Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA)
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- Last Updated: November 09, 2015 November 09, 2015
What is CARA?
The Albany City Council established the Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA) in the summer of 2001 following a series of public forums held in the fall and winter of 2000-2001. CARA contains 919 acres or 9.7 percent of the total acreage of Albany. It includes the traditional city core area, known as Central Albany, with surrounding neighborhoods and areas of mixed commercial and industrial uses to the south and east.
- Attract new private investment to the area.
- Retain and enhance the value of existing private investment and public investment in the area.
- Provide a safe and convenient transportation network that encourages pedestrian and bicycle access to and within the town center.
- Preserve the Historic Districts, historic resources and existing housing in the area.
- Create a readily identifiable core that is unique and vibrant with a mixture of entertainment, housing, specialty shops, offices, and other commercial uses.
- Increase residential density in the area.
- Encourage the development of new forms of housing and home ownership.
- Enhance and protect the community and environmental values of waterway corridors in the area.
- Provide an enriching environment and livable neighborhoods.
Carrying out the CARA plan will require tax increment revenue. Tax increment financing may affect the property tax revenues and bond tax rates of other taxing bodies, but the effort is expected to be good for Albany.
Revitalizing downtown, preparing for future.
CARA Report & Plans
- 2013-2014 CARA Urban Renewal Plan & Report (pdf)
- 2012-2013 CARA Urban Renewal Plan & Report (pdf)
- Retail Refinement Plan (pdf)
- See PDF of slideshow from July 26, 2014, Town Hall meeting.
Public Meeting Minutes
- 2015-2016-ARA Adopted Budget (3.73MB pdf)
- 2014-2015-ARA Adopted Budget (1.25MB pdf)
- 2013-2014-ARA Adopted Budget (4.85MB pdf)
- 2012-2013-ARA Revised Budget (111KB pdf)
- 2012-2013-ARA Adopted Budget (1.2MB pdf)
- 2012-2013-ARA Financial Report (357KB pdf)
- 2011-2012-ARA Financial Report (1.41MB pdf)
- 2011-2012-ARA Budget (1.12MB pdf)
- 2010-2011-ARA Financial Report (217KB pdf)
- 2010-2011-ARA Budget (1.18MB pdf)
- 2009-2010-ARA Financial Report (1.45MB pdf)
- 2009-2010-ARA Budget (444KB pdf)
- 2008-2009-ARA Financial Report (1.6MB pdf)
- 2008-2009-ARA Budget (524KB pdf)
- 2007-2008-CARA Budget (380KB pdf)
- 2006-2007-CARA Financial Report (1.52MB pdf)
- 2005-2006-CARA Financial Report (1.06MB pdf)
The City Council serves as the Albany Revitalization Agency. They also serve, along with an appointed counterpart member on the CARA Advisory Board. Advisory Board members generally live or own property or businesses in the Central Albany area.
Increasing economic vitality, encouraging the use of vacant and underused land and rehabilitating structures will increase property values both in CARA and the City of Albany. Spending tax increment funds is expected to produce new property values, with total value growth in the renewal area over the duration of the plan expected to be $230 million. When the project is completed, the values will be returned to the tax rolls, and the various taxing bodies that share values in Albany will receive an increase in tax collections.
Architectural Assistance Grant
Storefront Revitalization Grant
Loan Program for Focus Area
Historic Homebuyer Loan Program
Annual Program Allocation
|Ad-hoc|| Twice per year; competitive;
February and September.
|Three times per year; competitive; March, July, and November.||Three times per year; competitive; March, July, and November.||Ad-hoc|
|Anywhere in the CARA boundary||Anywhere in the CARA boundary||HD, CB, LE, and MS Zoning|| Three focus areas:
Downtown, East waterfront, East Salem Avenue neighborhood.
|Hackleman Historic District|
CARA Funding Amount
|Equivalent of first consultation visit||$1,250 – $5,000||$2,500 – $10,000||Minimum of $15,000; up to 20% of the project.||$8,000 – $20,000|
|n/a||$2,500 – $10,000||$5,000 – $20,000||Minimum of $75,000||Minimum of $40,000|
|n/a||50% of project||50% of project||80% of project||80% of project|
- CARA can only fund work begun after funding approval by the ARA (any work complete prior to this approval is ineligible for reimbursement.)
- CARA Programs may not be combined; however applicants may apply for different funding for additional projects, but additional requests may be given lower priority than new projects.
- If CARA’s total assistance to the project is greater than $750,000, prevailing wage for the project may apply.
- Proposed improvements must be approved by the Albany Revitalization Area Agency (ARA) and will be subject to the CARA Design Guidelines. Projects may require approval by the City of Albany Landmarks Advisory Commission or other entities.
- All programs, except architectural assistance, small grants, and storefront revitalization, would be subject to the new 10% holdback policy.
- Land-use, Landmarks Advisory Commission approval must be complete prior to first draw.
- Applicants should consult with a tax professional to fully understand the tax consequences of agency grants or loans.
- Use of local contractors and products is encouraged!
- All members of the LLC and their spouses must sign as personal guarantors.