Fort Lauderdale, FL (April 30, 2018) – Fort Lauderdale Housing Authority (HACFL) and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (FLHS) have partnered with Refresh Live’s Chef Chad Cherry to launch the inaugural Fort Lauderdale Culinary Experience at New River Inn (located at 231 SW 2nd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale) on Tuesday, May 1st from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The Fort Lauderdale Culinary Experience is a free, after-hours, live culinary demonstration that will feature local produce grown in Northwest Gardens’ community garden.

Refresh Live is a food, education, and lifestyle company, dedicated to refreshing people’s relationship, knowledge, and experience with healthier food. They provide farm-to-table and organic lifestyle community education; programs to combat food disparity in income-challenged neighborhoods; a young-adult entrepreneurship apprenticeship program; and culinary and catering support for non-profit organizations.

“We believe that food is a common connector that brings people together,” expressed Chef Chad Cherry, president of Refresh Live. “We have seen how communities suffer because of food inequality. We strive to stay involved and contribute to the health of the community and educate them on how to live a healthy conscious lifestyle.”

Northwest Gardens features six community gardens and, through an alliance with the YMCA of South Florida and other agencies, residents are engaged in numerous programs. These programs include chef-based classes covering healthy food shopping, preparation, and coupon clipping; the Sistrunk Healthy Community Zone; homeownership education courses; free GED classes; and ‘Artists in Residence’ programs where artists are nurtured and encouraged to develop their creativity into marketable work.

“We aim to create a sustainable and healthy community and we are excited to continue highlighting Northwest Gardens’ urban farm produce through a variety of events and initiatives,” expressed Scott Strawbridge, director of Development and Facilities of the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale. “Our partnership with the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society is growing strong and we look forward to continue our collective efforts.”

In February 2018, FLHS partnered with HACFL’s StepUP Apprenticeship Program to restore the New River Inn. This partnership provides apprentices a unique opportunity to enhance their construction skills on historical restoration, as well as expand their professional portfolio. As a result, StepUP apprentices will perform additional restoration work building windows, painting, basic plumbing, and general building maintenance on six FLHS buildings.  

For more information about the Fort Lauderdale Culinary Experience contact Rebekah Bibee at rebekah@theideainc.com. To learn more about the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale, visit www.hacfl.com or call (954) 556-4100.

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ABOUT HACFL

The Housing Authority has been committed to safe, decent, and affordable housing to low-income residents in Broward County since 1928 and currently manages approximately 95 public housing units, 170 affordable housing units, 945 tax credit units, and administers over 3,100 housing choice vouchers. In addition to offering affordable rental housing and several public housing sites, the Housing Authority administers numerous programs, such as the Family Self-Sufficient Program, the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program, and the Step-Up Apprenticeship Initiative, to promote self-sufficiency and economic opportunity for Broward County Residents. For additional information about the programs, please call Scott Strawbridge, (954) 556-4100, x. 1406.

ABOUT THE MOSAIC GROUP

The Mosaic Group is a full-service events management, marketing and public relations firm, which employ experienced specialists to make any event, campaign and community involvement effort successful.  Our clients are organizations that are interested in diversification, increasing their visibility in the community and developing mass marketing opportunities.

(Rivera Beach, FL – April 9, 2018) – The Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (RBCRA) announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Marina Village Phase II Development. The RBCRA is seeking a Development Partner with extensive experience and a consistently successful track-record in planning, designing, constructing, leasing, operating, and marketing mixed-use real estate ventures to build upon Marina Village Phase I public investment that include the completion of a New Event Center, as well as an expanded and improved marina, festival park and marina-side public promenade.

RFP submittals are due May 31, 2018 by 12:00 p.m. (noon). A Mandatory Pre-Submittal Conference will take place on May 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Marina Village Event Center, located at 190 E. 13th Street, Riviera Beach.  This conference will provide prospective respondents the opportunity to ask questions, receive clarifications, or make requests concerning the interpretation of the RFP.

The RBCRA intends to select a qualified Master Developer with an innovative land, building, infrastructure, mixed-use development and public/private partnership strategy. The Developer will commit to advancing goals, policies and programs set forth in a Community Benefits Agreement. Both RBCRA and the Developer will work jointly to manage the coordination of the outreach and procurement requirements to maximize community benefits in the following areas: local participation in project ownership; business development; construction contracting; employment; and workforce development.

“We believe in our City and the Marina Village’s potential to catalyze broader economic development that will create new avenues to opportunity and prosperity for all citizens,” said Scott Evans, interim executive director of the Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. “This is an incredible business opportunity to partner with our City’s Leadership Team to create a vibrant and prosperous waterfront destination.”

The Marina Village project is one of the last major waterfront redevelopment projects in South Florida. The project is strategically located within a high-valued, diverse, urban marketplace – a short drive time for all the beach, shopping, dining, and water recreation amenities within Palm Beach County, which attracts over 7.35 million visitors per year.  The strategic vision for the Marina Village Redevelopment project is to leverage the City of Riviera Beach’s public waterfront and maritime district setting to create a mixed-use destination that will serve as a regional gateway, crossroads, destination, employment, hub and innovator center. The Marina Village is envisioned to become an Event Center and City Marina anchored dining, water recreation, and hotel destination.

In May 2017, the RBCRA adopted new objectives that reset the Marina’s master plan in order to clarify the City’s interest, plan approach and priorities. After the Event Center’s opening, there has been an increasing interest to build a hotel as part of the destination strategy.  The RBCRA Board of Commissioners has identified a hotel as a desired component of the overall mixed-use place making strategy for the Marina Village. A hotel could be placed in a variety of locations as determined by the proposed developer and could work collaboratively with the existing Marina Event Center meeting spaces. Options for the hotel’s location are opposite to the Event Center’s main entrance; in the southern quadrant in closer proximity to the existing cruise terminal; within the waterside promenade dining experience; on the Spanish Courts sites fronting the U.S.1/Broadway Corridor; or at the marina district’s main U.S.1/Broadway Corridor entrance.

The Developer should provide a degree of flexibility needed to incorporate concepts that best serve the project and maximizes the development potential of the land, and will be required to generally incorporate the design principles in a fashion that is most responsive to sound development practices, urban design principles, cost considerations, and demands of the market, as well as identify green space and other public amenities within the development in order to create pedestrian-oriented environment that integrates a shared parking strategy harmonious with the existing and proposed transportation system.

In addition, as part of the RBCRA’s intent to negotiate a Developer Agreement within the Top-Qualified Proposers, a key provision of the Developer Agreement will be a Community Benefits Program that outlines the goals and program requirements to ensure intensified focus on achieving local participation with respect to businesses contracting, employment and workforce deployment.

To date, the RBCRA has invested in excess of $20 million to improve its waterfront in order to attract additional private investment that will expand public access to water and catalyze broader revitalization along Broadway corridor and surrounding neighborhoods.  The total land within the Marina Village district and immediately adjacent land along U.S.1 totals approximately 12 acres. Approximately 6 acres located within the interior of the district – that fronts the marina – has been designed for the proposed Phase II mixed-use project. This phase excludes 0.5 acres of strategically positioned land that is owned by Viking Development – an affiliate of the Viking Yachts.  

The Marina Village Phase II Development is scheduled to open between Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.

For more information on the Marina Village Phase II Development RFP, please contact Andre’ Lewis at (561) 855-3408 or alewis@rbcra.com.

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ABOUT RBCRA

The Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency is at the heart of the dramatic transformations underway within its district. Formed in 1984, by the Riviera Beach City Council, the CRA provides funding for a wide scope of projects that incentivize economic growth through business attractions and retention; finances new and improved infrastructure for real estate projects; generally works to expand the tax base by creating a welcoming environment that eliminates blight and improves perception of safety in an area; guides the city’s redevelopment efforts; and creates and supports many programs that enhances daily life in Riviera Beach.

ABOUT THE MOSAIC GROUP

The Mosaic Group is a full-service events management, marketing and public relations firm, which employ experienced specialists to make any event, campaign and community involvement effort successful.  Our clients are organizations that are interested in diversification, increasing their visibility in the community and developing mass marketing opportunities.

(Fort Lauderdale, FL – April 6, 2018) – The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale (HACFL) will host a special tour of its Northwest Gardens Neighborhood for Miami-Dade and Broward County leaders interested in affordable housing communities on Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tour will commence at 1204 8th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Northwest Gardens is the State of Florida’s first sustainable neighborhood, and the second in the nation, third in the world.

Tour attendees will learn how the HACFL turned a $200,000 HUD grant into a $300 million program that redeveloped their entire public housing portfolio into clean, modern and innovative units along with substantial improvements to the public realm. In the process, HACFL used less than $400,000 in CRA TIF funds. Conversely, HACFL has paid almost $8 million in permit and impact fees to the City and County, as well as gave the City and annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT Payment).

Northwest Gardens was part of the HACFL’s 10-year plan to demolish and build four phases of housing units in the area. After much success on the four phases, HACFL built a fifth phase, which was completed four years ahead of schedule. Currently, Northwest Gardens is the first LEED-ND certified community in Florida and the second nationwide. It also received a national honorable mention in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 Smart Growth Award for Equitable Development.

Northwest Gardens features six community gardens, an urban farm, free art classes and workshops (YAA ArtHOUSE), clubhouse activities (Y-Fit), and more. Through an alliance with the YMCA of South Florida and other agencies, Northwest Gardens’ residents are engaged in numerous programs, such as: chef-based classes covering healthy food shopping and preparation and coupon clipping; homeownership education courses; summer programs including the hip-hop dance academy; the Sistrunk Healthy Community Zone; free GED classes; and Artists in Residence programs where artists are nurtured and encouraged to develop their creativity into saleable work.

HACFL is committed to community development through public engagement, providing opportunities for low-income public housing, and creating a portfolio of education, training and employment for at-risk youths through its state certified StepUP Apprenticeship Program. StepUP provides apprentices with skills to increase their potential for permanent employment and economic self-sufficiency. The program employs local residents and trains them in maintenance, painting, light construction, and cabinet making. Step-Up apprentices used these skills to build the kitchen and bathroom cabinets for the Northwest Gardens’ fifth phase.

“Community engagement creates a sense of place, increases pride, and makes people feel more connected to their neighborhoods and we have witness this in Northwest Gardens,” expressed Scott Strawbridge, director of Development and Facilities of the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale. “We have one of the most popular and effective operations in the City of Fort Lauderdale and we know this community is moving forward in a positive light.”

The tour will include lunch, a lively discussion about Northwest Gardens and networking. To register go to https://nwgardensspecialtour.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Scott Strawbridge at SStrawbridge@hacfl.com or (954) 556-4100, ext. 1406.

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ABOUT HACFL
The Housing Authority has been committed to safe, decent, and affordable housing to low-income residents in Broward County since 1928 and currently manages approximately 95 public housing units, 170 affordable housing units, 945 tax credit units, and administers over 3,100 housing choice vouchers. In addition to offering affordable rental housing and several public housing sites, the Housing Authority administers numerous programs, such as the Family Self-Sufficient Program, the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program, and the Step-Up Apprenticeship Initiative, to promote self-sufficiency and economic opportunity for Broward County Residents. For additional information about the programs, please call Scott Strawbridge, (954) 556-4100, x. 1406.

ABOUT THE MOSAIC GROUP
The Mosaic Group is a full-service events management, marketing and public relations firm, which employ experienced specialists to make any event, campaign and community involvement effort successful. Our clients are organizations that are interested in diversification, increasing their visibility in the community and developing mass marketing opportunities.