Melbourne's Redevelopment DistrictsMelbourne's City Council has created three redevelopment districts. The Historic Downtown Redevelopment district has been in place for more than two decades and led to the highly successful revitalization of the historic downtown area centered on New Haven Avenue. The Babcock Street redevelopment district was created in 1997 to encourage the rebirth of a traditional commercial corridor. The City's third redevelopment district was established as the Olde Eau Gallie Riverfront in 2000.
Florida law provides cities with the ability to designate areas that are in decline as "redevelopment areas" under the Community Redevelopment Act. The State recognizes that areas in decline become a burden to local governments and that the decline affects multiple aspects of the community. Areas in decline generate less in taxes because of the declining property values, yet often require more services from the municipality. In addition to the city's redevelopment efforts, the City has begun to focus on economic development.
Melbourne is a member of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, a private, not-for-profit organization that assists with relocations and expansions of commercial endeavors. The City and EDC work together to assist projects planned within the redevelopment areas of Melbourne.
The major funding source comes from Tax Increment Financing. Each redevelopment area is established with a base year for taxing purposes. As the value of property increases beyond the value recorded in the base year, revenues from property taxes increase. The tax revenue that is added after the base year is captured by the local government into a special redevelopment fund.
Each redevelopment fund is used to complete public improvement projects throughout the redevelopment area where the revenue is generated. Projects can range from streetscape improvement to creation of parks and replacement of public infrastructure. Melbourne seeks other federal and state funding sources that can be used in the redevelopment areas.