Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Planners: New Downtown Makes $$$

The Department of Planning and Zoning's fiscal impact analysis for downtown Columbia is in and it projects that HoCo would net anywhere from $6.9 million to $13.4 million annually on average over the life of the 30-year development.

After 30 years, when everything is built, the county would net between roughly $17 million and $30 million annually in revenues.

The range is largely dependent on the type of housing that is built downtown,the planners said. A lower-priced mix of units attracting lots of kids would generate less revenue for the county; that's because real estate taxes would be lower and the burden on public schools would be higher. High-priced units that yield fewer kids would potentially produce the most revenue.

General Growth has proposed adding 5,500 condos, apartments and other forms of housing downtown.

Planners applied current per capita expenditures and existing levels of service to the proposed development and threw in future costs such as the need to build new interchanges at Route 29/South Entrance Road and Routes 29/175 to handle increased traffic. They even took a conservative approach to the county's transportation costs. In the past, the county has split 50-50 the cost of building Route 29 interchanges with the state. Under its analysis for downtown, planners assumed the state would only fork over 25 percent of the cost.

The council said it would post the analysis on its Web site (it doesn't appear to be public yet UPDATE: Here's a link to the report. Go here and search for "Downtown Columbia FIA" for the PowerPoint used in the presentation). We gleaned these details from watching the broadcast.

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