For Albany’s downtown urban renewal program known as CARA, the focus now is on launching and completing a redevelopment of the riverfront along Water Avenue, finishing some remaining projects, and then going out of business, possibly by 2025.
So what comes next for CARA, the central Albany urban renewal district? Mayor Sharon Konopa has an idea, and she mentioned it Saturday at the completion ceremony of the city’s two-year downtown streetscape project.
Albany’s downtown renewal board may now be on its way to setting priorities for completing its mission. That’s the vague but hopeful main news from Wednesday’s monthly session of the CARA advisory board.
The Albany City Council has yet to decide what if anything to do with a block of vacant land it caused the BNSF railroad to hand over in 2013. But for now a previous benefit of the parcel — overflow parking at the popular Calapooia Brewing Co. restaurant across Water Avenue — has been lost.
Things have been quiet on my waterfront beat, but there’s stuff going on, mainly including the installation of a new and improved railroad crossing at Water Avenue and Hill Street, a main entrance to the Edgewater Village development.
On a bike ride along the Albany riverfront, I could not help noticing that segments of Water Avenue now have a nice new surface. Could the same kind of treatment be a solution for the many old city streets where the potholes resemble craters on the moon?