To foster and directly assist in the redevelopment of the Community Redevelopment Area in order to eliminate blight, create a sustainable downtown and encourage economic growth, thus improving the attractiveness and quality of life for the benefit of the CRA District and the City of Delray Beach as a whole.
The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was established by the City Commission in 1985 to guide the City in its redevelopment efforts. The purpose of the CRA is to revitalize the physical environment and the economy of the Community Redevelopment Area. The CRA’s activities are designed to solve the underlying problems of slum and blighted conditions through planning, redevelopment, historic preservation, economic development and affordable housing so that the tax base can be protected and enhanced by these mutually supportive activities.
The CRA oversees redevelopment efforts within the older central core of the City. The Community Redevelopment Area covers more than 1,900 acres of land (approximately 20% of the City). Included within the boundaries are:
• The adjacent neighborhoods east of I-95 between Lake Ida Road and SW 10th Street
• Much of the area north of downtown, east of Seacrest Boulevard, and along the US 1 corridor to the Boynton Beach city limits.
The City of Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Plan provides the framework for projects and activities intended to revitalize and improve conditions within the Community Redevelopment Area. The objectives of the plan are to provide a workable program for the redevelopment of the CRA area that is consistent with the citizens’ visions as expressed through the various neighborhood and area planning initiatives. Within the Community Redevelopment Area, there are considerable variations in the degree of deterioration, land use patterns and existing socioeconomic conditions. In order to develop an effective plan which is cognizant of these variations, the CRA has been divided into eight distinct geographic sub-areas, each requiring a different redevelopment strategy. The plan outlines the redevelopment strategies and provides a description of the various projects and programs that are being implemented within each area. The first CRA Plan was adopted by the City Commission in 1986. The plan has been amended several times since, with the current version approved on September 20, 2011. An electronic copy of the current plan may be downloaded from the CRA website. A hard copy may also be purchased at the CRA offices at 20 North Swinton Avenue.
The Community Redevelopment Agency is primarily funded through tax increment revenues. Properties located in the CRA district do NOT pay any additional property taxes, rather, a portion of the annual City and County taxes collected in the redevelopment area is transferred to the CRA for redevelopment activities. The greater the increase in taxable property values over the CRA’s base year (1985), the larger the incremental increase in revenues transferred to the CRA. It is noted that without a CRA in place, the County increment revenues collected from properties in the district would be retained for use by Palm Beach County. In 2015 County revenues exceeded $5.9 million. The City’s contribution to CRA activities in 2015 was nearly $8.8 million. Other sources of funding for redevelopment activities include grants, the sale or lease of property, and the issuance of taxable and nontaxable bonds.
Although funding in recent years has reached into the millions of dollars, it wasn’t until 1999 that the CRA’s total City and County funding broke the $1 million mark. The CRA has responded by committing much of those funds back to City infrastructure improvements, such as funding for the beautification along West Atlantic Avenue, contributing over $1 million toward the NW/SW 5th Avenue beautification project, $1 million towards the construction of the library and its parking garage, almost $4 million for the US 1 corridor beautification, and over $6 million towards the acquisition of property and subsequent construction of the Old School Square Parking Garage. In addition the CRA provides several hundred thousand dollars annually in support of programs and services provided to the community by cultural institutions such as EPOCH’s Spady Museum, Old School Square, the Arts Garage, the Delray Public Library, and the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative. The CRA has supported the creation and maintenance of affordable housing opportunities through partnerships with the City of Delray Beach, the Delray Beach Community Land Trust and the Delray Beach Housing Authority. Through Interlocal agreements with the City, the CRA contributes to enhanced maintenance and police patrols in the downtown area through the Clean and Safe Program ($1.8 million in 2015).