City sets long-term goals

DOWNEY - The Community Development Commission unanimously approved a five-year implementation plan on Tuesday that set new long-term goals for the city's redevelopment of Downtown Downey. The five-year plan, which extends to the end of 2014, is comprised of specific objectives to help rejuvenate community development and alleviate blight in several project areas while establishing affordable low-income housing. According to the plan, the redevelopment agency expects to collect $22 million in revenues over the next five years. The bulk of the money will go towards existing debt obligations and agency administrative expenses while $7.6 million will be set aside for housing projects. Before the vote, Housing Manager Ed Velasco presented the plan before the Commission, highlighting accomplishments from the past five years including the arrival of both Porto's Bakery and Fresh & Easy. Velasco said the new implementation plan will facilitate similar high quality development in city project areas with a specific focus on creating a vibrant and active Downtown Downey. The Commission will focus on offering incentives to businesses for signage and facade improvements, attracting and retaining local businesses, and developing a business improvement district to increase collaboration among downtown area businesses. In addition, the plan calls for an increase in community events, cultural programs, art exhibits and music festivals in the downtown area. Velasco said under the implementation plan the Commission is obligated to construct a minimum of 45 low to moderate-income housing units in the next five years. The agency's $7.6 million housing fund will likely help transform the Verizon building on 2nd Street and the Avenue Theatre into these affordable housing units.

********** Published: January 29, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 41