In Grand Forks, it must be remembered that the flood plain problem creates an impetus for the community to lead the redevelopment effort. Urban renewal zones clearly are not favored anywhere in the country. Yet, if a city properly develops, with the local officials not choosing their best friends to do everything, the process can work.
Should the city of Grand Forks get into the property development business? That’s an implicit question for the City Council’s Finance Committee today as it considers two economic development tools.
The first is the expansion of the Renaissance Zone, which would give private developers tax incentives for investing in designated areas of the city.
The other is the creation of an urban renewal district, which would give fewer incentives, but make it easier for cities to acquire land by eminent domain and raise funds to do the investing themselves.