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News Story
Updated: 06/12/2018 08:30:00AM

CRA plans to make downtown sparkle again

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COURTESY PHOTO

Before photo--This is a downtown cottage that was renovated to become Gardent Cafe at McClane's Country Garden. Later it was sold, but the investment in the building remained. This is now the home of Faded, a popular downtown restaurant.

COURTESY PHOTO

This picture shows the outside of the Circle Theatre before renovations.

MELISSA MAIN/STAFF

After photo--Champion for Children's Circle Theatre, which is located on the downtown circle, received funding to improve the exterior of the building through the Facade Grant Program. CRA provided funds to assist with the installation of the mural on the side of the building, new doors, marquee, and storefront updates to the windows, doors and canopy.

MELISSA MAIN/STAFF

After photo--CRA provided funds to assist with upgrades to undergo a complete renovation and redevelopment of an old cottage into a chic al fresco dining restaurant in downtown Sebring. This is a great example of why CRA invests in upgrades and enhancements that stay with the building. In the instance that a business changes hands like in this example, the CRA’s investment is able to help into the future. Although the original restaurant was later purchased by Faded, the improvements remained. Faded has since added some improvements of their own.

COURTESY PHOTO

Kristie Vazquez is the Executive Director of the CRA. Vazquez encourages people with a dream for a downtown business to contact her.

By MELISSA MAIN

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SEBRING — Are you familiar with what a CRA is? And what it does? “Our job at the CRA is reinvestment and revitalization of our downtown district,” Kristie Vazquez, executive director of the Community Redevelopment Agency, said.

The CRA’s master plan includes a map of downtown and the surrounding area that the agency actively attempts to assist with funding for improvements. The goal is to restore an area and prevent blight. It only provides funding to areas near downtown that are in the CRA district. The master plan guides the agency in how they can reinvest in the area.

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