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Heads Up! - March 30, 2018

March 29, 2018

Dear City Council Members,

New pilot parking program for downtown Boulder employees to park at Alpine-Broadway Garage launches April 2
A new pilot program allowing downtown employees to park in the Alpine-Broadway parking garage will launch on Monday, April 2. Downtown Boulder employees wishing to park in the Alpine-Broadway parking garage will fill out a simple application and purchase parking coupons good for 20 days of parking. The coupons will be valid only in 75 designated parking spots on the first and second levels of the garage, and the cost is $1.25/day. This pilot program will be promoted to downtown Boulder employees through direct contact with businesses as well as through the Downtown Boulder Partnership, the Downtown Management Commission and the Responsible Hospitality Group. The pilot program will be enforced and monitored for usage, and Community Vitality staff will evaluate the results of the pilot in July to determine whether the program should be continued and to make any necessary improvements.

For more information, please contact Lane Landrith, business coordinator for the Community Vitality Department, 303-413-7316.

Area in Boulder nominated as Opportunity Zone
On March 23, Gov. Hickenlooper nominated a census tract in Boulder (122.03) as an Opportunity Zone (OZ) (see map below). The zones are being created as part of the federal 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that provides a tax incentive for investors to reinvest unrealized capital gains into low-income urban and rural communities. The U.S. Department of Treasury must approve or provide feedback on all nominations within 30 days, and the designation lasts for 10 years. The federal government is also working on finalizing the regulations for those private investments, with final regulations expected in late 2018 or 2019.

OZ designation, if it occurs, does not obligate the city to take any action but may provide benefits to attract private investment and affordable commercial and housing opportunities. Any private investment that may occur to take advantage of the OZ capital gain tax benefits would be subject to any and all local regulations. 

Colorado identified 500 census tracts throughout the state as eligible for designation based on economic need and opportunity (including 12 in Boulder) and could nominate up to 126 tracts. Local communities, economic development organizations and others were invited to submit input about potential areas to nominate. City staff identified census tract 122.03 for consideration based on a number of factors including redevelopment opportunities therein, such as the Diagonal Plaza.

Opportunity Zones are expected to provide a new tool for attracting private investment in businesses, workforce, housing and infrastructure. The city’s submission to the state described the following as potential areas for investment where OZ designation may help support:

  • Affordable Commercial –As we see increased opportunities generated by the university, labs and startups, we expect greater need for affordable commercial space to house startups with high growth potential. Opportunity Zone designation may make redevelopment of areas such as Diagonal Plaza less expensive and enable developers to build spaces that can be leased at a lower rate.
  • Infrastructure – Opportunity Zone designation may facilitate public-private partnerships to improve the transportation and other infrastructure that would support economic activity in areas such as Diagonal Plaza.
  • Housing – The city has a number of programs designed to make homes in our community available to a variety of people including those with low, moderate and middle incomes. Designation as an Opportunity Zone may attract private investment that could be used to supplement other programs and provide more affordable workforce housing options.
  • Business – While Boulder offers a resource-rich environment for startups, there are gaps and ongoing need for funding from other sources. Opportunity Zone designation may attract investments enabling the development and growth of companies in a variety of industries.

For more information, contact Jennifer Pinsonneault, Business Liaison, at [email protected] or 303-441-3017.