Who We Are
The Westgate/Belvedere Homes Community Redevelopment Agency (“Westgate CRA”) is the only community redevelopment agency in unincorporated Palm Beach County– we are the County’s CRA. The Westgate area is rich in history. North and South Westgate Estates were developed in 1921 as the westernmost gateway to the City of West Palm Beach, and stands as one of the oldest subdivisions in the County.
Under the authority of Florida Statutes Chapter163, Part III, the Westgate CRA, a dependent special district, serves in a quasi-independent capacity to promote and facilitate the revitalization, redevelopment, and economic development of the Westgate area of unincorporated Palm Beach County. The boundaries of the Westgate CRA district are Florida Mango Road to the east, Belvedere Road to the south, Military Trail to the west, and Okeechobee Boulevard to the north. The district is approximately 1,300 acres or 2 square miles. The Westgate CRA was created in May of 1989 by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners via Resolution #89-6. The Agency is mandated to eliminate slum and blight and effectuate redevelopment within its boundaries pursuant to the goals and objectives of an approved Community Redevelopment Plan.
The CRA receives annual Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from Palm Beach County. When the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners created the CRA in 1989, it pledged an annual TIF from the General Fund and Fire Rescue MSTU to create the CRA’s Trust Fund in accordance with Florida Statute 163, Part III. All CRA’s are dependent special districts, which means they are dependent upon other taxing districts to make contributions to their trust fund.
A portion of each tax increment generated and received by the Westgate CRA is reinvested back into the community furthering the Agency’s mission and encouraging revitalization and economic development.
How a CRA works...
Tax Increment Financing is a unique tool available to cities and counties for redevelopment activities. It is used to leverage public funds to promote private sector activity in the targeted area. The creation of a CRA will not facilitate economic growth on its own, but through the implementation of a Community Redevelopment Plan, it offers the area a viable alternative to depending upon local, state or federal dollars alone for community improvements.
The creation of a CRA does not require tax increases to property owners within the redevelopment area, rather TIF allows the CRA to fund itself. The year the CRA is created is called the Base Year. The amount of property tax that is collected by the County in each subsequent year will remain the same as the base year for as long as the CRA is in existence. Normal appreciation of the property and any new growth or development within the district causes an expansion of the tax base over time. This incremental increase becomes the annual Redevelopment Trust Fund that finances the CRA’s activities. In addition to TIF revenue, the CRA leverages local, state and federal grant dollars to fund community improvements. The tax increment revenues can be used immediately, saved for a particular project, or can be bonded to maximize the funds available. Any funds received from a tax increment financing area must be used for specific redevelopment purposes within the targeted area, and not for general government purposes.
The Westgate/Belvedere Homes Community Redevelopment Agency was created to encourage the redevelopment of the Westgate area of unincorporated Palm Beach County. Our ongoing mission is to eliminate blighted conditions and increase the tax base through community engagement, advancing economic opportunity, new housing availability, and improvements to public infrastructure.
We envision a diverse, safe, and economically vibrant community.
Collaboration We work with our business community and residents to renew and revitalize the District in a manner that respects its unique history. Through community engagement we build trust. We partner with local government to access State and Federal funding opportunities to build housing, improve infrastructure and roadways, and create open space. We forge public-private partnerships with development and investment groups to redevelop vacant and blighted properties within the District. We recognize and act on opportunities to work together to deliver the Agency’s mandate.
Persistence We continually strive to implement the projects and programs of the Community Redevelopment Plan to move the needle toward achieving the mission and vision of the Agency.
Resilience We adapt to challenges, learn from setbacks, and remain flexible in our approach to redevelopment.
Above all, the CRA upholds the values framework of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in its workplace environment, partnerships, and in its engagement of the District’s resident and business communities.