Invest: Miami speaks with Clarence E. Woods, Executive Director, Southeast Overtown/ Park West Community Redevelopment Agency

Invest: Miami speaks with Clarence E. Woods, Executive Director, Southeast Overtown/ Park West Community Redevelopment Agency

2022-07-13T03:26:22-04:00August 21st, 2017|Development, Miami|

The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was created by state statute and our governing bodies are Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. As such, the mission of the CRA is to eliminate slum and blight. Behind that, the mere elimination doesn’t paint the full picture. We are eliminating slum and blight in an effort to incentivize private investors to come and build projects that would increase the tax base. This would eventually provide more taxes so that we can continue to make investments that will improve the quality of life for the residents of the CRA. The CRA receives funding from both the city and the county through ad-valorem taxes. The county’s portion of those ad-valorem taxes is about 39 percent and the city’s portion is 61 percent. Being within the city, we are a municipal CRA and our board members are the five commissioners of the City of Miami. Any redevelopment efforts that we undertake is approved by our board, from the City of Miami commission. They are more hands on and they help create the vision for where we’re going with our redevelopment efforts. But because we also get funding from the county, the county approves our budget as well. We also have a working relationship with the county commissioner for this area. With the strategic location of Overtown, the CRA has been able to successfully attract large scale projects such as Miami Worldcenter and All Aboard Florida’s office headquarters. This is due to our proximity to Downtown Miami, the beaches and the airport that are also close to Overtown. Modality is a factor because Brickell, Miami Beach and the airport are all places within 30 minutes or less from Overtown. This attracts our partners. The land right now is also the least expensive in the area. The CRA also has the ability to provide incentives for their projects. We have tools such as tax increment financing, bond issuance and assistance with permitting. Additional tools include infrastructure upgrades, as well as land assemblage for large scale projects.