lake worth beach cra logoLAKE WORTH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
REGULAR MEETING
HATCH 1121
1121 Lucurne Ave.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | 6:00 P.M.

 

 

I. ROLL CALL:

The Recording Secretary called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. on the above date at HATCH 1121, Lake Worth Beach, Florida.

Present were CRA Members Brent Whitfield, Tom Copeland, Mark Rickards & Brendan Lynch.

Also present was CRA Director, Joan Oliva.

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

III. AGENDA – ADDITIONS/DELETIONS/REORDERING:

IV. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ON NON-AGENDAED ITEMS (3-minute limit):

V. MINUTES:

a. August 12, 2019

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Whitfield to approve the minutes for the August 12th meeting as amended seconded by Mr. Copeland.

Vote: All ayes

b. September 24, 2019

Mr. Copeland requested a change to the September 24 minutes under Action Item VIIa. Interior Improvement Grant for 502 Lucerne Avenue. Remove the word enjoyable. Mr. Copeland was stating that he enjoys the grants but the point is that if public money is being used to make improvements the preference would be that the improvements be made to the exterior of the property.

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Copeland to approve the minutes for the September 24th meeting as amended seconded by Mr. Rickards.

Vote: All ayes

VI. PRESENATION AGENDA:

a. Transportation Planning Agency Dixie Highway Lane Reduction- Valerie Nielson

Ms. Nielson gave a presentation on the Dixie Highway Lane Reduction study. Vice Mayor Amoroso stated that the Commission has not seen this presentation but he is in favor of it.

 

VII. CONSENT AGENDA

a. Execute Grant Agreement between CRA & PBC Solid Waste Authority
b. Budget Amendment

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Whitfield to approve the consent agenda seconded by Mr. Rickards.

Vote: All ayes

VII. ACTION AGENDA

a. CRA Façade Grant (502 Lucerne Avenue)-Review & Determine Funding
The Commercial Grant Programs offered by the CRA were designed to leverage public funds with private investment, leading to new commercial projects, businesses and job creation throughout the CRA District. In 2015, the property at 502 Lucerne Avenue was acquired by the Peters family who have since been searching for a quality tenant to reactivate the space. This property was formerly known as South Shore Bar before eventually closing 4 years ago. Since then, the former restaurant/bar has sat vacant in the historic downtown.

In mid-2019, The Peters family leased the space to Ms. Andrea Jourdan & Ms. Nancy Isabelle. Ms. Jourdan is an accomplished writer and chef specializing in French and Mediterranean cuisine. Ms. Jourdan and Ms. Isabelle have been diligently working to reactivate this space into a 110 seat high-end restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The once popular garden in the back of the property is also being extensively rebuilt in order to provide upscale outdoor dining. Since June of 2019, the new tenants have been gutting and renovating the interior of the building. Once complete, the 2400 sq. ft. restaurant will have an entirely new appearance with modern décor, new kitchen, bar and furnishings. The owners of the business would like to open the restaurant before the end of this tourist season.

In November, Ms. Ariana Peters (property owner) submitted a CRA Commercial Façade Grant application for the CRA to assist with the cost of additions and upgrades to the exterior of the building. These improvements include:

  • New hurricane rated shutters along the front windows of the building
  • New potted plants and landscaping to be placed primarily along the front of the building
  • New large awning along the front of the building to support outdoor seating
  • New exterior electrical service, lighting and ceiling fans to support outdoor seating
  • Repairs to the back/side wood fence

Due to the need for the business to open before the end of the tourist season, and as a result of other scheduling conflicts, the applicant has submitted the façade grant application for approval even though some of the improvements may have already been completed or are in process.

The CRA and applicant agree that although the improvements are eligible for assistance,
the Board would need to formally agree to award the grant for all work that has been completed or is currently in process. These CRA grant funds are only to be used to cover permanent exterior improvements and their associated construction costs.

The CRA’s Commercial Facade Grant offers matching funds up to $25,000 per parcel or project. The applicant has advised Staff that the total costs of these exterior improvements will slightly exceed $50,000.

If awarded, the funds would be reimbursed to the applicant (property owner) after the project has been completed and a certificate of occupancy or all building permits have been closed out. Copies of invoices and corresponding canceled checks would also need to be provided and thoroughly reviewed. In addition, a lien would ensure that the building
owner would not be able to sell or transfer the property within two years of receiving the funds or they risk having to repay the grant.

Creating programs and using financial incentives to facilitate new investments in the CRA district and creating new jobs are primary objectives of the Redevelopment Plan. In 2019, the CRA Board awarded this applicant an additional $25,000 from the CRA’s Interior Improvement Grant program which is being used to facilitate extensive improvements inside the building.

Staff supports the use of the Commercial Facade Grant to assist with the renovation work
at 502 Lucerne Ave. A representative of the project and/or building owner will be present to answer any questions at the CRA Board meeting.

Staff recommends the Board review and award funding for an amount not to exceed $25,000 as part of the CRA’s Commercial Facade Grant. The applicant would enter into a grant agreement and funds would be reimbursed to the property owner only after completion of the project and paid invoices are provided to the CRA. Staff stated that the applicants were not present. Staff stated that there is no exact date when the restaurant might open.

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Rickards to table this item until the February Board Meeting and invite the owner to attend seconded by Mr. Whitfield.

Vote: All Ayes

b. Financing Agreement between 1017 Lake Avenue LLC & LWB-CRA
The development of the City’s western downtown area continues to be a priority for the CRA. The two main thoroughfares, Lake and Lucerne, saw little development before the CRA infused grant dollars and assisted developers. Over the past several years, CRA assisted developments in the area include, the Urban Arts Lofts, HATCH, West Village, 1013 Lucerne, the Downtown Shops and others.

In 2018, the CRA helped attract the MID development to Dixie Highway. This project, by Affiliated Development will bring 230 new, one and two-bedroom units and 9000 square feet of retail to the Dixie Highway corridor. The founding partners of Affiliated, Jeff Burns and Nick Rojo, approached CRA Staff in fall of last year with a new mixed-use
development concept.

Affiliated, has a contract to purchase a 2+ acre site bounded by the FEC railroad on the west, East Coast Street on the east and Lake Avenue to the north and the remaining Padron site (201 East Coast Street) to the south. The proposed plan would include 186 residential units, ground floor retail, parking and room for a future train station platform.

One of the CRA’s goals in the Redevelopment Plan is to encourage market rate housing opportunities in the redevelopment area. Affiliated’s new project, the Bohemian, will provide new, modern housing opportunities in the district that will attract professionals and couples who will support not only the commercial component of the project, but also, businesses in the downtown, as well as the artisanal area. The Bohemian also provides an opportunity for the attraction of additional restaurants, retailers and much needed, new housing to the area, making Lake Worth Beach’s downtown a destination for art,
entertainment and shopping, while also providing choices for urban living enthusiasts.

This project addresses other goals and objectives in the CRA’s Redevelopment Plan including:

  • Create programs for land development and property rehabilitation, using financial or other incentives, to facilitate new investment in the district
  • Work creatively to provide incentives for private sector participation in redevelopment projects and programs
  • Elimination of conditions that decrease property values
  • Facilitation of new investment in the redevelopment district
  • Establishment of a safe, functional and esthetically pleasing community environment
  • Identify and market areas where private interests can develop housing and necessary support facilities in the Redevelopment Area
  • Encourage efforts toward building housing in the Redevelopment Area
  • Initiate in-fill housing development

Staff recommended the CRA Board consider giving assistance to the project in three ways. First, the CRA would provide immediate funding from our already budgeted program/ economic development and commercial grant lines to assist with pre-
development and infrastructure costs. Staff recommends providing the TIF subsidy over a three year period. The CRA could grant a total of $800K this fiscal year. To provide the subsidy needed, the CRA is also being asked to provide an additional $400K for the next two fiscal years, bringing the direct appropriation total to $1.6M. Affiliated is also requesting $200K in Neighborhood Stabilization Funding. These funds can be used in the future for demolition and/or to help subsidize the portion of workforce units that may be provided.

Lastly, Staff recommended awarding 1017 Lake Ave. LLC with a tax-increment rebate. The CRA only receives increment from two of the nine taxing entities in the County, the City of Lake Worth and Palm Beach County. For purpose of this award, the current increment distributed to the CRA would be frozen. Property taxes, over the next eleven
years, would be paid by Affiliated to the tax collector. The CRA portion (the additional increment created after the project reaches stabilization) once received, would then be reimbursed to the developer. The project is estimated to produce over $6M in taxes by 2030. Of that, the CRA would receive $1.9M. The eleven year term under consideration is directly related to the life span of the CRA. Because the CRA amended their boundaries in 2001, the sunset date for the Agency is 2031.

A financing commitment is needed at this time for the project to move to the next step The letter details the CRA commitment to the project while also granting authority for the Chair, Vice Chair and/or CRA Director to sign a future development agreement with 1017 Lake Ave. LLC provided no material changes are made.

Staff requested the Board approve the funding agreement with 1017 Lake Ave. LLC and give authorization to two of the three signers, the Chair, Vice Chair and/or the Executive Director to approve the future development agreement, once complete.

Mr. Jeff Burns with Affiliated Development presented the Bohemian Project to the Board. Overall, the proposed project will include:

  • Mixed income, mixed use project
  • 186 units
  • Observation deck
  • Urban in nature
  • Heavy on one bedrooms starting at $1100
  • Smaller units, efficiently designed
  • Commercial space
  • Certain percentage of the units will be set aside for workforce housing
  • First look provided to first responders and teachers

Mr. Burns stated that the project will include a parking garage that Affiliated will build but the City will own. Affiliated is requesting that the City fund the cost to build the garage. Affiliated will have a long-term lease on 200 of the spaces. There will be a total of 400 parking spaces. This request will go before the City pretty soon. Affiliated will build the public pedestrian plaza. Almost half of the property will be dedicated for public use.\

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Whitfield to approve the financing agreement provided by staff seconded by Mr. Copeland.

Legal counsel stated that the action is to approve the funding commitment letter the funding agreement will come after this item is approved.

Action (amended): Motion was made by Mr. Whitfield to approve the letter of commitment seconded by Mr. Copeland. Aqua Etefia- asked the Board if the project would include any opportunity for locals to be employed. Will there be any opportunity for artists. Mr. Burn stated that all of Affiliated projects require their general contractors to hire within the area. Our site people are locals so that we know what’s going on in the area.

Vote: All ayes

c. Approval of Development Agreement & Purchase & Sale for Properties along Lake & Lucerne Avenues
In August of 2019, the CRA approved an agreement with NBT for the development of properties along Lake and Lucerne Avenues. A total of eleven properties were advertised for sale and development in RFP #01-1819. These properties were purchased by the CRA using either federal Neighborhood Stabilization (NSP-2) or Line of Credit (LOC) funds.

Since August, the developer, NBT, has been closely working with both CRA and City Staff and architects on the placement and design of appropriate units in the desired locations. Due to several challenges, including lot sizes, City utility locations, needed infrastructure and a lack of required parking and area comps, the execution of the development agreement is taking more time than anticipated. However, after working with NBT and their new architect and engineer for the last several months, we are ready to finalize plans and
the necessary agreements. A brief overview of the project is described below.

  • All the lots will be developed but Phase 1 will include the east assemblage between Lake and Lucerne, between “E” and “F” Streets
  • The first phase will consist of 36 live/work units or apartments and corresponding parking
  • On the parcels along Lucerne Avenue, a four story, elevator building will be constructed, containing 7 live-work units and 14 one-bedroom apartments. On the parcels along Lake, three-story buildings will be constructed containing approximately, in total, 9 units
  • NBT is requesting CRA assistance with infrastructure costs and a portion of tax increment rebate once the project is completed
  • Total time to complete the first Phase is 18-22 months
  • Some affordable units will be included for teachers, first responders, veterans and other government workers
  • The development budget is approximately $3M
  • The remaining parcels will be developed within two years of phase one’s completion

A revised purchase and sale and development agreement are included for the Boards review and
approval.” CRA Staff will continue to work with NBT on the planning and design of other phases and incorporating more lots for a larger impact.

Staff requested the Board review the attached documents and approve the purchase and sale and development agreement for execution by NBT and the Lake Worth Beach CRA.

Tim Carrey stated that the sewer main is not built up to standard and will need to be rerouted. This could cost the project several hundred thousand dollars.

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Rickards to approve the purchase and sale and development agreement for execution by Inhabit LLC and the Lake Worth Beach CRA seconded by Mr. Whitfield.

Vote: All ayes

VIII. EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS’ REPORT:

Mr. Tolces discussed the recent discussion from the Historic Board’s decision to grant the CRA the certificate of appropriateness to allow for the relocation or demolition of thehistoric and non-historic structures on L & M Street. The appeal was heard by the City Commission. The Commission voted to deny the appeal and the CRA was able to process the permits to move forward.

IX. BOARD MEMBERS’ COMMENTS:

Mark Rickards- Really excited about whats happening in Lake Worth. In several areas there are tipping points and critical mass. Developers are spending money to redevelop properties. Happy New Year to everyone. Lastly, I appreciate the presentation from the Transportation Planning Agency. I hope this makes its way to the City Commission for support.
Tom Copeland- I echo all of those comments. Super excited to see these projects come online. I want to revisit the CRA meeting in the Commission Chambers. Id like to bring this back up as a point of conversation. If we aren’t there driving the story and the conversation then other people are. I am in favor in this being as public as possible.

The Chair stated that we were at City Hall but historically the CRA meetings do not draw people.

Mr. Copeland stated that we are embarking on major projects. Let’s keep that in mind. We are going to be getting a lot more interest.
Brent Whitfield- As a former Neighborhood President, in my experience you can only get people to show up to meetings when they are upset. I appreciated the opportunity to represent the Board at the groundbreaking for the MID. There is legitimate excitement for this project. I am excited to be a part of a Board that is pushing forward these types of signature projects. This was a great meeting. I support the traffic study concept.
Brendan Lynch- Happy New Year to everyone. We did have our meetings at City Hall, but I am open to considering moving the meetings but I’m not sure it will give us the result that we are looking for.

X. ADJOURNMENT:

Meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Minutes Approved:

Brendan Lynch, Chair, CRA Board 

Emilia Theodossakos, Recording Secretary