Economic development information from the City of Melbourne, Florida

Historic Downtown Redevelopment  
The Downtown Melbourne Redevelopment Area (map) was created in 1982 and has successfully assisted the revitalization of a historic downtown district. Centered along New Haven Avenue, the historic commercial district is bounded by the saltwater Indian River Lagoon on the east and by a freshwater tributary known as Crane Creek on the south.  

The Downtown Melbourne Redevelopment Committee is currently working on 'streetscape' projects, including a proposal for low-level lighting for the downtown area. In addition, the Committee is trying to determine ways to provide more public parking.  

Redevelopment began after downtown businesses faltered following the development shopping malls in the area. A "tax increment" financing plan was approved by the City Council to capture both city and county taxes on property values that exceeded the 1982 level. 

As a result of the redevelopment district, streets and sidewalks have been improved and brick trim added. Small parks were improved and parking was added, along with benches, lighting, and waste receptacles. As two other development phases followed, parking lots were purchased and improved.

Related projects undertaken by the city included joint park improvements with the Department of Natural Resources. In 1985, a civic center was added at a park on the Indian River Lagoon. City support also included a Architectural Review Board appointed by the City Council to review construction plans that impacted the downtown appearance. The maintenance of parks, plantings, and parking areas became a priority and earned beautification awards.

Private investment has also been significant. A large marina development was completed, along with a waterfront restaurant and condominiums. A high-rise office building was added to the skyline. Renovations included a historic hotel that now serves as an office building. 

Downtown merchants now report a healthy customer flow. Downtown retail space includes antique and specialty shops.  A nationally recognized art show is held annually, along with smaller cultural events. The Henegar Center for the Performing Arts, which once housed a high school provides a theater and office space for non-profit agencies.

Campbell Park in Historic Downtown Melbourne

Downtown Melbourne Light Pole and Flag

New Haven Avenue in Historic Downtown Melbourne

Henegar Center for the Performing Arts

Melbourne Home Page - Economic Development - Redevelopment