Spokane City Council announces selection of targeted investment area

Ben Stuckart, Council President, 509.710.9611

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:29 p.m.

Council President Ben Stuckart and Council Member Amber Waldref announced the selection of the East University District as the City Council's target area to pilot Operation Targeted and Concentrated Investment (OTCI).

The goal of this project is to demonstrate that targeted investment of public dollars for housing, street and utility infrastructure, public safety, and other efforts can lead to increased private investment and measurable, long-term economic vitality for Spokane neighborhoods.

“The East University District is well-positioned to support the intense stakeholder work necessary for the success of this pilot project,” Stuckart explains. “We look forward to working with many community members to implement successful neighborhood revitalization strategies for this area.”

The three-phase selection process for the pilot area began seven months ago and included collection and review of demographic and real estate data for various Centers and Corridors within the city limits. After this analysis, the target areas were narrowed down to the West Broadway/West Central area and the East University District.

The data research and stakeholder interviews showed the challenges and strengths of both the West Central Neighborhood and the East University District. The association of the East Spokane Business Association with the East Central Neighborhood Council, as well as the work that has already been done to implement the International District Plan supports the selection of this corridor for piloting the targeted investment effort.

“New development along East Sprague such as the Sprague-Union Terrace and SCAFCO's industrial park at Playfair demonstrate the forward momentum of this live-work neighborhood,” said Councilwoman Amber Waldref. “Organizations such as Impact Capital, East Central Community Organization, East Spokane Business Association, the East Central Neighborhood Council, SNAP, and the Spokane Regional Health District have worked with the City of Spokane to build the capacity of this area and will be key partners in continuing to implement reinvestment strategies.”

Funding for the project will come from a variety of sources including utility capital funds, the City's Transportation Benefit District, Community Development Block Grant dollars, housing funds and Photo Red traffic calming funds.

A task force of key neighborhood, financial and business stakeholders is being established to work with the City on implementing this pilot project. The first task force meeting is scheduled for January.