lents town center - plan amendment study
Financial and Strategic Planning

It is estimated that Lents Town Center URA will run out of revitalization funds in four years if current projects/programs proceed as planned. The current maximum indebtedness is not sufficient to fund some significant projects identified in the URA plan (1998) including the Freeway Land, the largest economic development opportunity site on the east side of Portland, as well as several key Lents Town Center redevelopment, business development, and infrastructure projects.

2006-2007 Projects:

  • $5 million for the new MAX Green Line (expected to be open September 2009)
  • $1.8 million in financial assistance to Assurety NW for construction of new headquarters, including mixed-use spaces
  • Housing opportunities
  • Business assistance
  • 2007-2008 Projects: Lents Town Center Redevelopment
  • Redevelopment of SE 92nd Ave. & Harold Street
  • Improvements to local parks
  • Schools/Family/Housing: Foster School reuse
  • Affordable rental housing and new homeownership development
  • Small business loans and business assistance
  • Freeway Land: While this is a key project, the privately owned Freeway Land has no budget allocation beyond the next fiscal year. This 100-acre property, located next to I-205 and light rail, has great potential for locating new jobs and generating other jobs in related businesses. This is an industrially zoned economic development opportunity that could be aggressively pursued once environmental clean up occurs and businesses can be recruited.
  • Storefront facelifts, small business assistance, improvements to streets, sidewalks, storm water management, floodplain restoration, and parks and open space.
  • Continuing redevelopment of the Lents Town Center, including the New Copper Penny, the new MAX Green Line Station Area, and other key opportunity sites.
  • Continuing work to rehabilitate and preserve existing affordable housing options and promote new housing opportunities in Lents.

No. The original URA goals and objectives to revitalize the town center and the rest of the URA will not substantially change. Significant time and resources have been and will be spent on opportunity sites within the town center to realize the vision of the original URA plan. The plan amendment study will determine the amount of additional resources to be allocated to achieve the goal of a thriving town center, and if decided, will allocate resources to improve other areas added to the boundary, such as the commercial corridor along Foster Road.

The original maximum indebtedness was set at $75 million in 1998. At the time, property values were projected to be lower than the actual increases in assessed valuation that have occurred over the last ten years. These higher property tax revenues, at a rate higher than originally expected, will allow the city to extend the credit line for the URA district and still be used to pay off bonds through tax increment financing (TIF) for the URA. Extending the credit line will allow for completion of the original projects in the URA plan.

The current expiration date for the LTC URA is 2015. As part of the plan amendment study, PDC will develop a list of potential projects with community input and identify current and forecasted budgets and estimated timelines of these projects. The project timelines will then be compared with the remaining fiscal years of the URA. A recommendation about the life of the URA is expected as a result of this financial analysis.

Need more explanation

Oregon’s current property tax system is the result of Measure 5 (1990-91 limits on taxes paid by individual properties) and Measure 50 (1997-98 changes to assessed value). The effect on urban renewal dollars was explained by the Oregon Supreme Court in the Shilo decision. In Shilo, the court decided that taxes for urban renewal must be subject to the Measure 5 limit on general government taxes.  More information on Oregon’s tax structure and the Shilo case are available on the Oregon Department of Revenue website: www.oregon.gov/DOR/PTD/property.shtml.

PDC uses those plans as guiding documents to make policy and budget decisions. The original URA plan was adopted by the City Council in 1998 and any PDC project is legally required to comply with the URA plan. After the URA plan was completed, a series of strategies for economic development, housing, and transportation were adopted to implement those applicable goals and objectives in the plan. A copy of each plan is available on the LTC URA website.


All current funded projects under construction will continue and will be completed. However, there are projects identified in the URA plan that are not funded and likely will not be undertaken if another revenue source is not identified. PDC is committed to completing all currently funded projects in the Lents community.