Plano Bond Item Promotes Redevelopment

Proposition 4 would give $15 million for infrastructure upgrades, incentives

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Residents in Plano will consider Proposition 4 which is aimed at sprucing up the east side of the city. (Published Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013)

    Plano's $98.3 million bond election in May includes an item that asks voters to approve $15 million for improvements and incentives in areas the city wants to redevelop.

    The five propositions on the ballot mostly cover specific projects, such as street and park improvements and upgrades to city recreation centers.

    However, Proposition 4 calls for updates to public streets, sidewalks, infrastructure and other projects in parts of town that the city feels need upgrading.

    Deputy City Manager Frank Turner said the money would be spent mostly in the U.S. 75 corridor, an area he said is showing visible signs of aging.

    "We think that this fund gives voters the opportunity to decide whether or not they'd like to provide an incentive for redevelopment of some of those older commercial properties and apartment buildings," he said.

    The proposition does not provide specifically designate how to spend the money, saying only that the money would be used to upgrade public assets.

    Turner said such incentives make redevelopment or investment more attractive to a developer, which would then further invest in the project with private money, thereby increasing the city's tax base.

    He pointed to the public-private partnerships involved in the revitalization of downtown Plano as an example of how the idea can succeed.

    But residents such as Angela Moody say they would like to see a more detailed plan before voting "yes."

    Moody said her neighborhood near downtown Plano needs improvement but isn't convinced Proposition 4 would directly improve her community.

    "We need to see which direction they're going to go and what areas they're going to go into," she said. "That'd be like putting a kid in a candy store and say, 'Buy something healthy.'"

    Turner said the bond money would focus on the U.S. 75 corridor but would not be limited to East Plano.

    Similar incentives have spurred development in other cities, such as Addison and Richardson, he said.