Without question, the Central Park area is one of Tampa's most culturally and historically rich neighborhoods. With Central Avenue serving as the economic engine, Central Park was once a thriving African-American business and entertainment district. The late Ray Charles recorded his first song, Found My Baby There, while residing at 813 Short Emery St. It was during a Central Park performance that Hank Ballard and the Midnighters asked the kids in the audience the name of the dance they were performing. The kids shouted, "The Twist." Hank later wrote and recorded the legendary song that launched Chubby Checker into the limelight. Portions of the 1964 movie, Black Like Me, starring James Whitmore, were filmed along Central Avenue.
Despite its achievements, the neighborhood could not escape the racial and economic struggles that prevailed in many inner-city neighborhoods during the 1960's. A racial disturbance in 1967 helped seal the demise of the Central Avenue business corridor. Since then, neglect and disenfranchisement have largely characterized the area.
In an effort to stimulate growth, Tampa City Council adopted the Central Park Community Redevelopment Plan in June 2006. The plan identifies measures to foster public/private partnerships that will help maximize redevelopment investment in a manner that respects the unique history and is inclusive of the community's vision for the neighborhood.
CRA Community Advisory Committee
City Seeks Members for CRA Community Advisory Committees
The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Tampa is seeking individuals to serve on the following CRA Community Advisory Committees (click on the CRA link below to access application):
Central Park CRA CAC Application - Open Until Filled
The purpose of the Community Advisory Committees is to ensure that the interests of residents, property owners, businesses, and other stakeholders in the area are represented in key decisions. Community Advisory Committees provide input and make recommendations to City staff and the Community Redevelopment Agency concerning their respective areas. Interested parties must live or work in one of the redevelopment areas or have significant interests within the area. Individuals with a background or expertise in the redevelopment process, such as neighborhood planning, real estate development, or real estate finance are also being sought. These positions are voluntary. Individuals appointed to Community Advisory Committees serve without compensation. Call (813) 274-8152 for additional details.
Legal Description of CRA Boundary
Central Park Fact Sheet (Coming Soon)
None at this time.