Winter Garden, county approve extension of CRA

This will allow the city access to millions of dollars in funding to revitalize east Winter Garden.

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The Orange County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted March 8 to extend the Winter Garden Community Redevelopment Agency for 10 years. The city of Winter Garden had previously approved the extension.

The 10-year extension will allow the Winter Garden CRA to leverage the redevelopment success in downtown Winter Garden to benefit east Winter Garden. It is estimated that more than $20 million will be generated during this timeframe and at least 75% of these funds will be spent in east Winter Garden to revitalize the community, according to city staff.

"The time has come for us to build up our community and continue to thrive here in east Winter Garden for the next 20 years and beyond," said Jamie Holley, Winter Garden resident, CRA Advisory Board member and president of One Winter Garden, an organization created to advocate for the city’s east side and work within the community to bring everyone together.

In 2018, the city approved the East Winter Garden Plan with the hope of obtaining the CRA extension to pay for many of the improvements envisioned in the plan. At that time, the city hired Dover Kohl & Partners, of Coral Gables, to work with the community to develop the plan. Dover Kohl & Partners will be brought back in next month to assist in fine-tuning the plan.

“The city will know that we have succeeded when the families that are living in East Winter Garden today are living and thriving in this community 10 years from now,” City Manager Jon C. Williams said.

The city of Winter Garden and Orange County also just completed an annexation of an enclave within the CRA, allowing the annexed area to be added to the CRA.

“I am so grateful to have a forward-thinking and community-focused municipal partner in Winter Garden,” said District 1 Orange County Commissioner Nicole H. Wilson. “Their level of engagement with existing residents since 2017 has prioritized residents’ needs. I look forward to supporting this effort further in the future.”

Established in 1903 and incorporated in 1908, Winter Garden spans 18 miles and is home to nearly 48,000 residents and more than 2,000 businesses. This former citrus town embodies a wealth of historical, cultural and natural assets, and its appeal and desirability have been recognized nationally.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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