January 7, 2012 in Washington Voices

Council approves Northeast Spokane PDA

Board to focus on Hillyard, Bemiss, Whitman
By The Spokesman-Review
 
At a glance

A public development authority can apply for grants, buy and sell property and get involved in public-private partnerships.

The Spokane City Council approved an ordinance establishing a public development authority for northeast Spokane on Dec. 12.

Establishing a public development authority in that area has been at the top of the agenda of the Northeast Development Advisory Board, which was created 12 months ago.

“We now have an entity that will be focused on economic development in northeast Spokane,” said Elizabeth A. Tellesen, a member of the Northeast Development Advisory Board. “This entity will not be as easily influenced by political changes at City Hall.”

The City Council limited the Northeast PDA to function in District 1, but its focus will be in the Hillyard, Bemiss and Whitman neighborhoods.

“District 1 covers a far bigger area than we have a drive to address physically,” said Tellesen.

A consultant with experience in PDA development has been hired to produce a report that will help the PDA establish its goals. The report will be out in March.

“It’s a developing creature,” Tellesen said.

“A big goal is to have an industrial incubator there,” Tellesen said. “We now have an entity that could manage something like that.”

At this point, the Northeast PDA does not have any funding, but Tellesen said it’s possible it would be able to finance some property.

“There may be some surplus property from the development of the North-South Corridor, or other surplus property available,” Tellesen said. “For now it’s all hypothetical.”

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