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Redmond city councilors give nod to plans for new urban renewal district

Safety enhancements and job creations are main objectives

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Redmond is one big step closer to adding its second active urban renewal district, on the south end of town.

On Tuesday, Redmond city councilors unanimously approved the South Redmond Highway 97 Urban Renewal Feasibility Study.

Officials told NewsChannel 21 Wednesday that safety enhancements and job creation are the main goals of the project.

With the approval, the city can now leverage state and federal resources for the $50 million to $80 million needed to improve the south Redmond corridor between Yew Avenue and Veterans Way.

Officials said the community has voiced several concerns about safety and mobility issues in that area.

"There's really no safe place to navigate down that corridor,” Meghan Gassner, Redmond’s urban renewal programs analyst, told NewsChannel 21. “It's obviously a high rate of speed through there -- even with the speed limits in place, people are still at freeway speeds a lot of the time."

The study will also look at the possibility of providing infrastructure improvements to nearly 1,000 acres of land south of the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

"The job growth that we could expect from that area, should we help with getting that infrastructure in place, would be astronomical for our city," Gassner said.

Altogether, the urban renewal district would cover around 1,330 acres, with a maximum debt limit of $154 million over the district's 26-year life.

City staff hope to finalize the urban renewal plan and report at the end of June. The documents would then be taken to City Council and the Urban Renewal Agency Board for approval on Aug. 25.

Any growth in the taxes collected within the district area (if approved later this year) will help finance projects to achieve the objectives of safety along the corridor and job creation.


Here's the full press release sent out by the city of Redmond Wednesday afternoon:

REDMOND, OREGON –Tuesday, June 9, 2020 Redmond City Council unanimously approved the South Redmond US 97 Urban Renewal Feasibility Study.  This marks a significant step toward the formation of a second active urban renewal district in Redmond.  This impetus for the new district is to provide matching dollars to leverage state and federal resources for the $50 - 80 million needed to enhance the safety, mobility, and economic vitality along the US 97 South Redmond Corridor between Yew Ave. and Veterans Way.  The district will also be looked upon to provide infrastructure improvements the nearly 1,000 acres of recently annexed industrial land south of the Fairgrounds.

The proposed district is 1330 acres and has a maximum debt limit of $150 million.

“Unlocking tax increment financing to be invested advances a community priority and improves connectivity, manages growth along an increasingly congested section of a state highway, improves traffic safety and upgrades aging infrastructure,” said Deputy City Manager John Roberts.  “Funds generated will be essential for leveraging state and federal transportation resources.”

Outreach to overlapping taxing districts such as Redmond Fire & Rescue, the Redmond School District, and others has been occurring for more than a year.  This came on the heels of a multi-year public participation process in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation, Stakeholder Advisory Groups, and adjacent businesses, property owners and residents, to develop the South Redmond US 97 Corridor Plan.

With Council’s approval of the feasibility study, City staff will finalize the legally required Urban Renewal Plan and Report by the end of June 2020.  These documents will be presented to overlapping taxing districts and pending the outcome of the discussions, be presented to City Council/the Urban Renewal Agency Board for approval on August 25, 2020.

Once the district is formed, future growth in property taxes will be invested in the projects identified in the Urban Renewal Plan over the life of the district (through 2046).  The forgone revenue generated by the proposed district is estimated to be $154 million over its 26- year lifespan.

To learn more about the South Redmond US 97 Corridor Plan and the recommended improvements, please visit

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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.


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