In an effort to put out its welcome mat to visitors from the south, Provo City's Redevelopment Agency will be conducting a redevelopment survey in the south University Avenue area.

The City Council approved a resolution Tuesday night designating the survey area, from about First South to Ninth South and from Second West to First East, with extensions in the Sixth South and Fourth West and Sixth South and Third East areas.The resolution also will allow the Redevelopment Agency to select a redevelopment project area within the survey area, and then come up with a plan to redevelop the area.

Redevelopment Agency Director Ron Madsen said a number of business people have requested that the RDA look at a south University Avenue redevelopment district.

City officials agreed to the idea, saying that the south entrance of the city needs improvement.

"It's an eyesore, and since UDOT is redoing University Avenue, we think we need redevelopment there," said Mayor Joe Jenkins.

"We need to take care of the blight."

The study will determine if a redevelopment project is feasible in the area. The south University Avenue redevelopment project will not take the place of the current redevelopment district in downtown Provo, but will be a separate redevelopment district.

The downtown redevelopment district boundaries are from First South to Second North and from Fifth West to First East.

By law, a redevelopment district can be no more than 100 acres. The proposed area is about 25 acres over the limit and will have to be pared down before a final decision is made, Madsen said.

Raylene Ireland, executive assistant to the mayor, encouraged any residents with concerns about the survey area to come forward and speak to city administrators.

A public hearing will be held at the end of the study period and property owners in the redevelopment district will be notified so they can respond to the decision, Madsen said.

"This is a tool to help areas with blight, or areas with a slower economic situation and run-down buildings," Ireland said. "It gives them an opportunity for federal funding and to get back on their feet moving again."

Mayor Jenkins said that by being part of a redevelopment district, property owners also qualify for tax increment bonds.