Monday, February 25, 2013

What Is Aurora Trying To Do Downtown

Another TIF thing for dining, but I guess the bigger question is what is Aurora's goal for downtown?

Is it to improve the property tax rolls?

If so having a community college have extensive space seems like a bad idea if the goal is property tax increases, since unless I am mistaken, they don't pay property taxes.  Also having the city own so much property downtown and occupy it at street level does not seem to make a lot of sense.

Is it to improve sales tax takings?

Again the heavy educational use downtown isn't really helping sales tax (besides the bookstore on campus I guess), you could argue the student foot traffic would drive some sales tax revenue, but the most likely thing students would consume downtown (food) does not seem to be happening enough that there are a host of student priced dining options downtown. Don't seem to hear much about the city trying to attract retail downtown?  Not saying they are not trying, just does not appear they are succeeding.

Is it to create jobs?

Well, again the educational use would lend itself to work study IMHO and not sure how many instructors for WCC live in Aurora or how many of them work full time for WCC.
I guess I can see it for restaurant row, but food service jobs are not the best paying jobs in the world and generally do not lead to careers.  They are honest jobs, don't get me wrong. But is the goal of the city to generally create jobs downtown that pay just a bit above minimum wage?

Again this is a bit of serious question, what is the city trying to do downtown?  How will we know if they have been successful?

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