In a detailed article on the effects of redevelopment funds which could be slashed in Governor Brown's budget, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune's Rebecca Kimitch points to Alhambra as a regional success story, but notes that critics "say redevelopment creates competition between cities that largely serves only developers and retailers." (More on how the governor's budget could affect Alhambra can be found here.)
Alhambra Mayor Gary Yamauchi takes Kimitch on a tour down Main Street, which she writes 20 years ago he never visited because it had suffered like so many American cities from a growing mall culture. "The difference has been 20 years of redevelopment efforts on the part of the city," Kimitch reports. "Those efforts have made Alhambra a regional example of how the tool of redevelopment was intended to be used. The city's redevelopment agency has used a portion of property tax revenue to attract private developers and retailers with financial incentives, such as direct grants, below-market rents, and property acquisition."
Kimitch reports the latter is a finding that the Legislative Analyst's Office supports: "'The state's costs associated with redevelopment have grown markedly over the last couple decades, yet we find no reliable evidence that this program improves overall economic development in California,' concludes an LAO report analyzing Brown's budget."