Agency

Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency

Services Provided

  • Government Management
  • Economic Development
  • Business Attraction & Marketing
  • Urban Design & Planning
  • Real Estate

Performance Period

1999-2004

Fort Lauderdale CRA Management

Overview

The Northwest/Progresso CRA was established in 1995. By 1999 the CRA Board had grown frustrated that very little activity had occurred in the CRA district. Ms. Briesemeister was hired as executive director in 1999 to reorganize and re-establish priorities for the CRA. Key initiatives included:

A Strategic Finance Plan as a result of extensive community and stakeholder outreach. A consensus was reached on a redevelopment approach and within seven months Ms. Briesemeister presented a five year $45 million Strategic Finance Plan to the CRA Board. This strategic finance plan included a $20 million bond, which became the guide for redevelopment activity for the next decade.

To implement the Strategic Finance Plan, Ms. Briesemeister hired a full-time staff with the appropriate skill sets, which had immediate results.

Public-private partnerships were an integral part of the plans and within one year of issuing the bond, three major redevelopment projects were underway that resulted in over $100 million in private sector investment. These large public-private development deals have leveraged another $200 million in redevelopment activity in an area that hadn’t had any development in over 30 years. Setting the stage for ongoing redevelopment to continue even after the public-private development projects are completed is one of RMA’s most effective attributes. Property values escalated over $300 million and new employment opportunities were created from the new business and development activity.

The CRA partnered in all of these projects using one or all of the following CRA tools: Tax increment financing, infrastructure, streetscape support and fast track permitting.

Midtown Commerce Center

One of the most difficult redevelopment obstacles was attracting and financing business growth along the Sistrunk Corridor. These business owners tend to lack capital and banks are hesitant to fund the projects. The CRA partnered with right development LLC, for this mixed-use development and immediately following the approval, state representative Chris Smith acquired a parcel and sought the CRA’s assistance in redevelopment of a plaza along Sistrunk Boulevard.

Infill Housing

The Northwest District was targeted for both commercial and residential redevelopment resulting in over 40 new homes and four new commercial developments on Sistrunk Boulevard. Ms. Briesemeister managed a key redevelopment program that included 16 CRA and City owned lots conveyed to local developers for single-family infill development. Model Home Row, located in the Dorsey Riverbend neighborhood was a partnership between the CRA and the City of Fort Lauderdale Office of Housing and Community Development.

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