Clients / Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
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With the decline of older urban areas over the second half of the 20th century, downtown cores, commercial streets and residential areas began to struggle.  In an effort to reverse decline, many North American cities initiated renewal programs to stimulate economic growth in older urban areas.  These efforts continue to the present day with many cities using a variety of tools such as grants, loans and strategic infrastructure investment.  While the overall goal behind urban renewal, whether public or private, is understood as community improvement and wealth creation, measuring the value of renewal is less understood.  What does renewal mean in terms of property assessment values?  While assessment for tax purposes is different from market value, it provides a track-able proxy for looking at difference in values on the urban landscape over a period of time.  The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce retained Civicplan to examine the question of renewal and property assessment in Hamilton by focussing on four commercial districts in and around the downtown area representing areas of stability as well as districts on the economic upswing.  The results showed that a “renewal premium” can be observed in particular circumstances which is valuable for policy makers to assess the value of renewal from an investment perspective.