This post has been updated.
Riviera Beach plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars demolishing, relocating and redeveloping many of its municipal facilities, including its aging city hall.
The “Reimagine Riviera Beach” campaign includes the redevelopment of fire and police stations, a water treatment plant, libraries and a community center.
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“This is how the city envisions what we want Riviera Beach to look like over the next few years,” said Marsha Noel, assistant to the general manager.
She says the project aims to change a long-standing narrative surrounding the waterfront city, known for its lack of development.
“We have a wonderful beach. We have a beautiful stream. We have a wonderful community, a great culture, [and] diversity happening in our city, ”said Noel. “And ‘reimagining’ allows us to build on that by being visionaries on behalf of our community who have communicated with us over the years, for a need for progress.”
During a preliminary discussion and workshop with the community earlier this year, Randy M. Sherman, the city’s director of finance and administration, said the campaign involved up to nine different projects and funding them wouldn’t necessarily be straightforward. Each project could be funded from different sources of income.
Noel said the city of nearly 35,000 was weighing all of its options to fund the $ 400 million project, including: federal and state grants, bonds or a penny sales tax. Private sector funding could come from things like impact fees, development rights, and land leases.
Half of the money will go to public amenities and the other half to mixed-use properties. Noel said that it will take several years to complete the development.
She said the city is also taking an eco-friendly approach – many of the new sites will be built on land already developed. The construction planning process will also include environmental studies and assessments.
The improvements also include improving the town’s urban farm.
“The city of Riviera Beach is a food desert. We only have one grocery store here and that’s Publix which is right next to Blue Heron [Boulevard] and right next to the bridge, ”Noel said. “And so we understand that nutrition, health and wellness are essential to the survival of any community – and we want to make sure we close that gap. “
Riviera Beach City Council recently approved a $ 1.5 million allocation to move aging City Hall on Blue Heron Boulevard to Broadway Avenue. They expect to innovate on this project in 2022.