Ybor City is one of only three NationalHistoric Landmark Districts located in the State of Florida. Cobblestonestreets and huge old cigar factory buildings make up this historic and legendarytown. Founded in 1886 by Vicente Martinez Ybor, Ybor City became "thecigar capital of the world" by 1900. The factories were worked bymostly 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 andnow 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 Counciladopted an ordinance, which established the Redevelopment Trust Fund for this area, morecommonly referred to as the Tax Increment District.
A redevelopment plan was prepared in May 1988, toguide future development so as to eliminate existing conditions of blight and to create acondition 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 planemphasis is the rehabilitation of the district through the stimulation of the privatesector investment and business activity. City officials also recognized the potential ofYbor City becoming an entertainment district and therefore proposed some projects in theCRA plan supporting their vision.
Creation and marketing of redevelopment incentivesare also a primary consideration in redevelopment areas. These incentives, which arealready available throughout most of the area include the ad valorem tax exemption,historic preservation tax credits, enterprise zone tax credits, transportation impact fee reductions andon-site storm water retention reductions.
In March 2003, the City of Tampa and Hillsborough Countyadopted 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, pleasecontact the YCDC at (813) 274-7936.