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What should we build downtown?

Is a stadium or convention center expansion the best use of public money?


Monday, April 25, 2016

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Kelly Cunningham, senior fellow and economist for the National University System Institute for Poicy Research, said both would spur the local economy, but not to the degree that other uses of the funds might.

"Any time a lot of money is spent on redevelopment, there is some economic impact and improvement, whether or not it eventually proves worth the investment," he said. "One criterion should be whether it becomes self-sustaining and shows long-lasting improvement."

...Cunningham listed a number of what he considers to be better uses of public money, including targeting it for infrastructure repairs and upgrades, and improving transportation into and out of downtown.

Still another good investment would be housing for the homeless, Cunningham said.

It would help get people off the streets and improve the desirability of downtown business and living, he said.

However, the best option would be to invest in higher education downtwon, he said. That stimulates higher-wage jobs and spurs innovation, entrepreneurship, new businesses and jobs, Cunningham said.