Minneapolis development officials have released additional details on a potential legislative proposal they're pitching for easing restrictions on tax-increment financing to assist redevelopment at the Upper Harbor Terminal.
Tax-increment financing allows a city to use additional taxes generated by a development to pay for public improvements associated with preparing the site for that development. The 48-acre terminal shuts down at the end of the year, and riverfront plans for the area call for a business park with a fringe of riverside park. It's the first major site -- and likely the largest -- for carrying out a landmark 1999 plan for revamping the upper river.
The Department of Community Planning and Economic Development's ideas for special legislation are intended to loosen time frames and cross-subsidy restrictions. That would make use of the financing tool more feasible as the redevelopment unfolds over an undetermined period, The department offered its proposals at a Thursday afternoon meeting of the City Council's Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
The public investments at the terminal are expected to include clearing the site, building new streets and relocating utilities, moving an overhead high-voltage line and building a parkway and trails. The city estimated that would cost $10 million, but Park Board construction of a parkway and associaed parks would be on top of that.
Some of that money is expected to come from grants and selling land, but the city said in its Power Point presentation that tax-increment revenue "could be an important tool."