NEWSREVIEW.pngIssue 33/June 2015

Our mission is to bring together resources to achieve Coeur d’Alene’s vision of a diverse, sustainable community with healthy neighborhoods, a vibrant central city, a strong regional economy, sustainable, superior public open spaces, and quality jobs and housing for all.


 

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What’s in a name?

When you find yourself continually explaining what you do and what you have accomplished, it’s time to evaluate what’s getting in the way. Could it be your name? One thing for sure, is that the name for Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corporation, is not something that just rolls off the tongue. With a desire to better communicate the benefits the agency provides to the community, and to a much wider audience, LCDC embarked on a journey to discover what the community actually knows and thinks about the organization.

With the help of Robinson Research, LCDC conducted a Public Perception and Awareness Study which polled 600 residents, 18 and above. The 36 question, telephone survey focused on a cross section of Kootenai County which included the northwest, northeast and southern sections within Coeur d’Alene city limits. 

The results revealed that 65% of those surveyed had no awareness of LCDC and that 73% had no idea what the acronym LCDC stands for. The survey also revealed that two of LCDC’s key projects, The Kroc Center and the Public Library were well thought of, but that for the most part residents did not know that LCDC played a significant role in the creation of these projects.

Today’s government organizations face the same criteria for name recognition or “brand identity” as any other company or product in the public eye. Your brand or name should tell people what they can expect from you. It should relate who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. If your name is inaccurate or misleading it requires a considerable effort to explain and clarify what it is you precisely do. Such has been the case for Lake City Development Corporation. For today’s millennials the words “development” and “corporation” come with baggage of negative and undesirable overtones. Yet, persons in the 23-38 age range are residents who in the long run stand to benefit significantly from the community projects that LCDC undertakes.

To this end, LCDC is changing their name to “ignite cda”. The decision to change the name has not been taken up lightly. Change is uncomfortable, and there will be those that discount the change for various reasons. None the less, “ignite cda” is a promise, it conveys our core value, and it is what you can expect from the community projects that “ignite cda” will undertake. “ignite cda” will kindle, light, start-up, touch-off, fuel and spark community projects that will help create jobs, provide infrastructure that spurs new business, and create places that heighten the connection between people and the public spaces they share. 


 

What’s in a name?
When you find yourself continually explaining what you do and what you have accomplished, it’s time to evaluate what’s getting in the way. Could it be your name? One thing for sure, is that the name for Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corporation, is not something that just rolls off the tongue. With a desire to better communicate the benefits the agency provides to the community, and to a much wider audience, LCDC embarked on a journey to discover what the community actually knows and thinks about the organization.
With the help of Robinson Research, LCDC conducted a Public Perception and Awareness Study which polled 600 residents, 18 and above. The 36 question, telephone survey focused on a cross section of Kootenai County which included the northwest, northeast and southern sections within Coeur d’Alene city limits. 
The results revealed that 65% of those surveyed had no awareness of LCDC and that 73% had no idea what the acronym LCDC stands for. The survey also revealed that two of LCDC’s key projects, The Kroc Center and the Public Library were well thought of, but that for the most part residents did not know that LCDC played a significant role in the creation of these projects.
Today’s government organizations face the same criteria for name recognition or “brand identity” as any other company or product in the public eye. Your brand or name should tell people what they can expect from you. It should relate who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. If your name is inaccurate or misleading it requires a considerable effort to explain and clarify what it is you precisely do. Such has been the case for Lake City Development Corporation. For today’s millennials the words “development” and “corporation” come with baggage of negative and undesirable overtones. Yet, persons in the 23-38 age range are residents who in the long run stand to benefit significantly from the community projects that LCDC undertakes.
To this end, LCDC is changing their name to “ignite cda”. The decision to change the name has not been taken up lightly. Change is uncomfortable, and there will be those that discount the change for various reasons. None the less, “ignite cda” is a promise, it conveys our core value, and it is what you can expect from the community projects that “ignite cda” will undertake. “ignite cda” will kindle, light, start-up, touch-off, fuel and spark community projects that will help create jobs, provide infrastructure that spurs new business, and create places that heighten the connection between people and the public spaces they share. 

Community Profile

Editor's note: As part of the LCDC's continuing commitment to maximizing public awareness about the agency, we rotate monthly  profiles of community leaders and our volunteer board members. Board members are individuals appointed by the mayor with approval from the city council and offer broad representation of our region from various professional backgrounds.

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Justin Druffel
Board Member 

Justin is employed by Caterpillar, Inc. as the Building and Construction Products National Account Manager for the Western U.S. and Western Canada. He is also the owner of JD Lakeshore, LLC, a professional business consulting services company specializing in project management, contract management, business development, and real property management. He previously held leadership positions as Vice Chair for Regional Outreach for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Idaho District Council and served on the Land Committee for Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC). Mr. Druffel has a B.S. degree in Agricultural Systems Management with a minor in Business from the University of Idaho. He was also selected and trained in the L.E.A.D. Program at Caterpillar, Inc.

What committees do you serve on? I serve on the acquisition committee and the higher education campus committee.

Do you serve on any other boards? Currently I do not.

What is the importance of a downtown core? Creating a vibrant downtown core is essential to growth and long-term livability of a city. Every generation from the baby boomers to the millennials are trending to live in areas with more walkability, amenities, and business. That holds true if you are in a major metropolitan area or Coeur d’Alene Idaho. Creating a destination downtown helps draw business and people together. This is critical for long-term success. 

Way back in August 2012 you made some predictions about McEuen Park. You stated that the improvements would be an “economic shot in the arm”, and that the renovation would attract more people to downtown.  Is it too soon to tell, or is there an indication that this is happening? It is still too soon to do a total economic impact analysis as the park has been open less than one year. Talking with downtown business owners and other members of the downtown community there was an impact to business during the park construction. That tells me that having parking and activities for people does matter. That traffic is certainly starting to increase again. That said, from my perspective as a frequent user of the park there is more traffic in McEuen then I have ever seen in my time in Coeur d’Alene. It truly has created another spectacular gathering place in our city that appeals to all citizens. 

In a previous article for our newsletter,  you said that Urban Renewal Districts should not make decisions in a vacuum.  As a board member what have you done to keep in touch with best practices?You must listen and truly get feedback from citizens, business owners, the city, the county, state government, professional associations, and industry experts.  In my opinion our board does a very good job of doing this. Our board spends a great deal of time meeting with different stakeholders in different projects to get their perspective. A great example was at our recent annual planning meeting where we had open discussion with the city, county commissioners, higher education institutions, and Jobs Plus all in the same room discussing ways to drive growth to create more jobs and make Coeur d’Alene a better place for future generations. LCDC is involved with bringing local programming via the Urban Land Institute an organization considered an expert resource of trends and best practices in development worldwide. Our leadership was recently invited to speak about LCDC projects at the Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) annual meeting in Boise. A lot of the progressive and successful projects done here in Coeur d’Alene are being looked at as best practices by other agencies.

What is needed to encourage private investment/reinvestment in East Sherman?
I believe CDA 2030 is a great start. CDA 2030 and the City are currently hosting forums to get input from community stakeholders as to what their vision is for East Sherman. Vision 2030 and the City of Coeur d’Alene will sift through that information after the meetings are held to establish a clear future vision. That plan then needs to be aligned with the current stakeholders in East Sherman. Ultimately it is going to take development investment to drive significant change. The CDA 2030 project is a great first step to signal that we as a community are serious about investing and redevelopment of East Sherman. 

Since East Sherman is outside any of LCDC’s current districts we are not able to participate unless there was a new district formed. Where an organization like LCDC could help is to accelerate the redevelopment by providing investment on the public infrastructure side to help spur on new development in East Sherman. That investment would ultimately lead to new business and real estate investment in the area and would, in the long run provide more tax revenue to the city. That is the purpose of LCDC/Urban Renewal and something that has proven to be very successful in the City of Coeur d’Alene to date. 

 

Mr. Druffel is currently the Building and Construction Products National Account Manager - Western US & Western Canada at Caterpillar, Inc. He also is owner of JD Lakeshore, LLC a professional business consulting services company specializing in project management, contract management, business development, and real property management. In conjunction with his current position on the Board of Directors for Lake City Development Corporation he also has past leadership positions as Vice Chair for Regional Outreach for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Idaho District Council and served on the Land Committee for Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC). Mr. Druffel has a B.S. degree in Agricultural Systems Management with a minor in Business from the University of Idaho. He was also selected and trained in the L.E.A.D. Program at Caterpillar, Inc.

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BNSF Update - Let the planning begin

Enthusiasm runs high among city officials and stakeholders for the prospect of public space along the Spokane River waterfront now that the purchase of the BNSF Railroad right-of-way is complete.

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“This is a tremendous opportunity because it opens it up for both public access and economic development."
Coeur d’Alene Mayor, Steve Widmyer

Back in April of this year the city unanimously approved a zoning change for the 9.6 acre parcel that extends from the Mill River subdivision to the north end of the Riverstone development. The property was changed from industrial to C-17 which allows for 17 units per acre.

City Attorney Warren Wilson clarified to the council that it is the city’s intent to develop the property as a linear corridor for public use, and that trails and water access can be developed in C-17 as well as any zoning designation.

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" The C-17 zone change adds value in the event that the city decides to exchange or sell the property."
Warren Wilson,
Cd'A City Attorney 

In speaking with John Brunning, chairman for the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation (NICTF), he echoed the fact that NICTF has always looked forward to the possibility of moving the trail close to the waterfront.

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“Having the trail along the waterfront is a big attraction” said Brunning and “preserving the space by the water for public use has always been one of NICTF’s goals”.

Planning and consideration for what potential uses the newly acquired right-of-way can provide will fall under the auspices of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. It is anticipated that this will be a highly public process. 


 

BNSF Update - Let the planning begin
Enthusiasm runs high among city officials and stakeholders for the prospect of public space along the Spokane River waterfront now that the purchase of the BNSF Railroad right-of-way is complete. “This is a tremendous opportunity because it opens it up for both public access and economic development, announced Coeur d’Alene Mayor, Steve Widmyer in a recent press release.
Back in April of this year the city unanimously approved a zoning change for the 9.6 acre parcel that extends from the Mill River subdivision to the north end of the Riverstone development. The property was changed from industrial to C-17 which allows for 17 units per acre. City Attorney Warren Wilson clarified to the council that it is the city’s intent to develop the property as a linear corridor for public use, and that trails and water access can be developed in C-17 as well as any zoning designation. However, the C-17 zone change adds value in the event that the city decides to exchange or sell the property. 
In speaking with John Brunning, chairman for the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation (NICTF), he echoed the fact that NICTF has always looked forward to the possibility of moving the trail close to the waterfront. “Having the trail along the waterfront is a big attraction” said Brunning and “preserving the space by the water for public use has always been one of NICTF’s goals”.
Planning and consideration for what potential uses the newly acquired right-of-way can provide will fall under the auspices of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. It is anticipated that this will be a highly public process. 

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