Community Redevelopment Agency Plan and Boundary Update

City of Fort Walton Beach | Fort Walton Beach, FL
Photo of a proposed map for new boundaries and characters for the City of Fort Walton Beach, FL

The City of Fort Walton Beach retained Benesch to evaluate and update the existing Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Plan. The update also included a Finding of Necessity (FON) of surrounding areas, which ultimately resulted in the expansion of the CRA.

The CRA Plan Update focused on the elimination of blight conditions through the development of capital and noncapital projects throughout the CRA and were organized by the themes of Land Use, Urban Design, Infrastructure, Transportation, Connectivity and Walkability. A tax increment finance (TIF) analysis was completed and the projects and programs were prioritized based on feasibility, funding, public input and necessity.

This project involved evaluating existing grants and incentive programs to better understand their impact and determine potential changes that should be made to improve performance. Benesch evaluated surrounding areas to determine the need to expand CRA boundaries and focused funding strategically balancing removal of blight conditions and increasing return on investment.

Outcomes included an expanded CRA through a Finding of Necessity and seven distinct character areas with specific recommendations for each. Benesch refined existing grant programs and made recommendations for new grants and incentives.

Benesch provided capital improvement recommendations for each of the seven character districts for short-, mid-, and long-term timeframes and closely coordinated with other consultants and the City to ensure CRA funding was allocated to support the recently completed Downtown Master Plan in its initiative to redevelop the downtown core.

Practice Areas