WEAR - Search Results
Creating a thriving downtown area in Crestview
CRESTVIEW -- A thriving downtown where people both live and do business.
That's the vision for Downtown Crestview.
There some new plans in the works to make it happen.
Laura Hussey "You hear the term "CRA" a lot, it stands for Community Redevelopment Agency. Here in Crestview, the community development district is downtown"
It has historic buildings and a good number of businesses.
Now the city is moving forward with a zoning change that could take downtown to the next level: letting people live here.
Viola Owens/Main Street Assn "By having more people who live downtown, the business district will stay open longer. It's like the streets roll up at 5'o'clock in Crestview right now"
Businesses downstairs, apartments upstairs; bringing back the way Main Street used to be.
Patti Gonzo/Main Street Assn "Quite a few of the buildings here have upstairs quarters"
Patti Gonzo and Viola Owens of the Main Street Association say those quarters could be put to good use, especially as the Florida A&M Pharmacy School continues to grow.
Viola "There's nowhere in the downtown area for those students to live, so we need affordable housing in the downtown area"
A presentation from the Economic Development Council reminded the CRA of other options.
Their funding comes from special taxes collected in the district, that must also be spent there.
They could decide to buy property and redevelop it, in areas like this neighborhood behind city hall.
Downtown boosters say it could be a step toward their goal.
Patti "I'd like it to be a focus, where people come to have the things that make people want to come here"
If property is purchased, the money would come from community redevelopment funds, not the city budget.
Laura Hussey "The City Clerk says while they're not actively trying to buy property right now, the city would like to know who might be interested in selling for future planning."