City Center (Downtown) Urban Renewal Area
Approved by Voters:
20 years (FY 2025-2026)
Maximum Project Funding Amount (Indebtedness):
The City Center (Downtown) Urban Renewal Plan has five distinct goals:
GOAL 1: Revitalization of the Downtown should recognize the value of natural resources as amenities and as contributing to the special sense of place.
GOAL 2: Capitalize on Commuter Rail and Fanno Creek as catalysts for future investment and development.
GOAL 3: Downtown’s transportation system should be multi-modal, connecting people, places and activities safely and conveniently.
GOAL 4: Downtown’s streetscape and public spaces should be pedestrian-friendly and not visually dominated by the automobile.
GOAL 5: Promote high-quality development of retail, office and residential uses that support and are supported by public streetscape, transportation, recreation and open space investments.
Current and Proposed Projects
Urban Renewal Matching Grant Program
The Urban Renewal Matching Grant Program provides matching grants for existing businesses and property owners in the City Center Urban Renewal District to make improvements to the exterior of their building. The program also funds interior improvements for restaurants or similar businesses that move into vacant commercial spaces. This program has previously supported renovations to projects at Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub, Tigard Taphouse, Symposium Coffee, Jeffrey Allen Gallery, and many others. Grant-funded projects have strengthened participating businesses and improved Main Street’s position as a walkable commercial district. More information.
Tigard Ava Roasteria
The Town Center Development Agency (TCDA) is actively engaged in redeveloping this key site where Main Street meets Fanno Creek. The TCDA purchased the property and then used $400,000 in grant funding from the U.S. EPA Brownfield Cleanup program to mitigate contaminants found on the property and prep the site for redevelopment. Cleanup has been completed and the TCDA is working with developer Ava Roasteria on a four-story mixed-use building that will bring added vitality to Downtown. The building will contain an Ava Roasteria coffee shop on the bottom floor, along with a roastery and tasting room and pastry shop.
Tigard Street Heritage Trail & Rotary Plaza
Once a former railroad spur, the three-quarter-mile Tigard Heritage Trail is now a pathway for commerce and culture. Thanks to the work of hundreds of people and dozens of partners, the Tigard Heritage Trail has opened new access to parks and trails, livable neighborhoods and the city’s vibrant Downtown. The already popular bike and pedestrian pathway now celebrates local heritage and identity as a “pedestrian boulevard” with historic and cultural landmarks. Visitors and neighbors will enjoy another link to Tigard’s growing trail system and a long-sought space for community gatherings in Rotary Plaza.
Planned to open in 2022, Universal Plaza will be a place for everyone- a community gathering spot in the heart of downtown Tigard that celebrates our shared humanity and our one shared planet. Careful attention and a lot of planning has led to the development of Universal Plaza in two phases.
Phase 1 will feature the community’s most requested amenity -- an interactive water feature and splash pad. Construction of Phase 1 will begin Winter 2021-2022. Phase 1 is planned to open Summer 2022. Phase 2 will construct a show stopping overhead canopy for shade in the summer and shelter in the winter.
View an interactive map of projects funded or inspired by urban renewal.
Accomplishments to Date
of private investment into property improvements and new construction in the City Center URA since 2006. Triple the amount of investment in the 12 years preceding urban renewal. Data Source: Washington County
leverage ratio of private to public investment into urban renewal tenant and storefront improvements, meaning every $1 in grant funding has yielded $3 in private investment. Data Source: City of Tigard
downtown businesses have received urban renewal matching grants for interior or exterior building improvements. Data Source: City of Tigard
new units of multifamily housing units constructed in downtown Tigard since urban renewal was approved in 2006. Data Source: Metro
increase in multifamily housing in downtown Tigard since 2006, compared to a 9% increase in the rest of Tigard. Data Source: Metro
increase in assessed value in the City Center URA between 2006–2016, compared to a 45% increase in assessed value citywide. Data Source: Washington County
Approved by Voters: 2017
Area Size: 548 acres
Plan Duration: 35 years (FY 2052-53)
Maximum Project Funding Amount (Indebtedness): $188 million
The Tigard Triangle Urban Renewal Plan has five distinct goals:
GOAL 1: Encourage meaningful involvement by citizens, interested parties, and affected agencies throughout the life of the urban renewal district to ensure that it reflects the community’s values and priorities.
GOAL 2: Provide a safe and effective multimodal transportation network that provides access to, from, and within the Area and supports mixed-use and pedestrian-oriented development.
GOAL 3: Provide public utility improvements to support desired development.
GOAL 4: Create a clear identity for the Area as a fun and diverse place to live, work, shop, eat, and play by building upon existing unique and desirable features.
GOAL 5: Provide financial and technical assistance to new and existing businesses and housing developments that contribute to the Area’s diversity and vitality and help it transform into a mixed-use and pedestrian-oriented district.
Current & Proposed Projects
A New Tigard Triangle: Planning for Equitable Development
The City is working to transform the Tigard Triangle into a vibrant area where people of all ages, abilities and incomes can live and work within walking distance to shops, restaurants and parks.
The goal of “A New Tigard Triangle: Planning for Equitable Development” is to provide direction for public investments that support equitable development in the Tigard Triangle TIF District. The implementation strategy will ensure that local residents and businesses have the opportunity to benefit from the area’s economic transformation.
In Phase 1, conducted from February- October 2019, equity criteria were developed with substantial community input. The criteria, along with a financial plan and a model that determined which projects had high development impact, resulted in prioritized list of projects from the Tigard Triangle TIF District Plan.
Phase 2 advanced preliminary designs and program development for several near-term, high-priority projects. These projects will form part of the Triangle’s infrastructure investment plan.
In February, 2021, the Board of the Town Center Development Agency adopted the plan as a guide for implementation of the Tigard Triangle TIF District.
Development Assistance for Affordable Housing
A new affordable housing development on SW 68th parkway is the first project to receive urban renewal in the Tigard Triangle, adding 48 units of affordable housing. The development assistance helped close the funding gap in the project.
The Tigard Triangle (roughly the area bordered by I-5, Highway 217 and Highway 99W) is an area with great potential but also lacks basic infrastructure like sewers, sidewalks, roads and parks. The Tigard Triangle Urban Renewal Plan includes projects that will help achieve improved walkability, address transportation issues, and help businesses grow.
Projects could include:
- New streets and sidewalks
- New trails and parks
- Major sewer line repairs
- Red Rock Creek restoration
- Stormwater management
- Intersection improvements
- Façade improvement grants/loans
- Small business support
We are seeking feedback from the community to help develop a plan for strategy for growth and investments that will support future uses. The outcome will be a strategy that guides how the area develops and grows for the next 35 years.
Applications for matching grant funding are now being accepted on a rolling basis. See below for more information.
The Urban Renewal Matching Grant Program provides matching grants for existing businesses in the City Center (Downtown) Urban Renewal Area to make improvements to the exterior of their business. New catalyst businesses moving into vacant spaces in Downtown are also eligible for funding to make interior upgrades. This program has previously supported renovation projects at Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub, Under Water Works, Sherrie’s Jewelry Box, Symposium Coffee, Jeffrey Allen Gallery, and many others. Click here for an interactive map of projects funded by this program.
Matching grant funds support two distinct but related programs: The Exterior Improvement Program and the Interior Improvement Program.
See details about eligibility and requirements (en español).
For more information, contact Dylan Dekay-Bemis
, Economic Development Coordinator at 503-718-2560.
What is Urban Renewal?
Urban renewal is a powerful funding tool that is used to help revitalize areas that lack adequate public infrastructure and private investment. Urban renewal provides funding for projects that often focus on improving transportation and utility infrastructure, attracting and retaining small businesses, supporting affordable housing, and developing public spaces such as parks, plazas, and trails.
Urban renewal funding comes from property taxes within the urban renewal boundaries, and it is earmarked to fix identified problems in that same area. Urban renewal is NOT a new tax; it only changes how current and future tax revenue is allocated.Is Urban Renewal a new tax?
Urban renewal is not a new tax—it simply adjusts how we allocate existing tax revenue. As new development and properties appreciate naturally, additional tax revenue is generated to pay for projects in the urban renewal area. Tax bills for property owners within an urban renewal area do not increase because of urban renewal; urban renewal only changes where that money goes.How Does Urban Renewal Work?
Urban renewal is funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). When an urban renewal area (URA) is formed, property values within the area are frozen, forming a “frozen base” at the time of the Urban Renewal Plan adoption. Tax revenue from this “frozen base” continue to go to all taxing districts in the area, including TVF&R, Tigard-Tualatin Schools District and Washington County, for the duration of the Urban Renewal Plan. Revenue collected on any increases in property value that occurs from new development and/or appreciation is allocated to the Urban Renewal Agency for projects in the URA. With urban renewal, and the use of tax increment financing (TIF), there is no net change on Tigard property tax bills. New property taxes are NOT created as a result of urban renewal.
What are the benefits of Urban Renewal for Tigard?
How are decisions made about Urban Renewal?
Improves Tigard’s Long-Term Financial Health - By bringing in new businesses and development, urban renewal increases Tigard’s tax base over time which, in turn, helps fund future city services for all of Tigard residents.
Provides a Stable Funding Source - By creating a stable, long-term funding source (without creating a new tax), the city can build or fix infrastructure that it may otherwise delay, or never be able to afford.
Steers Investment Toward an Area Ready for Change - By focusing on areas already zoned for mixed-use commercial and residential density, urban renewal steers investments toward parts of Tigard that are the readiest for change.
Furthers Tigard’s Walkability Goal - Urban renewal can help further the city’s goal of becoming a more walkable, interconnected and healthy community by transforming auto-oriented districts with no or limited sidewalks into pedestrian-friendly areas with a diverse mix of destinations and activities.
Supports Travel by Alternate Modes - By fostering the creation of a complete community – one which has jobs, housing, services, and transit – urban renewal can make travel by alternate modes (travel by foot, bike, or transit) feasible.
The Town Center Development Agency
(TCDA) is the City of Tigard’s urban renewal agency and is responsible for administering the City Center and Tigard Triangle plans. The Board of the Town Center Development Agency are the decision makers of the agency. The membership of the Board is made up of the Tigard City Council. The Town Center Advisory Commission
makes recommendations to the board on policy, budget, and implementation of urban renewal projects. Applications for the board are held every October.
Does Urban Renewal affect the City's general funds?
Urban Renewal areas do have a financial effect on the city’s general funds. According to Washington County Assessor’s Office data, the increment between frozen and actual assessed value for Tigard’s two districts (Tigard Triangle and City Center) totals about $120,900,000. At a rate of $2.51/$1,000 assessed value, the city forgoes just over $300,000 in additional property tax revenue per year (assuming the growth would have been the same without the district). That is a 0.8% decrease over current General Fund revenues.
Did Urban Renewal lead to the need for a Police Levy? Tigard’s one recent tax increase is our local option levy which will raise $2,140,000 in property taxes this year dedicated to police services. Since police is approximately 50% of the General Fund, approximately $150,000 of the $300,000 from Urban Renewal would go to police, or about 7% of the police need that the levy addresses. So, while it is possible that other community’s urban renewal areas have indirectly led to tax increases, that is not the case in Tigard.
Does urban renewal affect other taxing districts? Urban Renewal areas do have a financial effect on local taxing districts. Oregon law requires consulting with the other taxing districts such as Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Tigard Tualatin School District before enacting urban renewal plans. While an urban renewal area is active, revenue from that area is frozen, which means that taxing districts will not receive as much money as they would have otherwise received. In the creation of our urban renewal areas, the other taxing districts forego some revenue now in exchange for an increase in their total property tax base later as a result of urban renewal investments.
The impact is different for schools than for other districts. An urban renewal area does not directly affect school districts in Oregon because K-12 schools are funded through the State School Fund. Property tax revenues are an offset under the statewide school funding formula, and property tax revenues foregone by school districts because of urban renewal may be replaced with other State School Fund revenues.
In essence, taxing districts forego some revenue now in exchange for an increase in their total property tax base later as a result of urban renewal investments. Since the goal of urban renewal is to spur development that would otherwise not have occurred, taxing districts can expect to receive more tax revenue in the future than they would have had urban renewal never existed.
Why does Urban Renewal show up on my tax bill?
Voters approved the formation of an urban renewal area in Downtown Tigard in 2006 and in the Tigard Triangle in 2017. If you own property in the city, urban renewal shows up as a line item on your tax bill whether or not you own property in the urban renewal area, which can be confusing.
Technically, a portion of your taxes are going to the urban renewal area, but that’s only because of a 2002 court decision and subsequent 2003 legislation that requires the County Assessor to calculate the division of taxes in a very specific way. Even though the urban renewal agency is not a taxing district, your tax bill treats it like a taxing district by showing it as a line item with a separate tax rate as required by law. In actuality, this line item does not represent a new tax, or result in a larger tax bill than would otherwise occur. Instead, it represents a division of tax dollars, collected from all properties in the city in an amount equal to the growth in assessed value inside the urban renewal area. When the urban renewal areas expire, your property tax bill will not decrease. Property tax dollars will be redistributed to the existing taxing districts.
Urban renewal was established by the Federal Housing Act of 1949 to provide funding for cities to invest in affordable housing and urban infrastructure projects in underperforming areas. Unfortunately, in some cases, the implementation of urban renewal plans has had negative consequences, resulting in displacement of minorities and underrepresented populations in cities around the country.
For many, the term urban renewal evokes these past practices. The City of Tigard acknowledges urban renewal’s harmful past and seeks to reclaim it as an authentic tool for positive and equitable transformation.
Tigard’s Commitment to Equitable Implementation: The City of Tigard uses an equitable development strategy to ensure everyone participates in, and benefits from, the economic transformation of its urban renewal areas. This strategy ensures projects deliver on the vision of equitable development and advance the broader change needed to link community members to economic and neighborhood opportunities. Accountable public action and investment will result in more quality jobs and increasing entrepreneurship, wealth, and quality of life. The result will be a stronger, more competitive city.