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February 15, 2024

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FRA Member News

NEW! ‘Protect West Tampa’: The Spirit of a Quintessential Tampa Neighborhood is on the Line

New and slick and shiny objects are attractive in their gloss, but need time to develop depth and spirit. This is true for places as well as people. Much of Florida is too newly minted to have this patina, so if we value character, we need to stop demolishing and paving over our older neighborhoods.

West Tampa is one such neighborhood, rich in texture and history. Hamilton Jones has been a preservation hero for his careful restoration of the Palace of Florence on Davis Islands as well as buildings throughout south Tampa. Fortunately, he has taken up the challenge of restoring MacFarlane’s original law office building on Howard Avenue.

Read more here

NEW! Pompano Beach CRA: Community Input Sought for Downtown Vision

RocaPoint Partners, the firm tasked with developing a new downtown, got input from members of the community.

The vision for the new downtown, which includes canals, mixed-income residential development, and 800,000 square feet of office space, will be located at Atlantic Boulevard and Dixie Highway. RocaPoint is still in the preliminary design phase and has yet to enter into a final agreement with the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the city.

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NEW! There’s a Buzz about Lealman’s Honey & Arts Festival ’24

Lealman’s inaugural Honey & Arts Festival was a resounding success in 2023, bringing more than 3,000 visitors to the leafy and vibrant unincorporated area of northwest St. Petersburg.

The second annual festival took place on Saturday (Feb. 10), and for co-producer Zelda O’Connell, the fact that several organizations came together, pooled their talents and resources and created the event, was itself an accomplishment to celebrate.

The “Lealman Engagement Committee” was formed in 2022 by the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners as part of its Community Redevelopment Area Plan (CRA) for Lealman.

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NEW! SOBEWFF’s Hallandale Beach Food & Groove

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) is one of the most anticipated events of the year and the City of Hallandale Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency (HBCRA) has once again partnered with SOBEWFF to host its annual Hallandale Beach Event Series.

This year’s enchanting Food & Groove “Festival of Lights” themed evening will feature art, music, interactive entertainment, and local restaurants with celebrated chefs showcasing creative international cuisines inspired by Turkey, Spain, Italy, and many more. Kosher and vegan options will be available, too, so all foodies can enjoy.

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NEW! The Arsht Center Celebrates Black Excellence with the Fifth Annual Heritage Fest and An Evening with Talib Kweli

The fifth annual community event celebrates the impact of Black Americans on arts and culture by amplifying South Florida’s brightest artists and performers.

Focused on celebrating African-Americans and the arts, the fifth annual HERITAGE FEST features hip-hop, musical theater, dance and yoga workshops for all ages; a live mural on the plaza with Picardo Colours; a reading nook with Books & Books; community vendors; and performances by Miami Carol City Middle & Senior High School Marching Band, Live in Color and The W’s feat. Johnny James a.k.a Dr. J. DJ Cardi will be this year’s resident DJ for the day.

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NEW! New Electric Shuttles Approved for Downtown Lake Worth Beach

Visitors and residents in Lake Worth Beach will soon have a new way to get around town in an environmentally friendly way.

The Lake Worth Beach Community Redevelopment Agency on Jan. 30 unanimously approved a one-year contract to fund new electric shuttles in the downtown historic district.

The CRA said the service is being paid for with both CRA and city funds.

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Fort Myers CRA Approves $30M Rebate; $700K for Housing

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency has awarded a $30 million tax increment rebate and approved a $700,000 purchase of land for single-family housing.

The tax increment rebate was awarded to JAXI CMD LLC for The Royal Palm Hotel & Residences at 2424 Edwards Drive in the not-to-exceed amount of $30,170,000.

The proposed project is in the downtown redevelopment area and consists of new construction and the adaptive reuse of an existing structure, formerly the Royal Palm Tower.

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Financial Incentives Could Come to Chains Looking to Open in Downtown Orlando

Downtown Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency voted to approve changes to the city’s Downtown Restaurant and Retail Stimulus Program on Wednesday.

The changes would now allow for franchises to cash in on financial incentives should they choose to open up shop in Downtown Orlando.

Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, franchises were not eligible for the stimulus program.

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Planned Fort Myers Affordable Housing Development Receives 15-month Extension

Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners voted 4-3 to grant a 15-month extension of the tax increment financing agreement for the long-awaited development of Towles Garden. The affordable 140-townhome community will be at the corner of Edison Avenue and Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard.

The development on 7.5-acres is intended to provide new and existing area residents with affordable homeownership opportunities for multifamily housing units, ranging from 714 to 1,320 square feet.

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New Affordable Housing Complex Opens in Delray Beach

The ribbon is cut and new tenants have moved into the Island Cove Apartments in Delray Beach.

The apartments are the area’s newest affordable housing complex initiative by the city, the Delray Beach Housing Authority and the city’s community redevelopment agency (CRA).

Maria Velasquez is among the residents who are calling the apartments home.

“I feel so grateful and so blessed,” Velasquez said. “Because it [was] so hard for me to find a place here, extremely hard. I lived in a hotel for three months.”

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Upgrades at Mizner Amphitheater and Sanborn Square

The city’s amphitheater is getting a fresh coat of paint.

Sanborn Square, the city park that fronts on Federal Highway, will be getting planters and barricades around the park perimeter in the spring “to enhance security from vehicle intrusions,” the spokesperson said. “Procurement will take two to three months for the planters and barricades, and then a month for installation. The best estimate for completion is early second quarter 2024.”

City council, sitting as the CRA, the Community Redevelopment Agency that administers the downtown district, approved the Sanborn plan and cost, projected to be under $100,000.

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West Park Avenue Reopens to Traffic, East Park Closes as Project Advances

While the ribbon-cutting and dedication of the newly reconstructed portions of Park Avenue and First Street remain in the planning stage, the newly completed stretches of West Park Avenue and North First Street are now open to two-way traffic.

The opening comes concurrent with the closure of the eastern portion of Park Avenue, a situation expected to last most of the year as the pavement is removed, utilities are upgraded, and new sidewalks and brick streets are installed.

The project is a key part of the Lake Wales Connected plan, a $20 million effort to reinvigorate the commercial heart of the city and make it attractive to private investors. New downtown residential development along with new commercial activity is expected to follow the project.

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Affordable Housing Unveiling Marks a Milestone for Opa-Locka Community

The City of Opa-Locka announced the unveiling of two new affordable housing units, a significant step towards addressing the community’s housing needs. The units are at 15070-80 James Street, Opa-Locka, Florida. Two families have a new home for 2024.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by all elected officials of the City of Opa-Locka, emphasizing the collective commitment to providing affordable housing options for the residents. The project is made possible through the collaboration and support of the Opa Locka Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), which has been pivotal in driving the initiative forward.

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Brewery Restaurant Proposed in New Cornerstone Development in Coral Springs

The former brewmaster at Big Bear Brewing Company has proposed opening a brewery of his own at the new Cornerstone development in Coral Springs.

Jeff Evans approached the Coral Springs Community Redevelopment Agency this week to explain his idea and seek potential assistance in covering expenses for his new business called Coral Springs Brewing Company.

“It would be a home base for people to hang out,” he told members of the agency on Monday.

Read more here

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Economic Development Specialist – City of Dunedin

Status: Regular Full-Time Exempt

Number of Hours: 40 hours per week

Salary Range: $1,944.80 – $2,722.40 bi-weekly / $50,564.80 – $70,782.40 annually – GR54


Under general supervision, uses judgment to facilitate economic development and redevelopment initiatives in the City of Dunedin. The focus of this position is to assist with implementing the goals and objectives of the Economic and Housing Development Department as detailed in the City’s Economic

Development Master Plan and 2033 CRA Downtown Master Plan. The position also assists with coordinating CRA programs and project initiatives. This position reports to the Director of Economic and Housing Development.

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Redevelopment Project Coordinator – City of Pompano Beach

Salary Range: $64,952 – $100,533

Work Days/Hours: Monday – Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Responsible for providing administrative and project coordination services for the Community Redevelopment Agency management, downtown redevelopment management, redevelopment incentives, neighborhood redevelopment, housing projects, and horizontal and vertical construction projects. The coordinator reports directly to the CRA Director and Project Managers.

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Economic Development Downtown Manager – City of Winter Garden

Exempt, Full-Time

Salary: Qualification Based 

Responsible for assisting the Economic Development Department in the management, outreach, promotion and implementation of economic development, redevelopment, revitalization, business and downtown programs. Work is performed with a high level of initiative and independence in undertaking and completing economic development and community outreach assignments as directed by the Economic Development Director. This is a professional, technical and experienced level position that requires considerable independent judgment in making decisions and carrying out assignments that have significant impact on the City and the community. This position also engages cross-functionally with other departments in shared work responsibilities and requires a savvy ability to collaborate while building effective and trusting relationships.

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Economic Development Specialist – City of St Cloud

Salary: $26.26 – $37.28 Hourly


This is a beginning-level professional work in economic research and project development.

Work involves the performance of moderately difficult professional and technical work in the area of economic research and development. Work is intellectual and varied in nature as opposed to routine mental or physical work and requires the consistent use of judgement and discretion in its performance. The employee works under general supervision depending upon the nature of the task. Independent judgement is exercised in the application of professional principles and research techniques toward economic development problem-solving, within established standards, rules and policies.

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Planning Manager City of Lake Wales

$51,505.79 – $81,120.00 Salary/year


Reviews applications for proposed developments, comprehensive plan amendments, and map amendments. Documents review process and records procedural compliance. Drafts amendments to Land Development Regulations and Comprehensive Plan text amendments.

Prepares ordinances, staff reports, and meeting agendas. May require knowledge of GIS functions in variety of venues, which may include exporting GIS data and producing a variety of maps.

Attends public meetings, presents in front of Boards as directed. Provides expert advice to Boards regarding planning issues. Oversees coordination of the permitting process to include site development with building official, inspectors, planners, engineers, fire inspectors and other agency staff. Coordinates activities of other planning employees as directed by the Growth Management Director. Other duties as assigned.

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Director of Development Services – City of Cape Coral

The City of Cape Coral, Florida (est. pop. 213,000), is seeking a Director of Development Services. This position requires a bachelor’s degree and ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in fields commonly/routinely involved in the functions of a community development department including but not limited to: building, planning, code enforcement, plans review, construction, zoning, development of neighborhood services, redevelopment, and environmental planning; including five (5) years in a supervisory role.

The base salary will be up to $150,000.

Read more here

Community Redevelopment Administrator – Town of Lake Park CRA

Under the direction of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Executive Director, this position is responsible for the implementation of the adopted Lake Park Community Redevelopment Master Plan and for providing responsible managerial, professional, and supervisory functions in coordinating the Town of Lake Park CRA Master Plan, its programs and activities. This position is a highly professional and administrative position that participates in executive level discussions and decision-making in a variety of areas, most particularly, but not limited to, redevelopment, community planning and economic development.  

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in business administration, public administration, finance, planning or closely related field is required supplemented by five (5) years of progressively responsible management experience in economic development, redevelopment, planning, architecture, and community development related services in a municipal or county setting. Certification as a Redevelopment Administrator or Redevelopment Professional through the Florida Redevelopment Association is also required. Must also have a valid Florida driver’s license. Salary $90,000.00 per year. Excellent Benefits.

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Public Works Director – Town of Lake Park CRA

A diverse, artistic, waterfront community with a population of 8,971 located in sunny Palm Beach County on the east coast of Florida is seeking a qualified individual to fill the position of Public Works Director. The Town of Lake Park has a Commission/Manager form of government where the Town Manager works under the legislative direction of the Town Commission. The Public Works Director reports directly to the Town Manager, and is responsible for the planning, directing, and supervising all Public Works operations, activities, and employees.

Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, or related field supplemented by a minimum of five (5) years of related experience as a supervisor, manger, or director of a public works department. Salary $115,002.64 to $184,004.23. Starting salary dependent upon qualifications. Excellent Benefits.

Read more here

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