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Downtown Waterfront URA: Overview

Overview (1974 to Present)

The Downtown Waterfront Urban Renewal Area (DTWF URA) is one of Portland’s most successful examples of urban renewal and tax increment financing. Since 2001, assessed land values in the DTWF URA have increased an average of four percent annually, from a total of $653 million to $918 million. To continue strengthening downtown’s role as the regional center for finance, trade, education, culture, retail, professional and governmental services, PDC facilitates both private and public partners revitalization efforts to keep downtown Portland vibrant and healthy.

» View the Downtown Waterfront URA Plan

Over the years, PDC has worked with community and business partners to complete a number of successful development and rehabilitation projects and public improvements in the URA, including:

These efforts have leveraged a significant amount of private investment, generated additional property taxes for multiple taxing districts, and transformed the downtown area.

Objectives of this Urban Renewal Plan are to:

  • Eliminate blight and deterioration 
  • Eliminate conditions detrimental to public health, safety, and welfare 
  • Encourage conservation and rehabilitation of property and public facilities through public and private development 
  • Encourage redevelopment of properties not suitable for conservation and rehabilitation 
  • Encourage land uses which will help create a well balanced physical and economic environment.

Proposed Renewal Activities
Renewal activities may include:

  • Structural rehabilitation and conservation 
  • Clearance and redevelopment, and 
  • Public improvements. 
  • Participation by owners and tenants in private conservation, rehabilitation, and redevelopment 
  • Property acquisition and clearance, to remove blight and/or to provide sites for development which is in conformance with the adopted General Plan. 
  • Relocation assistance to occupants and businesses in the Project Area displaced by public renewal actions. 
  • Preparation and disposition of properties acquired by the designated urban renewal agency and designated for redevelopment. 
  • Construction and/ or modification of public streets and utilities, and other public improvements necessary to carry out the adopted General Plan.
  • Enforcement of city codes and ordinances relative to land use, density, historic preservation, building construction, maintenance and occupancy, and any other applicable codes and ordinances of the City of Portland. 
  • Design review of new construction and modification or renovation of existing private and public buildings and improvements.