Saturday, November 3, 2018

Press Release from City of Lake Worth and City’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

This very informative press release datelined Thursday, Nov. 1st is below. And also below is the answer to the oft-posed question, “What is the purpose of the CRA?”

Also of note the Lake Worth CRA was the top news story last Thursday by multimedia journalist Alanna Quillen at NBC5/WPTV with the headline,

Lake Worth approving first luxury
apartment complex in the city

The news on WPTV was sub-headlined, “Effort to diversify the city’s real estate market” and one of our elected leaders was quoted by Alanna Quillen:

“If you’re into cute cottages, we have lots of things for you. If youre into historic homes, we have lots of things for you. But if you’re a young professional that’s not ready to buy a home or not ready to take care of a yard, we have nothing for you and this is the first opportunity that we’re going to give to them,” said Lake Worth City Commissioner Omari Hardy, whose district [District 2] includes the project area. 

Briefly, about the mission of the Lake Worth CRA:

We are dedicated to maintaining the character of the City, responding to community needs and encouraging sustainable economic growth to improve the quality of life for our residents and the future health of our City.

The CRA is headquartered at The HATCH, 1121 Lucerne Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. Press and news media contacts:

  • Joan Oliva, Executive Director of CRA: 561-493-2550;
  • Madlyn McKendry, CRA Board Chair,
  • Emily Theodossakos is the Lake Worth CRA marketing and program manager.

What is the purpose of the CRA?

Community Redevelopment Agencies and other economic development organizations exist to promote the improvement of downtown areas and neighborhoods through redevelopment efforts. CRAs have certain powers that cities may not have, including establishing tax increment financing and leveraging public funds with private dollars:

“Working alongside and in partnership with our municipalities, CRAs are able to accomplish great achievements.”

The Lake Worth CRA is governed by a seven (7) member board appointed by the Lake Worth City Commission. Their role is to direct CRA activities within the Community Redevelopment Area in accordance with the approved Lake Worth Redevelopment Plan. Revenue is generated for CRA projects through Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

Joint press release issued by the City of Lake Worth and CRA:

Lake Worth, FL; Nov. 1st, 2018 — The City of Lake Worth and Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency are proud to announce two new redevelopment projects: The Royal Poinciana Trail at 5th Ave. South and the new Shops at Downtown Lake Worth were awarded the 2018 winners of the best new Transportation, Transit Enhancement and Outstanding New Building categories at the annual Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) Awards.*

The CRA is incredibly thankful for this honor and appreciate everyone whose dedication and hard work made this possible.

Each year FRA accepts entries for the annual awards from its members in a variety of categories ranging from outstanding housing project to cultural enhancement. The entries are examined for effectiveness and completeness — including the narrative, supplemental material and compliance with the submittal instructions — by a cross section of Florida redevelopment professionals. Individuals and business organizations judge and rank all of the entries and select the winners.

 “The Board and Staff of the Lake Worth CRA are extremely proud to be recognized by the Florida Redevelopment Association for our work. Both were multi-year projects that required a great deal of communication and coordination. We are grateful to be acknowledged for our ongoing efforts. It is a very exciting time in the City of Lake Worth as there are many new exciting projects in the planning stages or underway in the CRA District.”

—Quote. Madlyn McKendry, Chair of the Lake Worth CRA Board.

The Royal Poinciana Trail at 5th Ave. South

Originally envisioned in 2012 by Mayor Pam Triolo and Palm Beach County School Board Member Erica Whitfield, The Royal Poinciana Trail is the newest non-motorized, shared use pathway in Lake Worth. This 1,500′ linear pathway, which was completed in February 2018, winds through one of the most economically distressed areas of the City.

The project resulted in one of the most attractive linear greenspaces within the City. Primarily funded with grant dollars from FDOT, this project was completed on-time and under budget. By taking a former unimproved right-of-way and turning it into the beautiful Royal Poinciana Trail, the CRA and City were able to accomplish a magnificent transformation of formerly blighted conditions and provide a safe route for children and residents to get through their neighborhood without a motorized vehicle.

Shops at Downtown Lake Worth

By accepting a bank-foreclosed property that had been vacant for twelve years and working with a private developer, the CRA was able to help assemble a large parcel of land near Downtown, generate jobs, create 10,000 square feet of retail space, spur development in an area that sat idle for over a decade and create a harmonious transition from the Downtown to the new Lake Worth Arts District.

In 2017 development began on a retail shopping center that would eventually house a new Starbucks with a drive-thru, a T-Mobile store, an urgent care medical office and a nail salon. The grand openings for the Shops at Downtown took place in June 2018 and created approximately 55 jobs.

End of press release.

*The Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting Florida professionals and volunteers in community revitalization efforts. With its mission of “transforming spaces, revitalizing places,” FRA is committed to providing a forum for its more than 300 members to share knowledge and common experiences regarding revitalization opportunities and issues throughout Florida.