Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority


Strategic Plan, Policies and Procedures

Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority

Executive Summary

The purpose of the Strategic Plan for the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority (PURA) is to identify critical components of the development process from project area initiation to execution of development agreements. Additionally, a process is identified to engage community stakeholders, city leaders, and citizens of Pueblo. A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis was conducted and objectives were identified to more effectively guide PURA into the future.


The Strategic Plan will be primarily utilized as a procedural document to help guide PURA staff and the PURA Board of Commissioners when confronted with development opportunities.



Community Partner(s) means any entity, be it public, private, non-profit, civic, or an individual that may: 1) engage the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority, 2) that may be engaged by the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority, 3) that may be affected by the actions of the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority, and 4) may wish to influence the actions of the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority.


HARP means the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo.


Stakeholder(s) means any entity, be it public, private, non-profit, civic, or an individual that may experience financial consequences as a result of the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority’s activities.


Taxing Entities means all taxing bodies that levy an ad valorem property tax within the municipal boundaries of the City of Pueblo.


Authority or PURA means the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority.



Urban Renewal Authorities are special purpose public corporations created by State Statute and established by municipal government with the primary goal of preventing or eliminating “slum” and “blight” influences in the community. The Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority (PURA) was established in 1959 to stimulate development in specifically designated “project areas”. Project areas may be located anywhere within the City of Pueblo that meet the requirements of the law and are approved by the City Council, including undeveloped parcels, underdeveloped parcels, and established neighborhoods. By law PURA is required to work closely with the private sector. For a comprehensive list of all PURA projects, either completed or in process, please see Exhibit 1.


The Pueblo City Council has approved redevelopment plans to be carried out by PURA in the following project areas:

  • Phase One Project Area, established in 1986;
  • Expanded Phase One Project Area (Downtown),  established in 2004;
  • South Santa Fe Project Area (Downtown),  established in 2006;
  • North Pueblo Project Area (Eagleridge North), established in 2006;
  • Lake Minnequa Project Area, established in 2007;
  • ThunderVillage Project Area (East of Colorado State Univ.), established in 2008;
  • Saint Charles Industrial Park Project Area, established in 2008;
  • Union Avenue Project Area, established in 2009’ and
  • Fountain Creek Confluence Project Area (East Side), established in 2009


The PURA Board of Commissioners, appointed by the Pueblo City Council, consists of eleven volunteer members, and one ex-officio City Council member. In addition, PURA owns and manages the Pueblo Convention Center by contract with an experienced facilities manager. In addition, PURA personnel include an Executive Director hired by the PURA Board of Commissioners, and appropriate staff hired by the Executive Director.

Mission Statement

Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority eradicates blight and invests in our community by fostering economic growth through revitalization, enhancement, and preservation.


The Urban Renewal Authority acknowledges its responsibility to:

  • Protect and retain Pueblo’s downtown as the true core of our community with the understanding that a community’s potential need for revitalization is not confined to any one area;
  • Focus primarily on creating project areas that are “urban” vs. “new development”
  • Support project areas that create a significant amount of new jobs
  • Inform, educate, and communicate toward a better understanding of our strategies and financing mechanisms;
  • Maintain open and honest communication with Pueblo City Council, its Administration, taxing entities and any other community partners that may, from time to time, be affected;
  • Analyze and consider potential competitive consequences to established project areas as new project areas are considered;
  • Consider the utilization of residential tax increment financing only upon agreement relative to its consequences on other tax entities; and
  • Consider the use of eminent domain only after demonstration of clear and convincing evidence that the taking of property is necessary for the eradication of blight.


Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a unique mechanism that enables an urban renewal authority to use the new tax revenues generated by projects within a designated urban renewal area to help finance improvements. TIF is a new source of tax revenue, not an additional tax, that would not be available but for new investment from the private sector. TIF may be utilized to finance debt or pledged for reimbursement to specific projects that stimulate the economic environment and quality of life of the City of Pueblo.


The PURA is the only public entity within the community whose mission is the revitalization of the City of Pueblo. The PURA is uniquely positioned to stimulate and guide creative economic development financing given the deep pool of consulting expertise the PURA has to draw upon.


Process Management


The Conditions Survey

 An area may be designated as an urban renewal area after the following:


Phase 1


Developer/Owner(s), or as opportunities may surface, the PURA proposes a vision for a property, and questions the broader area as being blighted.


A proposal is brought before the PURA Executive Committee identifying vision, objectives, and proposed conditions survey boundaries.


Committee reviews prospective plan area, consults City staff, and makes any boundary changes. Also, the presence and location of blighting conditions is verified (see Exhibit 3).


PURA requests an application to be completed by the developer, as prepared by PURA, that includes answers as to how the conditions survey is to be paid for, scope of the development proposed, square footage, mix of commercial and residential uses, and the expectation of public improvements associated with the project (see Exhibit 4). PURA Executive Director will establish an informational meeting with all taxing entities.


All PURA project areas and subsequent agreements therein shall be charged a reasonable administrative fee to insure the continued existence of PURA services.


Upon Committee’s initial acceptance, a letter will be sent to local taxing entities to engage their opinion. Comments will be submitted, within 4 weeks to:


PURA Executive Director

115 E. Riverwalk

Suite 410

Pueblo, CO 81003

(719) 542-2577


Upon submission of application, the developer checklist and all Public Comments will then be reviewed by the Committee; forwarded to Board for its approval  or disapproval (i.e. does it meet with our Strategic Plan?). Board then forwards its letter to President of the City Council indicating PURA’s preliminary position. A notification letter is sent to those included within the boundaries of the Conditions Survey, as well as any additional stakeholders indicating a Conditions Survey may begin.


Upon Board acceptance, all Board members will be expected to maintain a proactive position.


Phase 2


Once the Conditions Survey is complete, a presentation will be made to the PURA Board for acceptance.


Together with the Stakeholders, Planning and Development Committee will define future role of Plan Area in the community.


An urban renewal plan document with supporting financial impact plan (County Impact Report) will be prepared, and delivered to all taxing entities. The project area plan shall include scope of development(s) and public improvements considered for the project area.


Presentation of the project area plan will then be presented to City Council for adoption.


The PURA will continue to assess the project and begin preliminary negotiations with the developer.


 Adoption and Initiation


Final project area plan documents (Conditions Survey, Project Area Plan, and County Impact Report) are submitted to the City of Pueblo for statutory 30 day public notification (notice letters, newspaper publication, submittal of County Impact Report to County, school district(s) notification letter).


City Council consideration/approval.


Individual Projects within Adopted Plan Areas 


PURA will publish a Request for Proposals (RFP) following a specific timeline.


PURA will provide any and all developers with a list of approved public improvements and incentives.


PURA will establish the projected TIF return on project(s).


All PURA project areas and subsequent agreements therein shall be charged a reasonable administrative fee to insure the continued existence of PURA services.


PURA will contact its consultants for professional analysis. The following concerns will be addressed:


  • Is the project desirable?
  • Is there sufficient confidence that the project can be successful?
  • Does the project justify the needs for public funds?
  • That the public funds are earmarked for a specific list of Qualified Public Improvements.
  • That the projected TIF revenues will be sufficient to fund the public obligation.


All proposals will follow the Construction Specification Institute (CSI) language and will break out, for analysis, the proposed public improvements.


Project Area Exiting

At a minimum of three (3) years prior to the expiration of an PURA project area, a designated PURA subcommittee shall review all tax increment obligations to and from the Authority to insure contractual compliance and expiration of said contract upon expiration of the tax increment period.


Two (2) years prior to the final tax increment payment year within a PURA project area, the PURA will notify all taxing entities of prospective project area expiration.


It is recognized that final property tax payment is received upon the 26th year of project area adoption.


A designated PURA subcommittee shall review the financial consequences of project area expiration, including administrative funds and such effects on the entirety of the PURA budget in relation to other project areas and any reserves required to comply with legal and financial close-out requirements.


Board Vision of the Future

As the PURA Board of Commissioners, we desire that all facets of our community

would agree that we will have existed and performed according to our mission statement; that we as a Board will have advanced to the cutting edge of community revitalization and development; and that, as time passes, PURA sponsored initiatives will have instilled pride in the citizens of Pueblo.


Strategic Plan Updates

It is the intent of the PURA Board of Commissioners to maintain the body of this document intact and unchanged with the exception of revisions/updates caused by unforeseen circumstances.


Exhibits contained herein may be updated at a minimum of once per year, ideally at the PURA’s Annual Retreat.


EXHIBIT 1: Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority Projects


Since PURA’s inception, notable signature developments, many in partnership with developers and the City of Pueblo, include:


Downtown Phase 1 Project Area (adopted 1986):


Completed Projects:

  • Pueblo Convention Center
  • Pueblo Marriott Hotel
  • Redevelopment of Centel Electric Building (Vectra)


Projects in Process:

  • Pueblo Convention Center Expansion (Regional Tourism Application)


Downtown Expanded Phase 1 Project Area (adopted 2004):


Completed Projects:

  • Cambria Suites Hotel;
  • The Pueblo Main Street Parking Garage;
  • The McCarthy/Baker Building Parking Agreement;
  • HARP Lot 3 Development (Angelo’s Pizza);
  • 3rd and Main Building Façade Improvement Financing;
  • The Riverview at Union Parking Agreement;
  • The Waterfront on the Riverwalk Parking Agreement;
  • HARP Lot 4 Development (Eco Walk Building);
  • Established Downtown Façade Improvement Loan and Grant Program;
  • $40,000 Catholic Diocese grant for landscaping and roofing;
  • Waterfront Façade Improvement grant for landscaping; and
  • Founders’ Plaza Art Installment project.
  • Main Street Hanging Flowers


Projects in Process:

  • Downtown Broker;
  • Negotiations with HARP Lot 6 and Lot 11 developers;
  • Pueblo Regional Tourism Application;
  • Memorial Hall Theater and Renovation and Upgrade Project Bonding & Design; and
  • Pueblo City Center Partnership.


Upcoming Projects:

  • Memorial Hall Theater Renovation and Upgrade Construction;
  • Continued development of HARP;
  • Regional Tourism Project.


South Santa Fe Project Area (adopted 2006):


Completed Projects: None


Projects in Process:

  • Rehabilitation of the Alpha Beta Warehouse.


 North Pueblo Project Area (adopted 2006):


Completed Projects: None


Projects in Process: None

  • Planning, Design, and Financing of the Dillon Split-Diamond Interchange and Transportation Flyover.


Upcoming Projects

  • Construction of the Dillon Split-Diamond Interchange and Transportation Flyover.


Lake Minnequa Project Area (adopted 2007):


Competed Projects:

  • $500 Grant for Lake Minnequa flowers;
  • Iowa Stormwater Improvements ; and
  • Established Lake Avenue Façade Improvement Loan and Grant Program.


Projects in Process:

  • Phase I Lake Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Project;
  • Lakeview Bar Façade Improvement Loan and Grant.


Upcoming Projects

  • Phase III-IV of Lake Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Project.


 ThunderVillage Project Area (adopted 2008):


Completed Projects:

  • Phase I of Housing (No Direct Impact to PURA)


Projects in Process:

  • Phase II of Housing (No Direct Impact to PURA)


Upcoming Projects:

  • Fulfill Reimbursement Agreement by Financing Public Improvements Associated with Secured Commercial/Retail Activities in ThunderVillage.


Saint Charles Project Area (adopted 2008):


Completed Projects:

  • Finalized and approved Reimbursement Agreement with Vestas Towers of America.


Upcoming Projects

  • Negotiations with future industrial development projects.


 Union Avenue Project Area (adopted 2009)


Completed Projects:

  • Established Union Avenue Façade Improvement Loan and Grant Program;
  • B Street Patio Redevelopment Project; and
  • Flower Installments


Projects in Process:

  • Repair and replacement of street furnishing;
  • 124 Midway Façade Improvement Loan and Grant; and
  • Pillars of Pueblo: Trail and Rock Climb Recreation Area Development Project.


Upcoming Projects

  • Continued Issuing of Union Avenue Façade Improvement Loan and Grants


Fountain Creek Confluence Project Area (adopted 2009)


Completed Projects:

  • East Side Coordinator and Established East Side Task Force;
  • Master Redevelopment Plan;
  • Established Historic East Side Façade Improvement Loan and Grant Program; and
  • 741 E. 4th Street Façade Improvement Loan and Grant.


Projects in Process:

  • E. 4th Street Business Corridor Streetscape Design


Upcoming Projects:

  • Redevelopment of E. 4th Street Business Corridor
  • Continued Issuing of Façade Improvement Loan and Grants



EXHIBIT 2: SWOT Analysis

(Note: This SWOT Analysis was conducted by the PURA’s Strategic Planning Committee and approved by the PURA Board of Commissioners. Methods to obtain this information stem from firsthand experience of the PURA Board of Commissioners, the PURA’s Executive Director, and Community Partners.)



  • Tax increment financing;
  • Signature developments;
  • In the public eye;
  • DDIS
  • Executive Director position;
  • Board diversity; and
  • A broad foundation of professional experience and knowledge derived from 3rd party consulting entities.


  • Potential diverging opinions between PURA and City Administration;
  • Managing perceptions and lack of education regarding the PURA;
  • Not having procedures in place for prospective developers; and
  • Insufficient marketing and educational pieces “Talking Points.”



  • Communicating our success stories;
  • Updating educational and marketing pieces including aerial photos, website, and single page talking points;
  • Pueblo Convention Center expansion;
  • HARP developments;
  • Community collaboration on prospective URA project areas;
  • Taking a lead role in community economic development to the extent permitted by law; and
  • Increased communication with Pueblo City Council.



  • Economic changes and financing limitations;
  • Potential of competing URA project areas; and
  • Inadequate Board participation.


This SWOT analysis and elements of this plan are subject to annual review by the PURA Board of Commissioners.


SWOT Objectives

  1. To maintain active participation and communication with the City and County governments and all taxing authorities.
  2. To create a marketing flyer capable of educating the public in regard to Tax Increment Financing.
  3. To establish an independent identity with office and office staff.
  4. To implement The Downtown Implementation Strategy, along with design standards.
  5. To continue to link PURA with other community partners.
  6. To hold a meeting to update the phase three HARP design so as to create alternatives and strategies.
  7. To establish exit procedures of plan areas.
  8. To create a series of newspaper columns to run in early 2009.


EXHIBIT 3: Blight Conditions


“Blighted Area” means an area that, in its present condition and use and, by reason of the presence of at least four of the following factors, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the municipality, retards the provision of housing accommodations, or constitutes an economic or social liability, and is a menace to public health, safety, morals, or welfare:


[a]        Slum, deteriorated, or deteriorating structures;


[b]        Predominance of defective or inadequate street layout;


[c]        Faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness;


[d]        Unsanitary or unsafe conditions;


[e]        Deterioration of site or other improvements;


[f]         Unusual topography or inadequate public improvements or utilities;


[g]        Defective or unusual conditions of title rendering the title non-marketable;


[h]        The existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other causes;


[i]         Buildings that are unsafe or unhealthy for persons to live or work because of building code violations, dilapidation, deterioration, defective design, physical construction, or faulty or inadequate facilities;


[j]         Environmental contamination of buildings or property;


[k.5]     The condition of health, safety, or welfare factors requiring high levels of municipal services or substantial physical underutilization or vacancy of sites, buildings or other improvements;


[l]         If there is no objection of such property owner or owners and the tenant or tenants of such owners, in and, to the inclusion of such property in an urban renewal area, “blighted area’ also means an area that, in its present condition and use and, by reason of the presence of any one of the factors specified in paragraphs [a] to [k.5] of this subsection (2), substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the municipality, retards the provision of housing accommodations, or constitutes an economic or social liability, and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals or welfare. For purposes of this paragraph (1), the fact that an owner of interest in such property does not object to the inclusion of such property in the urban renewal area does not mean that the owner has waived any rights of such owner in connection with laws governing condemnation.




EXHIBIT 4: Development Application


Development Application

Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority


Primary Contact Number:______________

Mailing Address:__________________________________________________________

Street                                       City                              State                Zip


Email Address:_______________________

Corporate Name:____________________

Development Address:______________________________________________________

                           Street                                       City                              State               Zip


On a separate sheet of paper, please outline a response to the following questions and requests:


  • What is the expected scope of improvements associated with your project?


  • What are the proposed public improvements associated with your project?


  • Please describe the number of residential units associated with your project and the total square footage of commercial space.


  • Please provide all preliminary development plan(s) associated with the project.


  • Are you able to finance the completion of a Conditions Survey?


Please submit completed application to:


Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority

Attn: Executive Director

115 E. Riverwalk

Suite 410

Pueblo, CO 81003