A recently completed blight study focused on Cort Plaza and the open field nearby.
The study aimed to examine conditions of the property, along with its buildings and structures, to determine whether it qualified as blighted or substandard. This qualification would determine its eligibility for tax increment financing, which would help a potential developer overcome these conditions.
“It helps create some opportunities for redevelopment or development,” said City Administrator Jeff Kooistra.
The area of study is a commercial corridor located along Highway 6, selected for a number of reasons: its presence of blighted and substandard characteristics; its potential for private development and redevelopment activities; the need for improvements in infrastructure; the economical and functional obsolescence of certain uses within the area; and the need for public intervention to stimulate redevelopment.
Substandard conditions include deterioration, age, overcrowding and other dangerous conditions. Blight conditions include defective or inadequate street and lot layouts, unsanitary or unsafe conditions and deterioration.
The structures on the property in question are nearly 80 years old. They were found to contribute to substandard conditions.
Street conditions and the limited connectivity in the area contribute to blighted conditions. Faulty lot layout in relation to size and shape also contributed.
Other contributing factors include areas of washouts and erosion, vegetation overgrowth and lack of sidewalks.
The Gretna Planning Commission was to make a recommendation on the plan at its Tuesday meeting, after the Gretna Breeze’s publication deadline. A public hearing on the study will be held at the Sept. 17 City Council meeting, after which it is expected to be either approved or denied.