Feb. 7, 2018
Supporting local growth from within communities is the formula for success, and community redevelopment agencies are a key part of this equation. Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature is seeking to impose an exhaustive list of regulations that will prevent CRAs from effectively rehabilitating the communities they serve.
CRAs breathe new life into communities that have been neglected or forgotten. Their sole purpose is to redevelop and stabilize the community through local leadership and a uniquely designed redevelopment plan.
By rehabilitating an area, the CRA not only makes the community safer but more stable and fiscally sound. Many developers won’t even consider investing in an area if the local government hasn’t made an effort to address failing infrastructure.
As a Tallahassee resident and founder of GrassLands Brewing Company – located within the CRA district on Gaines Street – I am thrilled to see the reinvigoration of our city through CRA projects. The Tallahassee CRA has done an incredible job transforming the Gaines Street area through streetscape improvements that have fostered small business growth. The agency is also responsible for the construction of a new sidewalk bordering Florida A&M University, an area of major pedestrian traffic.
In addition to boosting our local economy through infrastructure projects, the Tallahassee CRA has helped implement programs that directly improve the lives of local residents. For example, the CRA contributed funds to the Neighborhood REACH program, which provides assistance to reduce consumer energy demands through energy-efficient improvements. Through the program, agency funds helped replace 33 electric hot water heaters and 11 outdated or inefficient HVAC air conditioning units.