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Midvale Journal

Midvale wants to revitalize State Street

Jun 04, 2019 03:08PM ● By Erin Dixon

Midvale’s Redevelopment Agency identified possible project areas along State Street that they see needing revitalization. (Image courtesy Midvale City)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

The Midvale Redevelopment Agency (RDA) is the financial hammer that drove redevelopments Jordan Bluffs and Bingham Junction. Now they are turning their eyes towards a new project: State Street. 

During a Redevelopment Agency meeting in April, six possible project areas were identified that could use revitalization.

Redevelopment Project Manager Annaliese Eichelberger discussed the parameters land must meet to qualify to be an RDA project. “We would need to have vacant land. This makes redevelopment less costly if you don’t have demolition. Another trait … is parcel size. If you have a lot of small parcels it’s not as easy as assembling large parcels for sale. And then … what are the businesses in the area that could attract and spur more development?”

All of the zones that were identified were exclusively commercial zones. “We excluded residential … because residential does not create property tax increment like commercial,” Eichelberger said. 

The RDA focuses on land improvements within the city that are empty or suffering and attempts to do so in a way that would benefit city residents and businesses as a whole. 

Redevelopment Agency Director Matt Dahl detailed where the money for the agency comes.

“We have to go to the other taxing entities, the county, the school districts, mosquito abatement…Then we ask them to give us a portion of the taxes that are generated from growth in that area,” he said.

When there is redevelopment, the value of the land increases. There is a base value for the land, but then as a project area, the taxable entities give the RDA a percentage of the increase to help develop that parcel. After the period of redevelopment expires, typically 15 to 25 years, that agreement expires and the tax money reverts back to the taxing entities to be used at their discretion.

Rob Lambros, co-owner of RAL Images near State Street in Midvale, appreciated the idea of improvement but hesitated to fully support something that could become a hardship.

“I like the idea that a lot of the older areas could use a facelift but getting businesses and property owners on the same page might take some work...I was involved in a business up on North Temple when the city came in and told every business what they had to do to bring the curb appeal up to date,” Lambros said. 

“I think local government can voice their opinion on what they would like to see with updating the look but I don't think they can demand or tell a business what they have to do. Not every business has the disposable money just to update the curb appeal,” he said. 

Dahl explained the RDA rarely uses eminent domain and it is highly unlikely that they would force a business to do anything against their will. 

“That has been one of the classic issues with RDA, has been in other places that I’ve worked is there’s this concern that when we come in we’re just going to wholesale, take the streets and tell people what they have to do. That’s just not something that we're going to do,” Dahl said. 

The RDA functions separately from the state and city government. They regulate based on the Community Reinvestment Agencies Act that must be followed and primarily works under the direction of the city council.

“Essentially we are a tool that is intended to improve the city by implementing the plans of the city,” Dahl said.

Council members weighed in with their thoughts. However, there are no current plans for any action at this time.

Council member Bryant Brown, referring to the maps color coding said, “It seems to me that purple and orange would be prime. You’d know when you were in Midvale, ‘Hey, they really put money and time into this.’”

Council member Paul Glover proposed a different angle for approaching redevelopment in the area. “The other philosophy is how to help the owners that are already there to upgrade their properties. To me that’s probably the direction we need to go.”

Council member Paul Hunt was also in favor of the area surrounding State Street and 7200 South. “We’ve talked a lot about 7200 South, that orange area there. That’s a prime area for redevelopment right there.”