Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA)
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- Last Updated: May 8, 2017 May 8, 2017
The City of Albany has hired Angelo Planning Group and Crandall Arambula to review and suggest revisions to Albany Development Code provisions in three zoning districts in Central Albany.
What is CARA?
The goal and in establishing the Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA) was to increase the economic vitality, encourage the use of vacant and underused land and buildings, and rehabilitate structures while increasing property values both in CARA and the City of Albany. The investment of these tax increment funds is expected to increase property values, with total value growth in the renewal area over the duration of the plan expected to be $230 million. When the plan is completed, the values will be returned to the tax rolls, and the various taxing bodies that share values in Albany will receive that increase in tax collections.
- 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.
Urban Renewal in Albany
CARA Report & Plans
- 2001 CARA Urban Renewal Plan & Report (pdf)
- Retail Refinement Plan (pdf)
- See PDF of slideshow from July 26, 2014, Town Hall meeting.
Public Meeting Minutes
Budgets & Annual Financial Reports
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.
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.||$10,000 – $80,000|
|n/a||$2,500 – $10,000||$5,000 – $20,000||Minimum of $75,000||Minimum of $20,000|
|n/a||50% of project||50% of project||80% of project||50% of project|
The Fine Print
- 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.