Infrastructure, jobs, health and safety: Urban renewal neighborhoods prove successful in River City

The Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency was established in 1991.

Its stated mission is to promote sustainable economic and community improvement that enhances the overall quality of life in Post Falls by:

• Provision and improvement of infrastructure

• Attracting jobs

• Improving the safety and health of citizens

Urban renewal neighborhoods are typically created in areas that are already projected to increase in value, according to the Kootenai County website. While active, urban renewal districts receive property taxes only on the amount that increases in value.

By the end of this year, Post Falls will officially close three urban renewal districts, bringing the total number of urban renewal districts closed by the Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency to seven.

The Expo District, which covers areas south of Seltice Way, west of Pleasant View Road, north of Interstate 90 and east of Beck Road on the city’s west side, closed this summer. It has been open since 2001 and has reached the maximum 20-year limit for urban renewal plans, according to Idaho statute.

Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency Executive Director Joe Johns said the neighborhood is a success.

“We’re definitely seeing growth there,” he said in an Aug. 5 press article. “We’re definitely seeing a lot of job creation.”

According to an economic impact study, by 2015 the nearly 237-acre Expo District had generated an economic benefit of $17.6 million annually in sales and profits from 495 jobs directly and indirectly to the city of Post Falls and the greater community.

The Center Point neighborhood, created in 2001, and the East Post Falls neighborhood, created in 2002, will be closed by the end of the year. This will leave three areas open: Tech Park, Downtown and Pleasant View.

Center Point, between the Expo District and the Stateline, is 335 acres. At opening, its base estimate was approximately $1.4 million. When it closes, it will be valued at nearly $94.4 million.

“A trailer park is currently under construction in the area,” City Administrator Shelly Enderud included in a report to the Post Falls City Council in June. “This district has also paid for transportation improvements, a sewer lift station and lines and part of the water tower.”

The 972-acre East Post Falls area runs along State Highway 41 from Prairie Avenue to south of Seltice Way. Its initial base valuation was $62.4 million. As of last year, it was worth an estimated $447.6 million.

“This is the largest growing area in the city of Post Falls,” Enderud reported. “Funds for improvements like the Greensferry overpass, sewer lines on Highway 41, part of the 12th Avenue lift station and equalization basin, transportation improvements, etc. Ongoing improvements include Cecil (Road) and Mullan Avenue improvements and Cecil and Poleline (Avenue) improvements recently approved by the council.”

The Tech Park, west of Highway 41 and north of Prairie, is slated to close in 2038. It was created with Spokane developer Beyond Green as the lead developer. This area contains road infrastructure, water and sewer improvements that allow for the development of the Tech Park site and the retail site north of Prairie.

Downtown was created with the city as the primary supporter to continue infrastructure improvements and encourage more economic development. Located between Syringa Street and Chase Road and from Mullan to around First Avenue, the neighborhood is expected to close in 2041.

The Pleasant View District, along Pleasant View Road and north of Prairie, was created to facilitate the relocation of a major transportation company to the area. It is expected to close in 2041.


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