City of Clearwater launches Property Redevelopment Assistance Program

The City of Clearwater's Economic Development Division and 83 Degrees Media have an underwriting agreement in place to spotlight the city's economic development programs and initiatives. This story spotlights the new Property Redevelopment Assistance Program.
With an aim to broaden its marketing efforts, the City of Clearwater is softly launching the Property Redevelopment Assistance Program, an initiative designed to connect with owners of identified properties throughout the city prime for redevelopment.

This effort, which started in early October 2023, builds upon other redevelopment initiatives Clearwater unrolled earlier this year for the U.S. 19 corridor and will assist in crafting a marketing and support program specifically designed to help those property owners meet their redevelopment goals.

The Property Redevelopment Assistance Program is more geographically inclusive and aims to improve access to housing and better-paying jobs across Clearwater and improving the overall economic vitality of the city. This effort expands the city’s marketing efforts for the redevelopment of properties throughout Clearwater.

Under the initiative, economic development staff serves as a liaison to both commercial property owners and commercial property brokers, with the city helping to facilitate zoning and permitting considerations and helping to enhance owners’ and brokers’ marketing efforts to interested parties within and beyond Clearwater.

Building a framework for the future 

At this stage, staff overseeing the Property Redevelopment Assistance Program are engaged in a fact-finding mission to ascertain the type of support property owners need to help them meet their redevelopment goals. Targeted areas within the city limits include a seven-mile stretch of U.S. 19 from Belleair Road to Curlew Road, the Hercules Road industrial district, downtown Clearwater and other parcels of sizable acreage and assemblage potential.

Clearwater economic development staff are engaging property owners to find out what they can do on their behalf, in collaboration with other city departments, to facilitate development opportunities in the city. This phase of engaging with property owners is expected to be completed by the end of  2023. 

A new vision for the community already unfolding 

The Property Redevelopment Assistance Program is still in its infancy. Yet, there is already a significant project on the drawing board that reflects the type of vision city leaders have for the future of their community. 

The Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team, which has played spring training in Clearwater for several decades, recently purchased 13 acres of land adjacent to BayCare Ballpark, the Phillies’ spring training facility and the home of their minor league affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. This parcel, near the intersection of U.S. 19 and Drew Street, is currently anchored by a Floor Décor retail store and is eyed as the canvas for a $250 million “Ballpark Village.” This slated development is expected to field high-density retail and residential alongside a planned $320 million refurbishment of the team’s ballpark and training facility. 

“Our understanding is concepts under consideration include a mixed-use redevelopment that complements the proposed stadium renovations,” says Dylan Mayeux, senior real estate coordinator with the city, of the Phillies’ proposed Baseball Village. “It’s central to Clearwater and Pinellas County and could serve as a model for other developers in the future.”

Mayeux believes a revamped baseball complex in the form of a mixed-use development may inspire other large-scale projects in the area. An area such as the U.S. 19 corridor is certainly ripe for redevelopment given the large number of properties along that busy stretch of highway that currently have low-density retail uses on them. 

“It’s an opportunity for property owners to reimagine their properties and create mixed-use, live-work-play communities,” Mayeux says. 

But Mayeux hopes to see such opportunities spring up throughout the city, including places such as the Hercules industrial corridor a few miles west of  U.S. 19. 

“Hercules [industrial area] has its own opportunities,” Mayeux says. “It’s hard to come by space for industrial development in Pinellas County and especially in Clearwater. We believe that there are redevelopment opportunities that would allow property owners to take full advantage of their property’s development potential.” 

Redevelopment potential is also flourishing in downtown Clearwater, where the new amphitheater music venue The Sound recently opened in Coachman Park and plans for The Bluffs redevelopment project include apartments, new hotel and retail outlets at the former City Hall site. 

Why redevelopment is important for Clearwater’s future 

Redevelopment projects like new music venues, hotels and sports complexes create a buzz around town. Clearwater officials say they are also critical to the city’s long-term vitality.

“Overall, redevelopment is important to the city because it improves employment, the tax base and the overall economic success of the city – including housing values,” explains Phil Kirkpatrick, Clearwater's senior economic development coordinator. "Housing in general benefits from better employment and better pay."

Kirkpatrick says there are many other benefits of high-density redevelopment. Chief among them is putting people closer to where they work, live and recreate. 

“This is important because office workers desire immediate access to convenience services such as grabbing lunch, going to the dry cleaners, or exercising," Kirkpatrick says. "Employees won’t have to go far. You wouldn’t even need to start your car to go to lunch, making life more convenient and reducing the chances for extended lunch breaks, which employers would like.” 

“Higher-density construction that allows for taller buildings may provide views of the Gulf of Mexico or Tampa Bay, which can be a great amenity that, along with better salaries and other benefits, can both help recruit and maintain employees,” Kirkpatrick says. “And mixed-use development allows all of this to happen.” 

Making it happen 

The key mission of the Property Redevelopment Assistance Program is to help property owners, investors and brokers understand the development potential that exists. So, how do people get involved in all of this? 

Kirkpatrick, who oversees property redevelopment and recruitment of additional employment to the city, enthusiastically implores, “Call me!”

“I’m happy to sit down and discuss your needs – the sooner, the better,” he adds.

Mayeux echoes similar sentiments. 

“Reach out to us,” he says. “We will provide a high level of service to anyone in the city when it comes to property and determining development potential.” 

“The city wants to be known to developers for a higher level of service – a concierge level of service,” Mayeux adds. “Phil and I work closely with project proponents, ensuring efficient coordination and resolution of any issues that may arise and are tasked with keeping a pulse on projects as they flow through the process.”

The city of Clearwater Economic Development Division also provides a free and interactive resource at The website offers a variety of tools and resources, including land use and zoning information, details on special incentives and redevelopment areas, and listings of Clearwater properties that may offer developers special redevelopment opportunities. 

For more information, go to Clearwater Economic Development Division.

For prior stories, go to City of Clearwater unveils new tool to spur redevelopment; Clearwater adds real estate savvy to its economic development team; Clearwater sees U.S. 19 as Tampa Bay's next booming corridor.
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Read more articles by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez.

Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez is a freelance writer who was born and raised in Tampa. He earned his BA in English from the University of South Florida and spent more than three years as a full-time copywriter for a local internet marketing firm before striking out on his own to write for various blogs and periodicals, including TheFunTimesGuide, CoinValue and COINage magazine. He has also authored local history books, including Images of America: Tampa's Carrollwood and Images of Modern America: Tampa Bay Landmarks and Destinations, which are two titles produced by Arcadia Publishing.