Economic Improvement District
Since 2009, nearly $42 million in public and private investment has been made in Downtown Oregon City resulting in 28 net new businesses and a drop in the vacancy rate from 34% to less than 10%. 38 buildings have been rehabilitated in some way, with many receiving substantial facade improvements, systems upgrades, and major interior renovations. More than $90 million is planned within the next four years in addition to the Cove apartments.
The enhanced services made possible by the Economic Improvement District have bolstered downtown’s revitalization, accelerated property value growth, and helped retain businesses. Below, learn more about the projects and programs supported by the EID, proposed renewal, goals, and governance.
The Economic Improvement District is part of an overall revitalization strategy for Downtown Oregon City managed by the Downtown Oregon City Association. It funds core property benefit programs that are increasingly important as foot traffic increases and with anticipated dynamic shifts in the development of downtown over the next four years.
Proposed 2018 Renewal
Downtown Oregon City has changed dramatically since the original Economic Improvement District formation in 2011. It was last renewed in 2015. Since the last renewal, the number and breadth of programs supported by the Downtown Oregon City Association has increased substantially. The proposed rate and zone structure helps DOCA continue to provide and expand on programs that result in resilient property values and help businesses thrive.
Increased Governance and Oversight
The 2018-2022 EID will be treated as a separate fund rather than as part of DOCA’s General Fund. DOCA is committing to providing twice yearly reporting on how the fund is used and will seek annual feedback on Fund allocations and priorities. Additionally, this proposal will add at least one ratepayer to our Board of Directors for oversight of the fund and other programming.
Four Year Goals
DOCA’s Board of Directors identified the following goals for the next four years.
- Full occupancy of existing buildings and completed infill construction projects.
- Successful integration with Willamette Falls Legacy Project and private development at the mill site. Target riverwalk one open date is 2022.
- Successfully replace courthouse and related functions. The county has identified 2022 as a priority date to build a new facility on its Red Soils campus.
- Improved pedestrian connectivity to residential areas including Cove apartments.
- Increased sales density for food and beverage and retail businesses.
- Establishment of a strong tourism marketing organization.
- Expanded public private partnerships such as reintroduction of urban renewal and leveraging Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grants.
- Maintain a clean and safe downtown.
- Continued investment in existing buildings and preservation of contributing historic resources.
Proposed Economic Improvement District Zone Map
Proposed EID Fund Allocations
The EID Fund budget will be finalized with input from all ratepayers before the planned July 2018 effective date.
Clean & Safe
- Half Time Clean Team Associate
- Coordination with OCPD, Oregon City Homeless Solutions Coalition, and other service providers to be responsive to adverse impacts to property by camping, trespass, littering, and other illegal behavior.
- Other Clean & Safe projects as budget allows.
Expanded Business & Property Development Services
- 0.35 FTE and related expenses dedicated to business recruitment, retention, market research, developer recruitment, grant writing, and other development services.
Zone 1 Street Tree Lights
- Part of Zone 1’s higher rate.
129 tax lots
$35.0 million total non-exempt assessed value
Est. annual collection: $102,000
Assessment rate By Zone
- $0.25/s.f. of lot, max $1,250 per lot
- $0.15/s.f. of lot, max $1,250 per lot
- $0.10/s.f. of lot, max $975 per lot
What is an EID and how are they created?
Economic Improvement Districts are designated commercial districts within which property owners agree to self-assess a fee that funds a higher level of service than otherwise provided by a municipality.
Per state law, funds may be used for the following:
- (a) The planning or management of development or improvement activities.
- (b) Landscaping or other maintenance of public areas.
- (c) Promotion of commercial activity or public events.
- (d) Activities in support of business recruitment and development.
- (e) Improvements in parking systems or parking enforcement.
- (f) Any other economic improvement activity for which an assessment may be made on property specially benefited thereby.
Oregon City’s downtown Economic Improvement District has been in place since April 2011 with an initial period of four years. EIDs can be renewed indefinitely for up to five years at a time with the approval of district property owners. The current EID was formed in 2015 for a period of three years.
The creation or renewal of an EID requires a minimum of three City Commission meetings. The Commission must agree with the proposed rates and solicit feedback from affected property owners. Property owners are given a minimum of 30 days for testimony. An EID ordinance is not enacted if owners representing more than 1/3 of the total annual assessment object during the public hearing period.
EID assessments can be calculated by a number of methodologies but are restricted to a maximum of 1% of a property’s assessed value. Downtown Oregon City’s current and former districts were based on percent of assessed value. 0.5% with a $975 cap and 1% with a $1,950 cap respectively. The proposed EID renewal uses total lot area except when the statutory limit would be exceeded.
Most districts in Oregon are renewed and have been in place for more than 20 years.
A final hearing is scheduled for February 21, 2018. If there is sufficient support for the district’s renewal, it will go into effect in July 2018.
About Downtown Oregon City Association & EID Stewardship
The Downtown Oregon City Association is a nonprofit formed in 2009 to lead the revitalization of downtown. In 2011, it contracted with the City of Oregon City to manage the Economic Improvement District. It is led by a 13-member board of directors, supported by professional staff and six volunteer committees.
As a 501c(3) non-profit, DOCA is able to utilize other funding sources to greatly reduce the cost of services to the district. Since its formation through the 2017-18 budget year, DOCA will leverage $1.18 million EID funds for $2.43 million in services and projects. Since the last EID renewal in 2015, the level of service has dramatically increased. Over the 2015-2018 assessment period, $250 thousand in EID funds will leverage a total of $1.33 million in services and projects. DOCA is striving to maintain our current minimum service ratio of $5 for every EID assessment dollar.