Occasionally, available funds to implement projects with major economic development impacts fall short of anticipated project costs. For these types of projects, public participation is vital in completing the project. Public capital improvement funds are used, in some cases, to complete the public improvement portion of the projects. The Economic Development & Business Assistance Division, working with other City Departments and redevelopment agencies, is responsible for negotiating cooperative agreements, leases and/or financing agreements to formalize these private/public partnerships.
Division staff is responsible for monitoring and managing these agreements. Cooperative agreements also act as a tool for implementing FOCUS recommendations. Many of these agreements involve the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), it's sub-agencies including the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, Planned Industrial Expansion Authority, Tax Increment Financing Commission, Port Authority, or other state statutory public agencies. These contracts can generally be classified as Business Attraction/Retention or Public Improvements/Removal of Blight.
Typically, contracts involving Business Attraction/Retention involve the Tax Increment Financing Commission. An example is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) site acquisition and clearance project. This project involved the construction of a new 5-story building within the Civic Mall area that is located on the eastern side of the Central Business District (CBD). This $25 million, 200,000 square foot office building consolidated approximately 800 employees from several transportation-related agencies.
Another program falling into this category is the River Market Loan Program. This revolving loan program involves the EDC and is geared toward existing and new businesses seeking loans for fixed assets and working capital. Emphasis is directed toward Minority and Women's Business Enterprises, located in the River Market area.