By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)Apple Valley Commons. Jess Ranch Marketplace. Walmart Distribution Center. More than 5600 jobs. These are just a few of the outcomes from the effective administration of Redevelopment Agency (RDA) dollars in the Town of Apple Valley.
The State of California is threatening to dissolve RDAs across the board. However, in a report sent to the California Redevelopment Association yesterday, it is clear that the Town of Apple Valley has made wise use of this important economic and financial resource. In addition, a number of critical projects would be brought to a screeching halt should the Governor’s ill-advised proposal come to pass.
APPLE VALLEY SEES RESULTS WITH RDA
From 2004 through today, the Town has invested $55 million of RDA funds, which in turn has generated $394 million in project expenditures through our development partners. Using the state’s Department of Finance IMPLAN Job Calculator model, the ultimate economic impact from our initial investments is $739 million. This means each $1 million invested has resulted in a $13.4 million economic impact.
The Town can also attribute over 5600 jobs to our RDA investments – a figure that translates to only $9749 per job created.
The investment of RDA funds brings jobs. It also brings retail centers such as Apple Valley Commons and the Jess Ranch Marketplace. Retail centers bring shopping convenience to our residents, and sales tax to our community.
The largest project, providing as many as 1100 jobs, is the Walmart Distribution Center. Built in 2004, it was the first recipient of RDA funds, which were used to help acquire a portion of the property they built on. This investment paved the way to the formation of the North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan, the future economic engine of the Town of Apple Valley.
THE BACKBONE OF FUTURE GROWTH
The remaining projects focused on the installation of backbone infrastructure. Roads, storm drains and traffic signals are among the major public facilities that have been built.
“We’ve barely tapped the potential of some of these investments,” explained Mayor Scott Nassif. “Using RDA dollars lets us get the backbone system in place, laying the groundwork for all future development to an area.”
Oftentimes it is the added cost of off-site improvements that will break a potential development project. By providing RDA dollars, the Town assists business development by defraying the overall cost of the project. However, the Town still owns the infrastructure. These public improvements help the community as a whole, providing improved traffic flow, as well as the commercial development that may not have happened otherwise.
The developers contribute as well, with RDA investments representing just a percentage of the cost of improvements.
“We will see a continued return on our investment for years to come,” added Mayor Nassif. “When the economy picks up steam again, developers will turn to Apple Valley and we’ll be ready for them.”
INVESTING LOCALLY FOR THE LONG TERM
The Town was also fortunate to have the opportunity to fund a municipal animal shelter as well as a public works facility (currently under construction) through the redevelopment mechanism. The facilities fall squarely within a redevelopment area. The surrounding light industrial area will be served well with the location of these well-designed municipal buildings. Studies have shown that such uses raise the visibility and property values of surrounding development.
WHAT WE STAND TO LOSE
“If the RDA goes away, so does Yucca Loma Bridge,” explained Nassif. “This is the Town Council’s number one transportation priority in Vision 2020, and preliminary work in the riverbed is starting as we speak.”
Apple Valley’s match of $13 million towards the $55 million cost of phase one is budgeted to come from RDA funds. Should the Governor be successful in his bid to eliminate RDAs, the Yucca Loma Bridge work will come to a halt, along with the demonstrated traffic congestion benefits across the Victor Valley.
Equally as critical are the planned infrastructure improvements for the North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan (NAVISP). This 5100-acre area is the Town’s number one economic development priority. Construction of the required backbone infrastructure would already be underway if not for the state raid of almost $4 million from AVRDA last year. At build-out, the NAVISP is projected to generate 38,000 jobs and establish itself as the Town’s economic engine for the foreseeable future.
“California’s economic crisis can only get better through job creation and increased spendable income,” said Nassif. “Eliminating RDAs eliminates a critical tool that municipal agencies can use to that end. The Governor’s proposal will certainly only cause what it seeks to prevent.”