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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency to become city department

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<div dir="ltr">Two people paint a Gainesville residence gray. The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency's residential paint program helps local residents with pressure washing and painting costs.&nbsp;</div>
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Two people paint a Gainesville residence gray. The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency's residential paint program helps local residents with pressure washing and painting costs. 

The invisible boundaries that separate Gainesville’s four redevelopment areas will disappear on Oct. 1 to form a single district. 

The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, which facilitates redevelopment projects in Downtown, Eastside, Fifth Avenue / Pleasant Street and College Park / University Heights, will transform into a city department known as the Gainesville Community Reinvestment Area. City commissioners implemented the changes on Sept. 5 through the second reading of Ordinance No. 181001

Tricia Lopez, the agency’s project manager, said the change was made to solve funding issues among districts. The four areas were funded separately, had individual reinvestment plans and funds could not be transferred across boundaries. 

By Jan. 1, the new department will receive about $3.3 million from the city and about $4.2 million from the county in funding, according to public records. 

CRA MAP

A map of Gainesville, with the CRA districts highlighted. 

A 10-year plan for the newly created department will develop through a series of public workshops hosted by the city beginning in October, Lopez said. A 15-member advisory board will also be appointed by the city commission on Oct. 3. Applications for the board will be accepted until Monday.

Redevelopment projects completed by the former agency include Depot Park, Innovation Square and the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center, Lopez said. Residential programs and business incentive programs are also offered. 

“We do projects of all scales,” Lopez said. “Our overarching goal is to improve the quality of life in Gainesville.” 

Chris Leckerling, the 37-year-old co-managing partner of Dick Mondell’s Burgers and Fries, said the business benefited from an incentive program offered by the CRA. The received grant paid for expenses of the building’s exterior such as its circular orange and teal signage. 

“I think the greatest value of the CRA is that it demonstrates the city and the community’s commitment towards revitalizing the area,” Leckerling said.   

Two people paint a Gainesville residence gray. The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency's residential paint program helps local residents with pressure washing and painting costs. 
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