The Babcock Street Community Redevelopment Area was established on June 23, 1998, by the City of Melbourne under the authority granted by Brevard County. It was expanded in 2002 and 2003 to facilitate the revitalization of an important commercial corridor in Melbourne.
The public purpose of this CRA is to eliminate slum and blight conditions within its boundaries.
Since its inception, the Babcock CRA has seen remarkable improvements. Commercial space that stood vacant for years has now been filled. Significant new investments have been made in retail property. In a more dramatic development, the area has emerged as a high-tech employment center with several companies locating in the area, including DRS Technologies.
Public improvements to the district are assisted by local tax increment financing that is set aside for the redevelopment district. As a result of the redevelopment district, there are noticeable improvements to streetscapes, including landscaping, medians, crosswalks, lighting, and street furniture. A 13-acre theater parcel was acquired so Babcock Street could be realigned to intersect with US 1. Most of the property was then resold and is the site of a private development. Phase III A of the Babcock Street improvement project was completed in early 2015 and runs from Brevard Avenue north to Circle Avenue. In addition, economic incentive programs, like the Façade Improvement Program, have been created to assist in the beautification of the corridor and help businesses succeed.
The Babcock Street Community Redevelopment Agency is composed of City Council members, who make decisions on which programs and projects to fund, based on the adopted CRA plan. To review projects and programs and make recommendations, the Redevelopment Agency has appointed members to the Babcock Street CRA Advisory Committee. Members of this Advisory Committee help prioritize public improvement projects.
The Melbourne City Council serves as the Community Redevelopment Agency for all three Community Redevelopment Agencies; therefore, the meeting schedule for the Community Redevelopment Agencies mirrors the City Council meeting schedule. Business pertaining to the Community Redevelopment Agencies may not appear on every City Council agenda.
Current priorities for CRA expenditures include Phase III B of the Babcock Street improvement project (Brevard Avenue to the railroad tracks), Façade Improvement Program grants, and implementation of the Small Business Assistance Plan, based on an adopted master plan.
The CRA has also partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation at their recently completed project just north of US 192. The CRA provides additional funding to the FDOT financed intersection improvements to provide stamped, colored medians, additional landscaping, street furniture, decorative fountains, and gateway signage. The public will see these upgrades beginning in 2015.
Babcock Street CRA Redevelopment Plan
Approved in 1998, this document set forth the projects and programs the CRA could focus their financing efforts on.
- Ordinance No. 1998-23 – CRA creation and adoption of CRA plan
- Resolution No. 1734 – Adoption of Finding of Necessity
- Ordinance No. 2002-28 – CRA plan and code amendment for expansion
- Ordinance No. 2003-06 – CRA plan and code amendment for expansion
- Resolution No. 1805 – Adoption of Finding of Necessity
- Ordinance No. 2008-06 – Adoption of new CRA plan and code amendment
Economic Incentive Programs and Grants
The Babcock Street CRA is pleased to offer economic incentive programs and grants that are available to eligible properties within the limits of the CRA.
Historic and Architectural Review Board
Exterior changes to commercial buildings and signage in the CRA require prior approval from the Architectural Review Board, which is appointed by City Council. More information, including adopted design guidelines and application, can be found on the Historic and Architectural Review Board page.
Doug Dombroski, Economic Development Manager
900 E. Strawbridge Ave.
Melbourne, FL 32901
Shannon Lewis, City Manager
900 E. Strawbridge Ave.
Melbourne, FL 32901
Governing Body Contact Information
The Babcock Street Community Redevelopment Area is governed by the Melbourne City Council.
General Financial Information
- The CRA fiscal year is October 1 – September 30.
- For CRA budget archives and amendments view the City of Melbourne's budget page.
- Florida Department of Financial Services
- City of Melbourne Audit Reports