On January 28 1988, by Resolution 88-7, the City Council of the City of Pinellas Park established a Finding of Necessity for an area along the Park Boulevard corridor between 34th Street and 67th Street, thus establishing the boundaries of a Community Redevelopment Area and the need for a Community Redevelopment Agency. The City selected an area of their core downtown that needed revitalization and new investment. The Redevelopment District, established in 1988, encompasses approximately 1,339 acres of land extending generally along the east-west Park Boulevard corridor from 34 Street on the east to 67th Street on the west. The District generally includes the area between 78th and 70th Avenues to the north and south respectively. Along 49th Street, another major transportation corridor, the District extends further to the north and south, extending from 86th Avenue to 62ndAvenue. The boundaries of the District remain the same as originally adopted.
With Resolution No. 88-76, the City created the Pinellas Park Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), to provide a governmental entity with the power and financial resources to address conditions of slum and blight in this historic commercial core of the city. The CRA’s activities are designed to solve the underlying problems of slum and blighted conditions through planning, redevelopment, historic preservation and affordable housing so that the tax base can be protected and enhanced by these mutually supportive activities.
The Pinellas Park Community Redevelopment Plan was adopted by Ordinance 2046 by the City Council on August 16, 1990. The Redevelopment Plan sets out the steps needed to achieve the goals and objectives of redevelopment and revitalization of the District. Since its inception, the mission of the CRA is to support downtown business opportunities through a program of land assembly, marketing, financing, public improvements and private investments. The Plan encourages mixed-use developments with affordable housing components and job creation elements, and targets revitalization efforts to ensure well-planned, high-quality economic growth. When carrying out community redevelopment initiatives, the CRA may, for example: acquire land; construct streets and utilities; carry out repair and rehabilitation programs; hold, improve, clean or prepare property for development; mortgage or pledge property; borrow money and invest funds; relocate owners and occupants; and sell property.
The primary funding source for the CRA comes from tax-increment financing. The Community Redevelopment Act allows for the creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District within the Community Redevelopment District (CRD). A powerful redevelopment tool, the Pinellas Park Tax Increment Finance District, established in 1990 by Ordinance 2047 and reset in 1997 by Ordinance 2462, uses the growth in assessed property values (TIF funds) to reinvest within the district's boundaries. TIF revenue is determined by the formula as established in Chapter 163, Part III, F.S. A base value is established when the Property Appraiser reassesses the property values within the CRD. The Increment Value is the difference between the annual value and the base value. The TIF Contribution is captured in a Community Redevelopment Trust Fund to be spent within the District, as authorized by the CRA, on projects and programs identified in the Redevelopment Plan.
The Community Redevelopment District today contains a mix of single and multifamily residential, specialty retail, restaurants, professional office, arts and a variety of entertainment uses. As of 2015, the population within the Pinellas Park CRD was 9,247, approximately 18 percent of the City’s total population. A similar proportion of the City’s housing units are located within the CRD, half of which are owner-occupied. According to Census data, 949 business operated within the CRD, employing 7,849 employees, with the largest percentage (21 percent) employed in retail sales.