Eustis CRA Reports Substantial Growth and Development in Annual Review

The Eustis Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meeting on April 18th, 2024, highlighted a year of significant growth and development within the CRA district.

The most significant news from the meeting centered around the reported property valuation increase within the CRA district. Since the CRA’s inception, property values have risen by 293%, with a substantial 39.6% increase occurring in the last year alone. The expansion of the district since 1990 has seen an 81% increase in valuations.

Gateway grants have played a role in spurring development and improvement projects. A total of 23 grants were awarded, with 19 going to businesses and four to residential properties. The grant program facilitated an investment of $231,100 into the CRA, matched equally by private funds, effectively doubling the impact on the redevelopment efforts.

One notable example is a building with a storied past, including being a bar and community center, which has been converted into four affordable apartments after a 12-year effort. Another highlight is the repurposing of a former Sinclair Gas Station, now a vibrant addition to the heart of downtown.

The business incubator located across from the city hall was also mentioned as a promising initiative expected to contribute to business growth and attract people to the downtown area. Additionally, the reopening of local establishments such as the hometown meat market and a community restaurant, as well as the introduction of new amenities like a picnic area at a popular barbecue restaurant, underscore the ongoing revitalization of the CRA district.

The report further detailed the CRA’s financial health, with total assets amounting to $2.9 million, liabilities of $21,000, and reserves for future use totaling approximately $2.9 million. The CRA has allocated $934,000 for projects such as street rehabilitation, seawall monitoring, and sidewalk improvements. Moreover, $245,000 is set aside for development incentives.

Community policing was also discussed as a key supporting element of the CRA, with funds from the CRA budget allocated to the salary of a community officer. The role of special events in promoting the CRA and supporting local businesses was recognized, with 117,000 people attending downtown events, contributing to tax revenue and business support.

The meeting concluded with no further questions from the commissioners, though there was a light-hearted exchange about the potential addition of a fire chief specifically for the CRA, which was quickly dismissed.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Michael Holland
Community Redevelopment Agency Officials:

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