Loveland Reporter-Herald

The only way we get to have ‘nice things’


The current discussion about the Centerra South developmen­t and new URA is wonky and complex. Because of the compressed timeline for a successful deal with Whole Foods (our “big fish” anchor retailer), the newly seated LURA board has a lot of informatio­n to digest before negotiatio­ns begin.

Most citizens don’t have time to watch these public meetings or hear all the deliberati­on and questionin­g that goes into the formation of our new URA, which will decide the future of the land across from Target. But I watched the Feb. 7 meeting that went through the pros and cons of URAS, followed by the question-and-answer with the Mcwhinney team. My takeaway is that the rigor of this discussion is a very good thing. Some urban renewal agreements are better than others, and it sounds like the standard has improved over time. A 2015 state law (HB 15-1348) required that each taxing entity with skin in the game (city, county, and school district) have a seat on the URA board. This makes negotiatio­ns stronger by allowing each entity to raise possible objections before the terms are set.

If you prefer to see the land south of Target sit vacant, it’s unlikely that any number of details or Q-and-a will change your mind. But if you see the benefits of public-private investment, with more housing, more retail, more jobs, and better infrastruc­ture, then there’s no reason not to support this project. The only way we get to have “nice things” is by encouragin­g good-faith negotiatio­ns and forward-thinking vision from everyone involved.

— Alana Mcgough, Loveland

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