Ybor City is one of only three National Historic Landmark Districts located in the State of Florida. Cobblestone streets and huge old cigar factory buildings make up this historic and legendary town. Founded in 1886 by Vicente Martinez Ybor, Ybor City became "the cigar capital of the world" by 1900. The factories were worked by mostly Cuban cigar makers, and to a lesser degree by Italians and Spaniards. By the early 1950's the cigar factories were gone.
Ybor was revitalized in the late 1990's and now attracts large numbers of visitors due to the wide variety of shops, restaurants, clubs, and galleries.
Ybor City Becomes a CRA
On June 2, 1988, Ybor City became a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) per Florida Statutes Chapter 163. The boundaries of the Ybor City CRA district are: the CSX railroad line on the south, 22nd Street on the east, Nebraska Avenue on the west and I-4 on the north. Once Ybor City was designated a CRA district, City Council adopted an ordinance, which established the Redevelopment Trust Fund for this area, more commonly referred to as the Tax Increment District.
A redevelopment plan was prepared in May 1988, to guide future development so as to eliminate existing conditions of blight and to create a condition for continued private reinvestment in the CRA area, which includes 133.1 acres. The Community Redevelopment Agency adopted the plan on June 23, 1988. The CRA plan emphasis is the rehabilitation of the district through the stimulation of the private sector investment and business activity. City officials also recognized the potential of Ybor City becoming an entertainment district and therefore proposed some projects in the CRA plan supporting their vision.
Creation and marketing of redevelopment incentives are also a primary consideration in redevelopment areas. These incentives, which are already available throughout most of the area include the ad valorem tax exemption, historic preservation tax credits, enterprise zone tax credits, transportation impact fee reductions and on-site storm water retention reductions.
In March 2003, the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County adopted an interlocal agreement to extend Ybor City's Core CRA Area for another12 years (until 2015) and created a new CRA Area south of 6th Avenue and east of 22nd Street to 26th Street for 30 years (until 2033). Ybor City has now two CRA's referred to as Ybor City CRA 1 and 2. For more information, please contact the YCDC at (813) 274-7936.