Purchase of Former Downtown Wells Fargo Site
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- Last Updated: February 1, 2019 February 1, 2019
The City of Albany is excited to announce the Albany Revitalization Agency’s purchase of the Wells Fargo Bank site, originally the U.S. National Bank, in historic Downtown Albany. Since the mid-1990s, the community has identified this location as a key element of downtown revitalization and redevelopment. Now, it’s time to move forward on those aspirations.
In 1995, faced with a high rate of downtown vacancies and declining property values, a group of interested citizens, businesses, residential property owners, and City officials, worked to complete the Central Albany Land Use and Transportation Study. This study resulted in a strategy for revitalization called the Town Center Plan. In order to finance many of the key redevelopment opportunities identified in this plan, the Albany Revitalization Agency (ARA) was established. ARA is an Urban Renewal District, a tool used in over 112 cities in Oregon and throughout the country to help eliminate blight and encourage private investment in specific parts of a town.
The Retail Refinement Plan, adopted by ARA in 2011, provides a guide for when, where, and how to best use public resources to stimulate and leverage private investment for mixed-use and commercial development. One of the five key projects and areas identified in this plan is the now former downtown Wells Fargo lot (300 First Avenue W). ARA recognized that the only way to preserve this property as an anchor for commercial or mixed-use development was to first purchase the site.
In the coming months, ARA will be offering the site for redevelopment, utilizing a tool called “Requests for Proposal” (RFP). The RFP process will allow ARA to balance the private market’s desire to develop the property with the express goal of downtown revitalization.