The City of Crestview formally adopted the Community Redevelopment Agency concept in 1995 for the expressed purpose of development and redevelopment within a defined community redevelopment area, which encompasses all of the downtown area. The CRA Board (consisting of the five city councilmembers) adopted a Community Redevelopment Plan, which was sanctioned by the Florida Department of Community Affairs.
Main Street Program
In 1997, the City applied, and was approved, for a Main Street Program designation by the Secretary of State. This program is embraced nationwide and encompasses the tasks of scheduling and promotion of events such as block parties, downtown days, street festivals, parades, sidewalk sales and cultural events to cultivate and enhance downtown redevelopment.
Main Street Crestview Association, Inc.
In 1998, the City hired a full time Main Street Program Director and assisted in the establishment of the Main Street Crestview Association, Inc., whose membership consists of business owners, citizens and other interested parties desiring to revitalize the downtown area. Today, the organization is proud of its many members who are pledged to support the City in their development efforts.
From 1996 through 2003, the City embarked on a three-phase development effort to construct a major streetscape project in the CRA area. All three phases were earmarked for the restoration of Main Street to the tune of $3.7 million, funded by Tax Increment Financing funds (a revenue source created through the authority of the CRA plan), state grants and general revenue funds. Additional state grants will probably be sought in the future to assist with downtown restoration and infrastructure improvement projects.
In 2001, the City Council designated a Historic Preservation District and applied for grant funding to research and document the histories of approximately 200 structures within the CRA area and district. The survey was completed in June 2003 at which time all structures surveyed were evaluated and documented with histories that qualified for a State or National historical significance designation. A specific area of downtown Crestview was proposed for national register historic district designation. State of Florida approval of the designation was received by the city in early 2006 and final national level approval was rendered in late July of 2006. Properties within the district may seek grant funding for historical restoration as part of the redevelopment efforts by the city.