Declaring an area blighted and substandard can take Community Redevelopment Authorities months and cost thousands of dollars, and that's before projects actually begin.
But Grand Island's CRA director says he might have a way to make those redevelopment projects move faster -- microblighting.
"The real reason that we would look at doing this is if we had somebody that was looking at redeveloping a specific property that was in particularly bad shape," says GI CRA Director Chad Nabity.
Nabity says doing a blight study on a smaller more specific area could save money since they wouldn't be studying unnecessary areas, and the studies wouldn't take as long to do.
"It also makes it possible for investors, for developers, for people who would be looking at doing the redevelopment to kind of go out and find those properties," he says.
Hastings CRA Director Randy Chick says they also typically do larger blight studies, and says it's not unusual to go through months of study and approval just to have a project pop up outside of the area.
"About two weeks after you're done with that somebody comes in with a project that's about two blocks out of the area and probably meets the blight and substandard designation, but isn't in the area," says Chick.
Chick agrees that working in smaller areas would be easier, but says they have other loan programs and groups in Hastings that help with specific projects not eligible for Tax Increment Financing.
As far as microblighting, Nabity says they won't know if it will work until they try.
"Now we will look at doing it if we can find the right properties and the right developer and the right combination that would make it possible," he says.
Up to 35% of a city can be declared blighted and substandard. Grand Island has about 16% and Hastings has about 27% declared as such right now.