The mission of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is to bring about the economic revitalization of an established target area, to create a re-investment environment that attracts private investors into the area, to promote improvements within the redevelopment area through renovation and restoration of buildings, as well as to encourage new construction. The mission is also to acquire the funding necessary to make the infrastructure improvements necessary to attract investment dollars and improve the assessed taxable value of district properties, and to assist downtown
merchants and local businesses in their efforts to attract customers and create jobs.
Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) refers to a public entity created by the City of Hawthorne in 1993 to implement the community redevelopment activities outlined under Chapter 163, Florida Statutes. The City Commission plus two appointed citizens serve as the CRA Board of Commissioners. The City Planner serves as the Executive Director.
The CRA has jurisdiction over an area known as the Community Redevelopment District shown in the map below. This District encompasses downtown Hawthorne and the 301 business corridor. Within the Community Redevelopment District the CRA created a funding mechanism known as Tax increment financing (TIF). TIF is a unique tool available to the City of Hawthorne for redevelopment and the implementation of the adopted Plan.
Property values in the Community Redevelopment Area are capped or frozen at the assessed value for a particular base year. The Base year is 1994 for the Hawthorne CRA. Thereafter, any tax revenues due to increases in value in excess of the base are dedicated to the redevelopment area. The generated revenue is known as TIF and are funded each year from Alachua County and the City of Hawthorne.
In Spring 2010 the CRA financed a downtown landscaping project which was completed by volunteers from the Hawthorne Area Community Foundation.
Facade Beautification Program
The CRA is offering grants of up to $4000 for facade improvements in the redevelopment area. Applications for 2011 are due August 11th at noon at City Hall. Call Ellen Vause, City Manager, for more information.