Martin County, FL
Countywide CRA Plan Update
Market Research and Analysis
March 2017 – Present
Martin County Countywide CRA Plan Update
For years Martin County missed real estate growth cycles. There was little new development occurring, and the County had the reputation of being anti-growth by the private sector development community. This lack of new development caused the County to rely heavily on its residential tax base. Within the county, the seven Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA’s) had eroding tax bases and a CRA Plan that dated back to 2001. With only 4 incorporated municipalities and seven county CRA’s, strong leadership and planning were vital to the improvement of the CRA areas. RMA was hired to update the CRA Plan and develop special initiatives to assist County and CRA staff to improve its CRA communities, and positively impact the tax base.
RMA took a very comprehensive approach when writing the Countywide CRA Plan for the seven unique CRA’s. An analysis of the local conditions and future vision for each CRA was determined through on-the-ground surveillance of businesses, stakeholder interviews, examination of the local economic drivers and real estate market; as well as the review of previous Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Plans. Public input provided another opportunity for the RMA team to connect with the community to understand the local conditions. An advertised day-long open house with residents was conducted and a countywide CRA survey was distributed to gather feedback.
A full market assessment was completed to determine the opportunity within each of the seven CRA’s. It was important to identify the character of each CRA and understand what should be preserved, enhanced, exposed, invested, and capitalized on to better position the area for growth. The RMA team of professionals used the local conditions, market research, and public input to help determine what the redevelopment goals should focus on countywide. Additionally, RMA staff spent time in the community with overnight stays in short-term rentals, weekend trips visiting destinations, and weekday trips with hotel stays. This targeted activity enabled the RMA team to experience each CRA district’s ebb and flow from sunrise to sunset, including meals at local-flavor restaurants, shopping at area retailers, and sitting in traffic backups for school pickup. Various funding sources such as public-private partnerships, grants, and government loans were identified as opportunities to assist with redevelopment.
The Countywide CRA Plan update was unanimously approved by the CRA Board in December 2017. The redevelopment plan is a goal-based plan that focuses on realistic outcomes for each of the seven CRA’s. The plan provides realistic strategies for CRA staff to implement, and as support, RMA was retained in a qualified pool to provide continuing services to the seven CRA areas as requested.