadership Capacity


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CCAC Subcommittee on Leadership Capacity

  1. 1. City of TigardCity Center Advisory Commission Research Report on Downtown Associations in Oregon September 18, 2008 Prepared by Subcommittee on Leadership Capacity in Downtown Members: Alexander Craghead Thomas Murphy Elise Shearer
  2. 2. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 2CONTENTS Executive Summary 3 Research Questions 4 Needs Assessment 5 Leland’s Context 8 Comparable Cities 10 Different Models 15 URD Only Models 19 Web Solutions 20 Failures 21 Appendix 22 Bibliography & Acknowledgments 25
  3. 3. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 3EXECUTIVE SUMMARYIn 2007, the City of Tigard hired the Leland Consulting Group to assist in the creation of a strategyfor implementing revitalization in its downtown core. In the resulting Downtown Strategy, Lelandrecommends the creation of a downtown organization aimed at fostering private sector leadership.This recommendation was forwarded by the City Council to the City Center Advisory Commission(CCAC), with the charge of deterring if the recommendation should be implemented, and if so how.The CCAC has been concerned with the complexity of such an effort, and created a subcommittee inMay of 2008 to investigate the issues surrounding the establishment of or support of a downtownassociation. This document was created by that subcommittee to assist the CCAC in making arecommendation on this subject.What this document is not is a recommendation regarding the establishment or support of adowntown organization. It provides no recommendation, and puts forth no specific opinion in favor ofor in opposition to downtown associations.Summary of FindingsDowntown Tigard is a diverse environment with many interests and little community. This makescommunication between stakeholders and the city, as well between the stakeholders and otherstakeholders difficult. It also means that a coordinated vision of the future of downtown does not nowexist amongst staekholders.The Leland Group made a recommendation of supporting an association partly in response to suchconcerns. Additional concerns included providing a forum independent of the city government foradvocacy and conflict resolution, as well as a venue for the private sector to demonstrate theirsupport of downtown revitalization. While leland strongly favors an association, no specific form ortimeline for such an organization was advocated, except that such groups sometimes take time toformulate.A number of comparable cities exist within the state. In examining them, there is no clear route that ischosen more than others; in short there are multiple ways of achieving revitalization goals. Somecities have chosen to participate in established, traditional forms, such as the National Trust’s MainStreet program, while others have chosen to create their own, innovative programs tailored to theirspecific needs.In very few cases did associations have a direct impact on urban renewal efforts, however, by theirnature they are often positioned well to undertake routine efforts such as promotion, maintenance,advocacy, business outreach, and other “soft” skills that cities without economic developmentdepartments general lack.Failure is common in such associations, and is usually the result of a lack of broad leadership(reliance on one or too few individuals), a lack of vision or purpose, and a lack of stable funding.Funding levels seem less important than funding stability.ConclusionThe creation or support of a downtown association in Tigard would be a challenging effort. Makingmatters more complex is the high degree of failure rates that these associations experience, alongwith the broad path of options available. One important fact to note is that regardless of whether thecity chooses to take a traditional role, or a more innovative path, there are other cities in the statewith similar experiences and with whom the city would likely be able to share knowledge for mutualbenefit.
  4. 4. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 4RESEARCH QUESTIONSAt the May 14 meeting of the CCAC, the subcommittee was tasked with researching leadershipcapacity within downtown Tigard. At the subcommittees May 21 2008 meeting, seven researchquestions were developed based on the questions raised by the CCAC, as well as on furtherdiscussion within the subcommittee. They are as follows:1.) Needs assessment. What are the needs of the downtown property owner, business owners, andresidents within downtown Tigard that are currently not being filled by the city? Also the reverse: whatare the needs of the city downtown that are not currently being addressed by downtown businessand property owners?2.) Lelands Context. What is Lelands broader context for providing a recommendation that the citysupport financing an association at this juncture?3.) Comparable Cities. What are "comparable" cities doing in their downtowns; was an associationinvolved in those efforts, and if so how?4.) Different Models. What are some different models of associations? How do they work, &c?5.) URD only models. What are other cities (of any size/make-up) doing that have urban renewal butdo not have an association?6.) Web solutions. How many associations utilize web-based solutions, and how?7.) Failures. What are some examples of cities with associations that failed, and what are thereasons for such failures?
  5. 5. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 5NEEDS ASSESSMENTResearch Question: What are the needs of the downtown property owner, business owners, and residents within downtown Tigard that are currently not being filled by the city? Also the reverse: what are the needs of the city downtown that are not currently being addressed by downtown business and property owners?Downtown Survey 2004.In Spring of 2004, the City conducted a citywide survey regarding Downtown Tigard. This survey tookthe form of a single sheet of 8.5x11 inch paper that combined a multiple choice section, a scaleableanswer section, and an open-ended question section. Its focus was to determine how often and whypeople visit downtown, as well as their impressions of it. Also on each survey sheet was a check boxinterface asking if the respondent was a downtown property or business owner. Surveys weredistributed at the Tigard Farmer’s Market, the library, selected downtown businesses, at TigardChamber of Commerce meetings, and through the City’s newsletter, the Cityscape. Survey data wasutilized during the formation of the Tigard Downtown Improvement Plan.Of the 563 returned surveys, 22 came from individuals who identified themselves as either a propertyowner in downtown, a business owner downtown, or a combination of both. Of these 22, three wereduplicates, making 20 unique respondents from the area.Four (4) respondents indicated that the area needed more housing or offices in order to stimulateeconomic activity. Generally these sorts of projects come as a result of city regulations (zoning,design standards), city incentives (tax breaks, grants, subsidized property sales), and private sectorinterest. Associations usually do not have a role in such projects, although they could providepromotion and developer outreach that could lead to deals.Another four (4) respondents identified parking, traffic, and pedestrian access as key areas thatneed improvement in downtown. These are capital projects that are usually undertaken by agovernment or an urban renewal agency, rather than an association.Eight (8) respondents mentioned business mix as a primary concern. Typical requests came forsmall specialty retailers, bakeries, coffee shops, and the like. Business recruitment is usually a taskhandled by private property owners on a property by property basis, or by third party nonprofits suchas business or merchants associations.One respondent utilized the survey as an opportunity to state his opposition to the City’s plans andhis belief that the survey was a total waste of time. Another respondent mentioned opposition to anyplan that included tax breaks.City of Tigard GIS Data / 2008The City Center Urban Renewal District consists of 193.71 acres, divided up into 183 parcels, andhosting approximately 308 businesses.According to records of business licenses issued in the URD, of the 308 businesses in place atpresent, less than half (144) are registered with ownership shown as Tigard locations. Of these, mostshow the same location as the place of business. Of the remainder of the businesses in the URD,about half show owners registered at addresses in the Portland metropolitan area, while theremaining half show as being registered out of state.
  6. 6. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 6Of the 308 businesses registered in the URD, a little over a third (116) are retail in nature. The bulk ofbusinesses registered in the downtown core are service based or are professional offices.Retail Uses. There are 116 retail type uses in the URD. These are defined as businesses where astorefront is essential to business, and thus includes barbers, salons, and showrooms as well astraditional retail stores, but does not include medical offices or the like.Most retail uses are concentrated in the Hall/99W region (58), with another large concentrationlocated along Main Street (35). Notably there are no registered retail businesses in the Burnhamdistrict. However, in both areas, retail uses are outweighed by non-retail uses, with the most strikingexample being Main where the ratio of non-retail to retail begins to approach 2-to-1.Ownership of retail tends to be primarily locally registered, with 27 out of 35 being “local” on MainStreet, and 40 out of 58 registered as “local” in the Hall/99W region.Non-Retail Uses. There are 192 non-retail uses in the URD. These are defined as businesses of anytype that do not require a storefront presence. This includes a span from automotive repair toindustrial manufacturing to offices to professionally managed apartments.Non-retail uses are fairly evenly spread across the URD. There are 49 non-retail uses on Main Street,66 non-retail uses in the Burnham district, and 57 non-retail uses in the Hall/99W region. In theBurnham district non-retail uses are the only licensed businesses on record. In the Hall/99W region,they take nearly equal weight with retail uses (57 non-retail to 58 retail uses), while on Main Streetthey outnumber retail uses (49 vs. 35).Ownership of non-retail uses tends to be primarily registered as local. On Main Street, 41 out of 49are “local”; in the Burnham district, 46 out of 66 are “local”, and in the Hall/99W region, 41 out of 57are “local”.Employment Downtown. Of the 308 registered businesses downtown, only 23 have ten or moreemployees. The largest employer is Magno-Humphries, a manufacturer of vitamins and dietarysupplements, with 97 employees. The second and third highest are Luke-Dorf Inc, a healthcarerelated firm with 74 employees, and Russ Chevrolet with 70 employees.Limitations. This data is imperfect. In some cases, beauty salons (counted here as retail uses) havemultiple business licenses, one for each practitioner. Also, some duplications were noted in the data,which was obtained from the City of Tigard’s Geographic Information System (GIS), most likelyattributed to one business going out of business, and another taking it’s place within a short timespan. Most of these discrepancies were in retail uses. Also, some businesses may be operatingeither without a business license, or using a license listed at a location outside the URD.Lastly, this survey of business license data only paints part of the picture, as it does not addressownership of property, only of businesses and tenants.Summary. Three notable facts stand out:Most businesses in the URD are not retail. Non-retail uses outnumber retail uses even on MainStreet.There is a significant geographic split. Burnham is entirely without retail businesses, and isoriented towards auto repair and construction. Main Street is primarily non-retail uses -- mostlyprofessional offices -- with retail coming in second. Hall/99W, with its high visibility, has the highestconcentration of business activity, and is evenly split between retail and non-retail usesThere are few big employers downtown. Most employers have fewer than ten employees. Small
  7. 7. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 7offices are typical of employment downtown.Downtown Strategy -- Existing ConditionsIn an appendix of the Downtown Strategy, the Leland Group include a summary of existingconditions in downtown Tigard. Among their findings are:Low overall improvement to land value ratio. The current value of commercial land in the URD wasestimated to be between $20 and $24 per square foot in 2007 dollars. This reflects “substandard”conditions. As a result rates of rent are low, generally $12 to $18 per square foot, which is too low toattract developers.Broad land use mix. Leland identified Burnham as primarily industrial in nature, with Main and theHall/99W region being the primary commercial areas.Large lot locations. Most lots over one acre in size are located either in the Burnham district or in theHall/99W region. These areas would be most attractive to developers.Downtown Strategy -- Developer InterviewsIn order to assemble the Strategy, Leland Consulting Group interviewed a group of developers in thePortland area, asking for input on redevelopment in the URD. A summary of these interviews wasattached to the Strategy as Appendix B. Among the mentioned items were:Business mix. A series of business types were mentioned as being needed in the URD, includingspecialty grocers and other high quality and specialty retailers.Property owner engagement. It was recommended that the property owners need to be engagedby the City to discuss alternative means of redeveloping sites that will bring profit to existing ownerswhile benefitting the community.Downtown ombudsman. It was suggested that the City have a key individual whose sole role iscommunicating with downtown business and property owners with a goal of championing retenantingor improving businesses.
  8. 8. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 8LELAND’S CONTEXTResearch Question: What is Lelands broader context for providing a recommendation that the city support financing an association at this juncture?Development Strategy for Downtown Tigard, Oregon (“Leland Report”)Funding and support of a downtown focused association was identified as a recommended projectby the Leland Group in the Development Strategy for Downtown Tigard, Oregon, dated October2007. Leland identifies this project as a short term, high priority project which would cost the cityapproximately $40,000 annually, with the primary responsibility being in the private sector(Redevelopment Strategy, p. 18).Leland suggests that such an organization would take on a leadership role to champion projects inthe private sector. They further note that the existing association, the Tigard Central Business DistrictAssociation, lacks both broad membership and funding, while the Tigard Chamber of Commerce lacksa focus on downtown. They advocate an association that is born from the private sector and theninitially funded by the City, with an eventual goal of being completely self-funding from the privatesector. This recommendation takes the form of Organizational Task 1 in the Strategy.The “Leland Memo”In late 2007, the Tigard City Council requested from Leland a list of projects that they would advisebe undertaken with the first six months or first $500,000. In a memo dated 19 November, 2007,Leland replied with a series of recommendations pulled from the Strategy. Although organizationaltasks such as increasing outreach are identified, Organizational Task 1 was not identified as a priorityfor the early implementation of the Strategy.Q&A With LelandThe subcommittee forwarded to Leland a series of questions seeking greater context for theirrecommendations. In one of their responses, they note that a downtown association can take onprojects that the city cannot complete on their own, such as marketing, outreach, and advocacy.Regarding timing, Leland notes that “the timing of forming such an organization is a considerationthat Tigard will have to figure out”. (Memo from Sean Farrelly to CCAC, dated 2 June 2008).Leland also stated that the City should set criteria against which to measure performance of such anorganization before dispersing funds.One of the primary roles that Leland sees such an association fulfilling is an advocacy role. Anassociation, being made up primarily of members of the private sector, can advocate for projects withthe public and other staekholders to a greater degree than can staff. Leland notes that anassociation “could serve as a forum to work through contentious issues and to resolve differences”,and also notes that they can engage in marketing and economic development activities for which thecity is not as suited (Memo from Sean Farrelly to CCAC, dated 7 July 2008).
  9. 9. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 9Additional Leland RecommendationsLeland added a condensed recommendation as follows: His belief is that Downtown Tigard could really use an organization and the City should play a role in forming it. It could start with a part time director with seed money from the City. It should eventually support itself with a BID, which the City (as a major property owner) would be a part of. Early projects to focus on could be grant writing (Main Street and arts grants), developing a web site, helping to develop a parking plan, and improving city-business communication. (Memo from Sean Farrelly to CCAC, dated 7 July 2008).
  10. 10. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 10COMPARABLE CITIESResearch Question: What are "comparable" cities doing in their downtowns; was an association involved in those efforts, and if so how?Initial Comparison FactorsThree factors were used to identify key cities with similarities to Tigard; population, budget, and size.Due to limitations on population number availability, data used dates to 2006/2007.In 2006, Tigard was home to 41,223 people. It has a surface area (citywide) of 10.86 square miles.Its total adopted city budget for Fiscal Year 2006/2007 was $77.7 million.Cities with similar populationsCities with similar populations to Tigard were chosen based on total populations ranging from 35,000to 60,000 residents. This resulted in just four other cities:City 2000 Pop 2006 PopAlbany 40,852 46,610Corvallis 49,322 53,900Lake Oswego 35,278 36,350Springfield 52,864 57,065TIGARD 41,223 46,300Of these four, two are freestanding cities (Albany and Corvallis) while the other two are suburbs (LakeOswego to Portland, Springfield to Eugene).Albany has a significant historic district and a downtown plan crafted in the 1980s that was veryahead of its time. To accomplish their goals, the city created an Urban Renewal District (URD) of over900 acres, including the waterfront, the traditional downtown, and large swaths of adjacent areasthat are industrial or strip commercial in nature. Although significantly larger than Tigard’s URD,Albany’s major geographic diversity is similar in character to Tigard.Albany has a downtown association known as the Albany Downtown Association (ADA). Theassociation concentrates just on the traditional downtown and not the entire URD. The city providesADA with funding by allowing the association to run the city’s parking meter program downtown andkeep the revenue for operating expenses. The ADA also relies on funding via an EconomicImprovement District (EID) that assesses properties in the traditional downtown area. This EID is avoluntary EID, meaning that individuals can opt out via remonstrance. Although there are asignificant number of remonstrances the association has managed to receive significant funding fromthis source.Corvallis has a downtown association but no urban renewal district. Their association, like Albany’s,utilizes a voluntary EID to fund their programs. The association also receives a stipend of less than$90,000 annually from the City.Currently Corvallis is seeking to create an urban renewal district that will encompass both thetraditional downtown and nontraditional areas where the City hopes to expand their urban core. TheDowntown Corvallis Association is a key player in advocating for urban renewal. The city gave grantmoney to the DCA to create a downtown plan and an urban renewal plan. Once the process begins,
  11. 11. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 11however, it is foreseen that the DCA will step away from this role and that an advisory commission willbe appointed for the URD.Lake Oswego has a thriving urban renewal district located in their historic downtown core. Mostbuildings, however, are more modern in both age and character. The city does have a downtownassociation, the Downtown Business District Association, formed after the urban renewal plan wasenacted by local businesses. They have had little to no role in the URD’s redevelopment efforts, andare completely self-funded.Currently the City has been looking into the Main Street program put out by the National Trust forHistoric Preservation. The City is currently leaning against participation as it feels the program isduplicative and redundant with efforts the City has already taken on.Springfield has many similarities to Tigard. Their URD is relatively new and encompasses a traditionaldowntown main street of 6-8 blocks long as well as light industry, strip-mall development, and amobile home park. This creates a significant geographic diversity within the URD.Springfield did have an association until recent times, known as the Springfield DowntownAssociation. The SDA was formed in the late 1970s and was a strong promoter of downtown projectswith a close working relationship with the City. They were dependent on a single leader, however,who succumbed to Cancer last year. As a result the association foundered and has been unable torevive itself.In addition there is a private nonprofit in Springfield known as the Springfield RenaissanceDevelopment Corporation. The SRDC is privately funded and does not focus exclusively ondowntown, but has placed a lot of its projects in the downtown area.When the advisory board for the URD was created, the City was swamped with over fortyapplications. The City hopes to capture the enthusiasm of those applicants and get them involved inthe formation of a new association of some kind. In the meanwhile, their advisory board has a strongmajority representation of stakeholders within the downtown area.Cities with similar budget numbersCities with similar budget size to Tigard were chosen based on adopted budget numbers for FY2006/2007 between $70 million and $100 million. This resulted in seven other cities:City FY 2006/2007 Budget (Millions)Ashland $84.4Beaverton $93.5Corvallis $84.1Grants Pass $97.9McMinnville $86.7Redmond $92.2Tualatin $91.5TIGARD $77.7Of these seven, only two are suburbs (Beaverton and Tualatin, both suburbs of Portland). Inaddition, Corvallis also appeared on the list of cities with similar populations to Tigard. Interestingly,only three cities have urban renewal: Grants Pass, Redmond, and Tualatin.Ashland has no urban renewal and no downtown association. The City does have a historic districtdefined and administered by the City, and protected by a design standard developed by the City.
  12. 12. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 12Beaverton has no urban renewal and no downtown association. There used to be an associationbut it became inactive five or more years ago, and most promotional work that it used to do is nowundertaken by the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce.Corvallis was described in the section above dealing with cities with similar populations to Tigard.Grants Pass has an urban renewal district but it is scheduled to sunset within the next few years.The City considers it to be successful and is considering starting another. There is no activedowntown association, instead the City contracts with the local Chamber of Commerce to provideoutreach and soft services.McMinnville has no urban renewal but has a strong downtown association. They receive the bulk oftheir funding through an EID and an associated Business Improvement District. The City alsoprovides a small stipend of approximately $15,000 annually to the association.Redmond has urban renewal and has a young downtown association. At present the City isattempting to determine a role and a funding level for the association, which is fully funded by theCity at this time. The association recently made a request for a five-year, $500,000 stipend from theCity to be used primarily for overhead and for organizational development. City staff are proposing asignificantly lower number over a shorter three-year period and are requesting the association spendmore time on events to get shoppers to return to the downtown.Tualatin has an urban renewal district encompassing its downtown. It does not, however, have anassociation, nor does it have a citizens advisory group for the URD.Cities with similar citywide sizeCities with similar surface area size to Tigard were chosen based on a surface area between 8 and12 square miles. This number was pulled from the 2000 U.S. Census, the most recent numberavailable. This resulted in nine other cities:City Surface Area (2000)Coos Bay 10.59Lake Oswego 10.35McMinnville 9.9Newport 8.88Oregon City 8.14Pendleton 10.05Redmond 10.24Roseburg 9.22The Dalles 8.45TIGARD 10.86Of these nine, only two are suburbs (Lake Oswego and Oregon City, both suburbs of Portland). Inaddition, Lake Oswego also appeared on the list of cities with similar populations to Tigard, andMcMinnville and Redmond both appeared on the list of cities with similar budget sizes to Tigard. Allbut two -- Coos Bay and McMinnville -- have urban renewal.Coos Bay has no urban renewal but has an association, the Coos Bay Downtown Association.CBDA is funded through dues and is stand alone from the city.Lake Oswego was discussed under cities with similar populations, above.McMinnville was discussed under cities with similar budget sizes, above.
  13. 13. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 13Newport had an urban renewal district that included part of downtown, called the North District. ThisURD sunsetted recently and the City is now only paying down debt. Newport does have anassociation, the City Center Newport Deco District. This association is completely self funded.Oregon City has an urban renewal district encompassing the traditional downtown as well as largerexpansion areas. There also was a preexisting downtown association focused on events.Currently the City is looking at becoming involved in the Oregon Main Street Program, part of theoverall program overseen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The City contacted thepreexisting association to determine if they were interested in participating but they decided theywould rather retain their autonomy and focus on events. To administer the program the City is helpingto form a new nonprofit. This involved getting many stakeholders both within and adjacent todowntown to meet and get on board with the project. The bylaws of the new association are craftedto explicitly require the association to work with the URD and be a partner with the City. They alsohave a very carefully crafted board makeup that includes representation from the City, the Chamberof Commerce, the two largest employers citywide, and various arts, culture, and preservationinterests. Representatives from the business community are to be voted on by the businesses, andproperty representatives are similarly voted on by area property owners.Pendleton has an urban renewal district that encompasses downtown plus expansion areas. Theydid have a merchants association but it faltered many years ago.Redmond was discussed under cities with similar budget sizes, above.Roseburg has an urban renewal district that encompasses its downtown as well as variousexpansion areas, including the airport. There are also two separate business associations within theURD, the Roseburg Town Center Association, and the Downtown Business Association. Neitherreceives funding from the City.The Dalles has urban renewal encompassing downtown and other areas. They also have anassociation, the Downtown Business Association. DBA is freestanding and receives no City funding.OverviewIn the cities listed above, when both a URD and an association are present, in very few cases did theassociations provide any meaningful impact on urban renewal efforts. It is only Corvallis that standsout as an example where the association had a direct hand in the formation or implementation ofurban renewal.Cities with successful and established downtowns such as Ashland and Lake Oswego have weak ornonexistent downtown associations, but so too did cities with unfocused downtown efforts, such asBeaverton. Common to these cities is a reliance on capital investment and centralized control.Cities actively pursuing the establishment of an association tended to be cities with significantdifficulties in achieving redevelopment goals, such as Oregon City and Springfield, or cities with veryyoung programs, such as Springfield (again) and Redmond.McMinnville has a very strong downtown program that takes the lead in downtown matters. Thisseems to be an aberration, with most programs being either weak and freestanding, or a smallerscope partner in a URD, such as with Albany.
  14. 14. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 14Key example cities to watchAlbany. Although larger by many times than Tigard’s efforts, Albany has a similar land use mix withinits URD and is focusing on similar URD goals. Their association focuses just on the smaller traditionaldowntown rather than the entire URD.Springfield. Similar in population to Tigard, Springfield hosts a URD with a similar land use split,including the concentration of the traditional downtown on a single, 6-8 block long strip within theURD. Springfield’s URD is also a fairly new one, and they are dealing with many of the same outreachchallenges.Oregon City. Similar in physical size to Tigard, Oregon City has an older URD which has experiencedmany challenges over the years. To achieve goals, the City is establishing a new association that isbroad based, with a carefully composed board of directors aimed at ensuring high quality andcooperation between all parties. Although the historic character of Oregon City is not evident to anygreat extent in Tigard, their approach to achieving downtown leadership goals has application toTigard’s fractured status.
  15. 15. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 15DIFFERENT MODELSResearch Question: What are some different models of associations? How do they work?Association Roles.Downtown associations perform a variety of roles, but generally most take on economic developmentfunctions for their districts. As Catherine Corner, Economic Development Director for the City of Canbyputs it, an association “can tackle projects that aren’t capital projects. You can’t use urban renewalfunds for promotion or maintenance.” Canby, which currently has an urban renewal district but nodowntown association, is considering the establishment of an association to help with these non-capital projects.One way of looking at it is that while a URD can invest in building things over a long period of time,associations are seen as a way of taking care of day-to-day tasks. “Urban renewal is focused onlarger economic restructuring and major projects,” says Oregon City’s Christina Robertson-Gardiner.“Urban renewal has the power of the purse, but the association is more advocacy.”In his white paper, Mead outlines a typical “ideal” association: The most logical and effective structure is that of a Board of Directors and a dedicated Association paid staff person. The Board would have at least one city staff liaison position. The Board, association and city staff and other stakeholders/members create a vision, goals, and an implementation strategy and associated tasks.... (Mead, 2008).According to the web site for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, most programs nationwideare less than a decade old (63%), affiliated with a statewide program (90%), and organized as a501c3 (61%), with the next most common organization method being the form of a governmentagency (17.4%). Nationally, most programs receive public sector funding via grants or general fundexpenditures from their local municipalities, (38% and 42% respectively), as well as private sectorfunding, mostly from memberships, sponsorships, and events. Nationwide, relatively few (16%) utilizespecial taxation districts.Baker City & McMinnville.Advocates of downtown associations in Oregon frequently point to Baker City and McMinnville asexamples of the strengths of the model. While both cities do indeed have strong associations,research has shown that these cities are the exception and not the norm. Both cities are countyseats of non-urban counties with populations between 10,000 and 25,000. Neither city has an urbanrenewal program.Additionally, both Baker City and McMinnville have a strong tourism market, with the former being inthe middle of major recreational opportunities, and the latter being in the middle of Oregon’s “winecountry”. Both cities also have strong historic downtowns consisting of multiple blocks of large vintagestructures. Both began their downtown programs decades ago to combat a plague of emptystorefronts and vacant buildings.Sadly, research shows that the typical association in Oregon is a standalone association with weakpower, little membership, and poor funding, focused on the occasional public event.
  16. 16. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 16Funding Associations.Downtown associations achieve their funding in a variety of ways. Most are self-funded, eitherthrough memberships and donations, or through assessment programs such as EconomicImprovement Districts. Very few receive direct funding from their municipal governments.The predominant form of funding for associations in Oregon is the Economic Improvement District(EID). This is a form of assessment similar to a tax, assessed against properties within a defineddistrict. Ids are usually administered by the local municipality, however, the program is usuallyinstigated by the association. Ids can be made voluntary -- allowing a property owner to opt out ifhe/she feels the program will not benefit them -- or involuntary, where all properties in the district mustpay if the EID survives passage.Adoption of an EID usually consists of an EID proposal being made by an association to their localmunicipality. The municipality then handles the paperwork for formation, and notifies the land ownerswithin the proposed district of the assessment and gives them the option of declining, known asremonstrance. If property owners representing up to or in excess of 33% of the proposed assessedvalue remonstrate, the EID can not be implemented. Surprisingly, very few associations are usinginvoluntary Ids, and those using voluntary Ids have reported respectable compliance levels.Another funding method similar to the EID is the Business Improvement District. This is a form ofassessment similar to a business license tax, assessed against businesses within a defined district.BIDs are usually administered by the local municipality, however, the program is usually instigated bythe association. BIDs can be made voluntary -- allowing a property owner to opt out if he/she feelsthe program will not benefit them -- or involuntary, where all properties in the district must pay if theBID survives passage.Adoption of BIDs usually consists of an BID proposal being made by an association to their localmunicipality. The municipality then handles the paperwork for formation, and notifies the businessowners within the proposed district of the assessment and gives them the option of declining, knownas remonstrance. If business owners representing up to or in excess of 33% of the proposedbusinesses in the district remonstrate, the BID can not be implemented. The BID seems to be a lesspopular funding choice, perhaps due to the lower dollar amount that is usually assessed by them.Initial research seems to indicate that few associations are using both EID and BIDs together.Some cities provide direct stipends to their associations. Oregon City, Albany, Hillsboro, and Corvallisall provide direct funding, but in almost every case officials from the local governments described thisfunding as “a small stipend”, usually ranging between $10,000 and $50,000 annually. Currently,Redmond is considering a request from their association for a 5-year, $500,000 stipend.In some cases, the local municipality provides funding assistance to their associations throughindirect means. As an example, Albany allows their association to implement a parking meter programand retain the profits for their operations. In Grants Pass, the city contracts out visitor information andtourism services as well as the administration of a downtown historic district program to its localChamber of Commerce. Hillsboro has created a Local Improvement District (LID) to fund capitalprojects that support the vision of their downtown association.Many associations receive no stable funding source, relying on memberships and/or donations tocontinue operations. Such groups rarely can afford to hire a staff person, and most of their fundstend to go towards public events. In most of these cases, the association either had no workingrelationship with their local municipality, or had a history of conflicts with the municipality.None of these methods provide significant funding. In most cases, the funding raised is just enoughto cover the costs of association staffing, overhead, and events. Major programs -- includingstorefront grant programs -- tend to be paid for through the local municipality.
  17. 17. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 17Membership & Business Associations vs. Downtown Associations.Membership, as mentioned above, is sometimes relied upon as a funding source for downtownassociations. It should be noted that this is the primary role of membership in such organizations.Business associations and downtown associations or downtown organizations are not thesame. Unlike a business association, downtown associations exist to represent geographic areas,not just their members. Although the ability to vote or hold office in the organization is typically tiedto membership, most municipalities will expect that a downtown association will represent the interestof their entire downtown, not only their paid members.The term “business association” and “downtown association” should not be used as if they areinterchangeable, due to this fundamental difference.Main Street Programs.Associations are welcome to join the Main Street program from the National Trust for HistoricPreservation (NTHP). This program is aimed towards downtowns with a strongly historic character thathave need of both physical and economic improvement. This program provides benefits such astechnical assistance and training. In exchange, the program requires extensive record keeping thatmust be submitted to the NTHP, who use it to monitor the performance of the nations downtowns aswell as use it as support for advocacy with national policymakers.The program consists of the so-called “four points” approach. These four principles are consideredabsolutely required by the NTHP, and consist of organization, promotion, design, and economicrestructuring.Baker City’s Don Chance notes that their historic district had been very successful in partnering withthe city and disbursing grant money to renovate the city’s downtown. Many of the structures in thearea were empty or derelict when the district began its efforts more than twenty years ago.In Oregon, the program is currently administered by the Oregon Economic & CommunityDevelopment Department (OECDD). The program had a good track record of many years, but fellvictim to budget cuts in the late 1990s. Governor Kulongoski’s 2007-2009 budget has providedmoney to reestablish the program.The reaction of various cities in the state has been mixed. While some cities are embracing the newprogram, others -- such as Lake Oswego -- are choosing not to. Partly this is due to the fairly rigidstructure of the national program, and its focus on historic matters.The Oregon program, however, is somewhat more flexible. Program coordinator Gary Van Huffelindicated that he is open to modifying the state’s program to meet the needs of individualcommunities. Although cities with a modified program would likely not meet the requirements of thefull national program, they would still enjoy certain advocacy and support benefits with the state.Oregon City’s highly tailored version of the Main Street program -- mentioned earlier -- is an exampleof such a modification. With many towns lacking a surviving historic center, as well as some cities(such as Damascus) starting from scratch, such flexibility will be needed.Leland on Other Models.Leland notes that there are numerous other models besides the Main Street program. Other modelsinclude public/private economic development associations. Another idea that was suggested was toinclude the 99W corridor businesses in a broader organization, as this would allow pooling ofresources. (Memo from Sean Farrelly to CCAC, dated 7 July 2008).
  18. 18. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 18Additional Models of NoteA number of cities both in and outside of the region are notable examples of differing approachesand may warrant further investigation. The following list includes links to profiles for these cities, forfurther reading:Holland, MI: Main Street/Downtown Development Authority Bern, NC: Swiss Bear, Inc., PA: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Paul, MN: Lowertown, CA: Sonoma County Business Environmental Alliance, NC: Winston-Salem Alliance
  19. 19. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 19URD ONLY MODELSResearch Question: What are other cities (of any size/make-up) doing that have urban renewal but do not have an association?URD Without Associations.A number of cities utilize urban renewal programs to enhance their downtowns without using adowntown association component. These towns tended to be small and rural, as in Brookings,Coquille, and Pendleton -- or suburban, as in Canby, Keizer, and Tualatin. In interviews withmembers of city staff in these communities, each city had a strong urban renewal program, or had astrong economic development department. A significant financial commitment towards infrastructurefrom the city was a common feature of these models.When a city did have both urban renewal and a downtown association, there was rarely anycoordination between the association and the city. Few Oregon associations receive funding fromtheir local municipalities, and many were described by city staff as being “in existence” but “not doingmuch”; rarely was an association described as a vital or highly active partner.Regarding the use of urban renewal and downtown associations, Don Chance, planning director atthe City of Baker City had some interesting comments. He mentioned that, in retrospect, they wishthey had not gone the historic downtown association route, and had instead concentrated on urbanrenewal. According to Chance, there are a number of streets within downtown that are adjacent tothe historic district but not included within it. The city is considering the use of Urban Renewal tofinance and revitalize these streets. Said Chance: “we’ve been wondering if we had just included allthis in one urban renewal district years ago rather than going the historic district route if we couldhave just done all this under one umbrella”.Non-URD, Capital Intensive Programs.Some cities have neither an association nor urban renewal, but still have a financial commitment totheir infrastructure or to historic preservation efforts. In Beaverton’s case, the city has investedsignificant funds into their downtown through direct expenditure, without using urban renewal; this isthe result of a city charter that forbids the use of urban renewal financing. (Currently there is an effortto rewrite or remove this provision.) At the opposite end of the spectrum is Ashland, which has nourban renewal and which has concentrated on historic preservation. In Ashland’s situation, thehistoric preservation program is coordinated entirely “in house” at the city in a topdown approach.
  20. 20. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 20WEB SOLUTIONSResearch Question: How many associations utilize web-based solutions, and how?General Comments.As a general statement, most associations have some form of web presence, but rarely do thesepresences go beyond a simple web site. There are many different web-based tools -- such as e-maillists and online forums -- that would be available to an association, but their use does not seemcommon at this time.Further research into this subject would be of use to an existing or prospective association, however,such research was precluded due to a shortage of time for this report.
  21. 21. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 21FAILURESResearch Question: What are some examples of cities with associations that failed, and what are the reasons for such failures?Typical Failures.Over the course of this research, it is undeniable that more associations in Oregon have experiencedor are experiencing failure than are not. As a clarification, such failure tended to be defined as: • Inadequate funding to continue operations • Inadequate membership • Lack of leadership from more than one individual within the association • Lack of leadership in general in the association • Lack of association vision or purpose • Poor organizationSuch features are typical of most associations in the state. Only a very few associations haveremained strong enough to avoid such failures. They have tended to be associations in historic,stand-alone cities such as Baker, McMinnville, or Albany.The most common problem encountered surrounded leadership issues. Springfield, for example, hada strong association, but it was built around the leadership of a single individual. When that individualpassed away, the association failed. Sometimes, leadership failure occurs when personalitiesbecome stronger than issues. In Grants Pass, for example, personal conflicts came between theleadership of the association and members of city staff, disagreements that were not resolved untilthere were personnel changes on both sides.Leland on Association Leadership.Leland echoes these concerns, noting that leadership -- along with funding -- are crucial tomaintaining an association’s health. Leland points out as an example Bellingham, Washington. “TheCity provided seed money for a couple of years, but after that was phased out there was no stablefunding, since a BID was never formed. There was early committed leadership, but when that personleft, the organization declined.” Leland further notes that there needs to be not just a singleindividual, but a pool of people capable of providing leadership (Memo from Sean Farrelly to CCAC,dated 7 July 2008). This sentiment is echoed by Oregon City, whose efforts to create a very broad-based board of directors is an attempt to engineer an environment that will promote a healthyspectrum of leadership.
  22. 22. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 22APPENDIXThe following are summaries taken from Main street renewal: A handbook for citizens and publicofficials. This book is an extremely valuable resource, and cannot posibly be sumarized in only threepages, however, the following material stood out as particularly relevant to this fact-finding mission.Ten Myths of Downtown Revitalization Myth Reality 1. Build it and they will come! (Physical Need a market analysis & business plan improvement approach). implemented by newly formed partnership of city hall and businesses. 2. Demolish it and they will come! (Clean it up Building preservation combined with intensive approach). business recruitment does attract developers. 3. Complete a major project and they will Sucess requires multi-faceted effort come! (Build in isolation approach). addressing all of downtown’s key issues. 4. Need a department store to anchor the Redefine anchors as government complexes, downtown! (Traditional anchor approach). cultural/entertainment facilities, tourist draws, housing units, specialty retail, office buildings. 5. If there is no department store, then no Specialty retail works. Bringing pedestrians retail of any kind can flourish. (Big retail or downtown requires a mix of services, retail, no retail approach). and dining/entertainment facilities that adress needs of customers. 6. Competition is bad business. (Head in the Sucessful commerical districts have similar & sand approach). compatible businesses in groupings (clusters such as antique stores, furniture, clothing, auot, personal services, professional services, etc....) 7. Downtown must keep uniform business Not advantageous to retailers as hours hours. (Lets pretend we’re a mall should be “market driven” to serve needs of approach). targeted customers. Shift to different hours rather than keep longer hours. 8. Be lenient or developers won’t do business Developers will do business in communities with us. that demand quality projets as their investments are protected. 9. Be tough as possible or developers will Unreasonably stringent & demanding take advantage of us. communities cause developers to locate projects elsewhere. 10. If we had more parking, they would come! Successful businesses found you need to (Scapegoat approach). provide what the customer wants (special products, great service, unique atmosphere) in order to get customers to come downtown and use the parking.
  23. 23. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 23Seven Secrets of Success• Form partnerships among businesses, with the public sector, civic organizations, andcommunity residents.• Have a defined clear vision of where you want to go shared by all in body.• Be market driven! Who are your customers, potential customers, & what do they want todayand what will they want tomorrow? Provide for them!• Create & use a business Plan! City could help businesses to develop business plans (as wellas the commissioned body having a written visionary plan) with 5, 10 & 20 outlooks.• Dare to be different. Carve a market niche in the marketplace, so you don’t compete withmalls and descanters.• Focus! Concentrate resources in well-defined focus areas as resources are scarce. Resultswill become more visible quickly. What resources are already available for you to share? See #1.• Follow the “5 M’s” Management of downtown should be like a business. Marketing campaigns for downtown Maintenance of private and public property Market knowledge to create niche Money for ongoing enhancementLessons from BirminghamThe following are key points from the Birmingham, Alabama “Beacon” project: • Revitalize active merchant’s associations • Reduce blight caused by existing businesses and vacant space • Preserve the historic character of the neighborhoods • Recruit new tenants that enhance the quality of the neighborhoods and promote cohesiveness • Encourage development transactions within the districts • Assist entrepreneurs in opening local businesses • Receive, buy and develop key propertiesFor more information on the Beacon project, see:
  24. 24. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 24Goals & VisionSome possible goals for an association might include: • Vision – 5, 10 & 20 year plans • Economic Stability • Use Current Business Management & Research Techniques • Strategic Economic Development to build solid foundation • Sound Priorities: a) quality jobs b) quality education c) economic development d) housingThe larger question is, how does Tigard see its downtown as relating to local, state, national, andinternational economies? As shown by the needs analysis section of this report, non-retail uses arepredominate in the URD. In the global economy of the 21st century, many of these companies dobusiness not just locally. but regionally, nationally, and beyond. What are their needs and how mightdowntown Tigard be relevant to them?One of the factors that town centers use to compete for business is the “quality of life” factor. This isespecially true of areas where housing is a key aspect of the downtown mix. Quality of life, however,has many definitions. Nationally, the term is usually defined as a loop that starts with jobs andeconomic development, linked to quality education, which then links back to jobs. In the PacificNorthwest, quality of life is usually seen as a trifecta of housing, education, and employment.A key goal of an association in downtown Tigard might be to define what quality of life means for thisspecific place. Such a definition might include housing, access to healthcare, culture & culturalamenities, the environment, and transportation.
  25. 25. City of Tigard / Downtown Associations in Oregon... 25BIBLIOGRAPHYFarrelly, S., City of Tigard. memo to City Center Advisory Commission dated June 2, 2008.Farrelly, S., City of Tigard, memo to City Center Advisory Commission dated July 7, 2008.Kemp, R. Main street renewal: A handbook for citizens and public officials (2nd ed.). Jefferson, NorthCarolina: McFarland & Company, 2006.Leland Consulting Group. (October, 2007). Development Strategy for Downtown Tigard.Marcus Mead / City of Tigard. (April, 2008). Summary of Research on Downtown Associations:Structure, Funding, Effectiveness.National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Program (Web site), Retrieved from Department of Revenue. (April, 2007). Oregon property tax statistics: Fiscal year 2006-2007.Population Research Center, Portland State University. (December 15, 2006). PRC Certified Cities.State of Oregon. Oregon Blue Book Online (Web Site). Retrieved from Census Bureau. (2000). Oregon -- place GCT-PH1. Population, housing units, area, anddensity: 2000. Washington, D.C.Zahas, C., Leland Consulting Group. Letter to Tigard City Council, dated November 19, 2007/ACKNOWLEDGMENTSMany people helped in the creation of this report. it is not possible to thank them all, but the followingindividuals should be acknowledged for their contributions:Jacki Yoder, Oregon Economic Development DepartmentArthur Fish, OEDDLinda Ludwig, League of Oregon CitiesStephanie Foley, LOCGary Van Huffel, OEDDDon Chance, City of Baker CityCatherine Comer, City of CanbySean Farrelly, City of TigardCourtney Griesel, City of SpringfieldChristina Robertson-Gardiner, City of Oregon CityChris Zahas, Leland Consulting Group