Revised state law means changes
All taxing districts impacted will get representation on the new LURA board
For two decades, the city of Loveland has used urban renewal and tax increment sharing to redevelop downtown and bring new shopping and housing to the eastern part of the city. However, changes to state law aimed at giving more control to all impacted taxing districts mean future urban renewal efforts will have more oversight.
Most notably, the board (or authority) controlling the urban renewal plan will be expanded to include representatives from those taxing districts, including Larimer County and Thompson Schools. In addition, district representatives will get a chance to negotiate with City Council prior to approval of any plan over how much, if any, of their portion of the tax increment will be allocated.
The proposed South Centerra development will mark the city’s first urban renewal plan under the new regulations.
Last week, Larimer County Board of County Commissioners appointed Jody Shadduck-mcnally to represent their interests on the URA board, while Thompson School District put forward Board of Education president Barbara Kruse. For now, Thompson Valley Health Services District board member Tami Lien will represent her agency, plus Northern Colorado Water Conservation District and the Larimer County pest control district.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have a voice on the board, and to represent the Board of County Commissioners and our Larimer County residents, and especially the residents that live in the southern part of the county,” Shadduckmcnally said. “And I feel this is an important change in the law to make sure those who are impacted are able to have some kind of voice in this process.”
According to developer
Mcwhinney Real Estate Services, Centerra South will bring up to 290,000 square feet of new retail shopping to the area, anchored by a 40,000-squarefoot Whole Foods grocery store. It will also include more than 1,000 residential units, most of which will be multi-family housing.
To help pay for the extensive infrastructure and improvements needed on the property, Mcwhinney is proposing a new urban renewal plan, much like the one used to the develop the first phase of the Centerra community, which includes the Promenade Shops, Marketplace at Centerra, the Kinston subdivision and much more. That URA will sunset in 2029.
Terms of the new URA would be very similar to the original 2004 plan, according to Mcwhinney general manager Abby Kirkbride. Loveland and other entities that levy a mill levy in the URA boundaries would divert up to 100% of future property tax revenues in a tax increment finance (TIF) arrangement, plus the city would share a portion of revenue from its 3.0% sales tax and waive certain fees for the commercial portion of the development. Those funds would then be used to pay off bonds used to finance the development.
An impact report prepared by consultants Short Elliott Hendrickson of Durango showed that the new URA could earn as much as $119,854,613 over the 25-year life of the plan, if 100% of eligible property tax revenues are diverted. It would also generate another $81,721,022 from its share of the city’s sales tax revenues.
Centerra South also marks a change for Mcwhinney in Loveland, though Kirkbride explained that the new regulations and expanded board haven’t impacted its approach to the proposal, and aren’t expected to hamper the process much.
“We see that there’s some more process involved, but we think that everybody will be able to see the value of the project,” she said.
The new 13-member board will be seated at Tuesday’s upcoming City Council meeting. The nine council members and three district representatives will be joined by former Larimer County commissioner Steve Johnson, an at-large member appointed by Mayor Jacki Marsh.
The panel will have a chance to hear a presentation on the South Centerra proposal and URA process with members of the Mcwhinney team, and will elect officers. Times and dates for future meetings will also be set.
The new board members will then have approximately six weeks to discuss the proposal further and negotiate the TIF agreements before City Council’s first vote on the plan, slated for March 24