The Albany waterfront is a public space that is free to all users and it is an important part of Albany’s economy, hosting events that attract thousands of visitors each year. But this project recognizes that it is a unique and often underused asset.
A revitalized riverfront will better support additional visitors and events that will bring new investment to the whole city. Improved street crossings, water access, and park facilities can allow more members of our community to more easily access and enjoy this unique resource.
If completed in full, this project will improve the connection between downtown Albany and its waterfront by creating buildable plans for a set of projects focused on three areas of Albany’s waterfront:
Water Avenue and the railroad tracks are currently a barrier to accessing the park and river. This project will refine and finalize an approach to improving Water Avenue. Improvements may include new street trees, planting areas, sidewalks, and improved pedestrian crossings; improved railroad crossings; removing overhead utilities; reassessing parking needs; and design features that allow some portions of Water Avenue to be closed to cars for street festivals.
This project identified programming, design themes, new amenities, and safety improvements for Monteith Park. Programming choices will lead to new park amenities and support new types of events. It will help connect the park more directly with downtown and with area history. This project will also improve public safety by improving park lighting and visibility.
Dave Clark Trail
This project creates a vision for the Dave Clark riverfront trail and how to preserve and restore the natural areas along the water’s edge. It will seek to improve views and safety while also preserving this unique character and enhancing habitat.
A Sound Investment
Albany is one of last major cities on the Willamette to invest in its riverfront. Other cities have seen economic benefits from this type of investment, and we know that a vibrant riverfront can encourage positive new redevelopment that will attract visitors, businesses, and jobs.
How is this project funded?
This project, like others in the Central Albany Revitalization Area, uses a public financing method called tax increment financing (TIF). TIF has been used as an economic development funding program in the United States for almost half a century.
The goal of TIF is to make investments that spur private development that would not otherwise have occurred. The revenue to pay for projects in a TIF area is generated by the growth in assessed property value. TIF funds may be invested in administration of the plan and in capital projects, such as streetscape improvements, new construction or rehabilitation, or other physical investments in the public or private realm. Those projects must be described in an adopted TIF plan that meets statutory requirements defined in ORS 457.
Funds from TIF can only be used within the TIF district.