Big Changes To Come For Drew Park, Tampa

A streetscape and beautification project is in the works for the Drew Park neighborhood in Tampa.

With funds mainly coming from the Drew Park Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Tax Increment Financing (TIF), the project aims to improve the appearance of roadway corridors and rights-of-way; address the need for park and green space; tell the story of Drew Park's history and diversity; and establish a new, positive image of the CRA.

"The project will improve the appearance and livability of the area while enhancing Drew Park's appeal for business investment," says Jeanette LaRussa Fenton, manager of the Drew Park and West Tampa CRA.

Currently, a Streetscape and Beautification Master Plan is being drawn up with expected completion by September 30 of this year. The plan will prioritize both long-term and short-term improvement projects recommended by residents, business owners and Drew Park stakeholders. Work on basic improvements is slated to begin by the end of 2011.

"Other aspects of the plan could take years to come to fruition depending on the availability of funding. TIF funds will be used to construct elements of the plan, but other sources of funding will also be sought," says Fenton. "Ultimately, the master plan will improve Drew Park and enhance its image as a safe, attractive community in which to live and work."

The City of Tampa has retained Bayside Engineering and David Connor and Associates as the main consultants on the project and is encouraging Drew Park community stakeholders to participate in the planning process; visions and ideas for the future of the community are strongly welcomed. A final community meeting with be held late this summer to review completed designs and provide additional input on the project.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Jeanette LaRussa Fenton, City of Tampa

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