City Launches Newtown Historic Building Preservation Pilot Program



The City of Sarasota has launched a pilot program aimed at preserving historic structures in the Newtown community. The Newtown Historic Building Preservation Pilot Program is intended to encourage more restoration, rehabilitation and renovation of properties in Sarasota’s historic African American community. The project also aims to stabilize and improve Newtown’s property values and tax base and enhance the appearance and appeal of the community as a place to live, work or visit.

Property owners interested in making improvements or restorations to their buildings could be eligible for a portion of the $200,000 available in funding for the pilot program, funded via Tax Increment Finance (TIF) funds. To qualify, the building must be at least 50 years old and located within the Newtown Community Redevelopment Area, from 17th Street to Myrtle Street and U.S. 41 to Leonard Reid Avenue and the Seminole Gulf Railway. All proposed work must meet the Federal Secretary of the Interior’s standards for rehabilitation, and the majority of the proposed work must be to the exterior of the building.

Preferences for the grant funding will be given to applicants who agree to locally designate their historic building with the City’s Planning Department, sign a 10-year covenant to preserve their building, give preference to local labor within the Newtown community for the restoration work or whose buildings are located along the African American Heritage Trail, part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

City of Sarasota Office of Economic Development

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