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Sarasota News Leader June 28, 2013 A 2005 agreement with The New York Times Co. paid for a variety of impact and building fees and construction of stormwater retention facilities for a new headquarters for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (then owned by the NYT Co.). The CRA paid $768,000 to keep the newspaper offices downtown, after the Herald-Tribune threatened to build a complex on Fruitville Road in the county. Since that deal was inked, the building owners have paid $1.7 million in property taxes. The assessment jumped from $5.7 million in 2006 to nearly $14 million in 2012. Page 31 PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES The political, physical and logical boundaries of the CRA were the final elements of focus during the meeting. Member Katie Leonard noted the gap between 10th and 17th Streets separating the Newtown fraction of the CRA from the downtown fraction. "How do we support Newtown with a plan that is more coherent and seamless?" she asked. Chairman Merrill suggested other sites might be included in an expanded CRA. "Perhaps some of the areas near Payne Park should be included. And the gap between Newtown and The Courthouse Centre project directly west downtown, that's a logical place. Boundaries of the historic courthouse on Ringling Boule- issues may be an area for discussion," he said. vard was awarded $250,000 for underground Member Andy Dorr suggested a physical audit utilities and streetscape improvements. The of the CRA to find more pockets of slum and land was valued at $1.8 million when the deal blight to address. "There's some terrible buildwas made in 2003. Today it is worth $19.1 mil- ing stock in the area," he noted. "How do we lion, and the property owner has paid $2.8 mil- evolve the boundary lines? The city and county are now focused on the North [Tamiami] lion in taxes. Trail. Should we extend the CRA to include Committee member Michael Beaumier noted the commercial district on both sides of the these projects also generated other economic North Trail?" benefits beyond property taxes. "There's sales tax generated, and jobs are created and other Dorr asked when the next public-private partnerships would arise. "We've had five developments around them," he said. public-private partnerships, and that's great. Member Chris Gallagher piled on. "And [doc- But where are the next five, and the five after ument stamp] fees, occupational licenses, that?" building permits — even now when a condo Merrill closed the discussion by noting the gets remodeled," he pointed out. CRA is a supplementary fund. "If it went away, Others were not convinced. Casey Colburn would we cut policing in downtown or Newasked, "What kind of return is associated town?" he asked rhetorically. "Some say we've with these investments? I want to see where fulfilled our role and it should expire. Should the money was spent and what happened in it ever end? All these things will have to fit that area." into our report." %

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