Two historically significant cottages in the Historic West Settlers District are getting minor repairs in preparation for new tenants, thanks to the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency.
The Muse House is a historically contributing structure that was a single family dwelling constructed in 1941. The CRA acquired the property in 2009. The Harvel Cottage is a historically contributing structure that was constructed in 1937 and was relocated by the CRA from 36 S.E. First Ave. to its current location in December 2010. Both buildings are contributing structures within the Historic West Settlers District and were renovated in 2014 by the CRA.
Both cottages, which are located on the same plat of land, had tenants until last Summer/early Fall, when both tenants decided to end their leases. Now, the cottages are vacant and undergoing minor repairs in preparation for new tenants!
This past Spring, the CRA put out a public notice to find tenants for the two cottages, and is now working with the recently selected two tenants to finalize lease terms and to apply for CRA funding assistance to renovate the interior of the cottages to suit their business needs. Once the tenants have signed leases, the interior of the spaces will be renovated to fit tenant needs. The exterior will remain the same due to the cottages being located within the Historic West Settlers District and their contribution to the Historic District.
“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,” said Christine Tibbs, CRA assistant director. “Preserving the cottages, revitalizing the historic NW/SW 5th Avenue commercial corridor, and spurring economic development are mutually supportive activities that all serve to help the CRA achieve its overall mission and purpose.”
The two cottages are located along the historic Northwest and Southwest Fifth Avenue corridor within the West Settlers Historic District. This area was once a vital commercial and institutional corridor comprised of black-owned businesses in the heart of the City of Delray Beach’s African American neighborhood, according to Tibbs.
The Delray Beach CRA’s Community Redevelopment Plan includes the NW & SW 5th Avenue corridor under the NW & SW 5th Avenue Beautification Project #2.1. The objective of Project #2.1 is to revitalize the NW & SW 5th Avenue corridor into a thriving district for neighborhood businesses and cultural activities. Project #2.1 calls for the strategic provision of diverse neighborhood shopping, services, and cultural facilities that will serve as the catalyst to enhance business activity and pedestrian activity, and to attract residents and visitors to the area.
The Muse House is located at 182 N.W. Fifth Ave. and the Harvel Cottage is located at 186 N.W. Fifth Ave.