Planning for the Sanford Community Redevelopment Agency began in 1993…
with the establishment of the Lake Monroe Master Plan Steering Committee, tasked with the revitalization and development of the Lake Monroe Waterfront and Sanford Downtown areas. Through authority delegated by the Seminole County Commission, the Sanford City Commission subsequently agreed to explore the establishment of a redevelopment agency covering the Lake Monroe Waterfront from Interstate 4 through downtown Sanford within the context of the Community Redevelopment Plan of 1969.
Formal establishment of the Sanford CRA was enacted through a resolution of the Sanford City Commission on December 18, 1995. The CRA was to be funded by a tax increment financing of ad valorem tax revenues generated from City and County ad valorem tax revenue accruing from the increased property values generated from the date of establishment of the CRA. The CRA retains the ability to issue bonds based on future TIF revenue. In 1996, the CRA incorporated the area covered by the bonds issued in 1993 for infrastructure related to the Seminole Towne Center (only City incremental tax revenue is applied to this part to the CRA).
Both revenues and expenditures for the CRA remained flat for the first seven years of its existence, with revenue being devoted primarily to building a reserve fund. The first major project undertaken by the CRA was the 1st Street streetscape upgrading undertaken in 2004. This project required the issuance of a $2.1 million 20-year bond, which was undertaken in 2005. Further major projects included a 1/3 share of the $300,000 funded for the North Shore Marina Restoration Project, (the other partners were the City of Sanford and SUNCOR Inc.), streetscape improvements on major arterial streets (Park, Magnolia, and Palmetto Avenues), and restoration of Magnolia Square.
The CRA continues to finance a number of promotions, and event grants aimed at revitalizing downtown Sanford and the Waterfront. Several signature events bringing more that 1,000 visitors each, are funded annually along with smaller community building events. One of the largest of these is the ‘Alive After Five’, the monthly street festival that has helped reenergize downtown Sanford.
The projects are ongoing. Please feel free to click through the site to find out more!