City - News

Posted on: February 5, 2018

MLK Expansion Workshops explore new potential opportunities

2017 FMCRA logo 4C

FORT MYERS, FL (Feb. 3, 2018) – The City of Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) will host three public workshops in February 2018 to discuss the expansion of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard redevelopment area in Fort Myers. Each of the three workshops will present the same content but will take place on different evenings to accommodate the needs of the public. The dates and locations follow, all take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m.: Thursday, February 8 at The IMAG History & Science Center, 2200 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers; Tuesday, February 13 at Dunbar Community School, 1857 High Street, Fort Myers; and Tuesday, February 20 at Mt. Hermon Ministries, 2856 Douglas Avenue, Fort Myers.

At each of the workshops, the public will learn about the proposed expansion which will cover the existing MLK area and encompass the existing Dunbar/Michigan area. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions, and to provide public input about the proposed changes. If the boundary is expanded, tax revenues that are generated, referred to as “increment,” would be available to the entire expanded area.

Background

Established in 2006 near the height of the real estate market, the Dunbar-Michigan and Eastwood redevelopment areas do not generate any tax increment revenues that can be used to improve those areas. Unfortunately, the total value of the combined property values for each redevelopment area is less now than it was when each redevelopment area was created. By expanding the four Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (MLK) Sub-Areas, the CRA is trying to put the Dunbar/Michigan and a portion of the Eastwood redevelopment area in a position which allows them to generate their own tax increment revenues. Once they have a positive cash flow, those funds will be available to invest back into those areas.

For more information about the workshops, contact Michele Hylton-Terry at (239) 321-7100 or mhylton@cityftmyers.com.

About Community Redevelopment Agencies

Community Redevelopment Agencies have proven historically to provide distressed communities with a better economy through improved infrastructure, job opportunities, and housing. Their mission is to make housing and urban areas safer for residents, to preserve and grow business, and to provide a sense of place for all who live there. CRAs have demonstrated that the use of Tax Increment Funding (TIF) dramatically improves the economic and social outcomes within their targeted areas. These outcomes benefit both cities and counties and, more importantly, the taxpayers.

About the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency was created in 1984 by the City of Fort Myers, Florida, under Florida Statute Chapter 163, to formulate a plan and strategy for the revitalization of the downtown River District. The Fort Myers CRA has continued to grow, and redevelopment areas have been added throughout the city. Today, the Agency oversees 14 different redevelopment areas within the Fort Myers city limits. The Fort Myers CRA, along with the City’s Community Development Division, prepares plans for the revitalization of each area and coordinates the implementation of the plan’s recommendations. Tax Increment Funds (TIF) generated by each area, combined with other funding sources, are used to upgrade the public infrastructure and to stimulate redevelopment in the same area in which the TIF was generated. The Fort Myers City Council members, sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency Board, oversee the Agency’s divisions and their operations. The Fort Myers CRA office is located at 1400 Jackson Street in the River District.

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