Communication Builds Our Community

Busy May for City's Northwest Business District

Community Market and Affordable Home Groundbreakings

May will be a big month in the city's northwest business district. Community Redevelopment Agency Coordinator Darrell Starling called it the "coming out party for economic development on Lincoln Avenue."

The Lincoln Community Development Corporation will host its first Northwest Community Market from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 1 at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and B Street. The event will include vendors, entertainers, a Kids Zone with bounce house, spoken word and a workshop for first-time homebuyers.

The Lincoln CDC still has spaces available and to offer a well-rounded group of vendors is particularly interested in those who sell hair, custom apparel, body products, candles and home products, art, fresh produce and clothing, handbags and shoes. For more information, contact Carlos Williams at 863-968-3344.

At 10:30 a.m. May 1 the city will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the first two affordable houses to be built on lots five and six, across the street from the B Street Community Center.

"I'm very excited about all the amazing things that will be coming to the Northwest Neighborhood over the coming months and years," said local attorney Sara Jones, president of the Lincoln CDC. "May 1st will be the first of many days when we will gather to both create and celebrate our progress. I want to personally thank each and every person who has shown support for our efforts. The best has yet to come."

The affordable housing project is a city and Community Redevelopment Agency partnership with the Keystone Challenge Fund, Polk County, the Green and Gold Foundation and CenterState Bank.

City Manager James Slaton said the city has been awarded its second $30,000 grant from CenterState Bank to offer assistance for down payments and closing costs. The city purchased the two lots for $10,000 from the Green and Gold Foundation and then donated them to the affordable housing project.

Keystone is expected to provide up to $60,000, with another $250,000 for construction coming from Polk County through its Housing and Neighborhood Development program.

The houses will be valued at about $170,000 each and have mortgage payments of about $878 per month. Keystone officials said income guidelines may limit eligibility for the program to a family of four with an income of no more than $47,000, but with a minimum of $32,000 to afford the mortgage payments.

City and Keystone officials are optimistic that construction of the first two houses will spur additional development in the area.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, May 8 there will be a groundbreaking ceremony at 136 B St. for one home, being built as a partnership between the city, its Community Redevelopment Agency and the Florida Development Corporation.

For more information about the affordable housing and future plans for the northwest district, contact Starling at 863-678-4182, ext. 252 or email [email protected]


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