EDC Sarasota County

Economic Development
Corporation of Sarasota County


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Sarasota City Economic Development

Office of Economic Development

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1782 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way Sarasota, FL 34234

The Office of Economic Development promotes Citywide economic development through projects and initiatives, including those related to the Newtown Community Redevelopment Area, the St. Armand's Business Improvement District, the Downtown Business Improvement District, and the commercial districts of the City including Southside Village, the North Trail Cultural District, and greater Downtown including Burns Square, Rosemary, Towles Court, Fruitville Corridor, and the Payne Park-Government district. 

 ST. ARMAND'S BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NEWTOWN COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AREA 

DEVELOPMENT REPORTING
 
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VISIT OUR INTERACTIVE MAP to explore development in the City 
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
 PUBLIC/PRIVATE PROJECTS PLACEMAKING and CONNECTIVITY
Marian Anderson Place redevelopment Fruitville Road Redesign
St. Armand's Circle Public Restrooms N. Palm Avenue Improvements
Newtown Banking Facility 2nd and 4th Street Bikeways 
Land Assemblage Fredd Atkins Park
Janie's Garden Commercial Spaces FOR LEASE Main Street Improvements

 Lemon Avenue Improvements
   
INCENTIVES and INVESTMENTS  WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Newtown Business Assistance Grant Program CEO (Community Entrepreneur Opportunity) 
Opportunity Zones  Newtown Technical Skills Initiative
Miss Susie's Newtown Neighborhood Kitchen Newtown Vocational Facility (in development)
EDAVTE (Econ. Dev. Ad Valorem Tax Exemption) HERT: Housing as an Economic Redevelopment Tool
HUB Zone and Enterprise Zone Newtown Business Org/Marketing (in development)
   
 SOCIAL, RECREATIONAL, CULTURAL PLANNING FOR ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY 
Title Repair Program "No Place Like Home" Newtown Community Redevelopment Plans
Historic Newtown: Projects, Programs, & Possibilities North Tamiami Trail
Newtown Historic Property Renovation Program Downtown Master Plan 2020

 CONTACT OUR TEAM
Steven StancelGeneral ManagerSteven.Stancel@SarasotaFL.gov941-316-8412
Onya BatesRedevelopment ManagerOnya.Bates@SarasotaFL.gov941-926-6149 
Susan DoddRedevelopment ManagerSusan.Dodd@SarasotaFL.gov941-926-6134
Rowena Elliott Redevelopment SpecialistRowena.Elliott@SarasotaFL.gov941-926-6003
John MoranOperations Manager, D.I.D. John.Moran@SarasotaFL.gov941-724-5578
Brandy Wiesner Operations Manager, B.I.D. Brandy.Wiesner@SarasotaFL.gov941-266-7599
 Jackie GiovannoneAdministrative Specialist   Jaclyn.Giovannone@SarasotaFL.gov 941-365-2200 




Opportunity Zones



Four areas of City of Sarasota designated ‘Opportunity Zones’ for investment


Revitalization encouraged under aegis of federal program

This map shows the four zones. Image courtesy City of Sarasota
Four economically distressed areas of the city of Sarasota soon could see long-term investment and job creation after being designated “Qualified Opportunity Zones” under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the city has announced.
The federal program “helps to revitalize low-income communities by providing tax advantages for private individuals and corporations” that invest in an Opportunity Zone Fund, a city news release explains. The program “encourages the private sector to reinvest capital gains from other investments into businesses and start-ups located in these Qualified Opportunity Zones,” the release adds.

Click to read the full article:


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The Federal Government enacted major new legislation to spur economic development. Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development by providing substantial tax benefits to investors. 
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IRS Info

Q. What is an Opportunity Zone?

A. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service.


Q. How were Opportunity Zones created?

A. Opportunity Zones were added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017.

Q. Have Opportunity Zones been around a long time?

A. No, they are new. The first set of Opportunity Zones, covering parts of 18 states, were designated on April 9, 2018. Opportunity Zones have now been designated covering parts of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.  


Q. What is the purpose of Opportunity Zones?

A. Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool—that is, they are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities.


Q. How do Opportunity Zones spur economic development?

A. Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors. First, investors can defer tax on any prior gains invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) until the earlier of the date on which the investment in a QOF is sold or exchanged, or December 31, 2026. If the QOF investment is held for longer than 5 years, there is a 10% exclusion of the deferred gain. If held for more than 7 years, the 10% becomes 15%.  Second, if the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor is eligible for an increase in basis of the QOF investment equal to its fair market value on the date that the QOF investment is sold or exchanged.


Q. What is a Qualified Opportunity Fund?

A. A Qualified Opportunity Fund is an investment vehicle that is set up as either a partnership or corporation for investing in eligible property that is located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone. 


Q. Do I need to live in an Opportunity Zone to take advantage of the tax benefits?

A. No. You can get the tax benefits, even if you don’t live, work or have a business in an Opportunity Zone. All you need to do is invest a recognized gain in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and elect to defer the tax on that gain.


Q. I am interested in knowing where the Opportunity Zones are located. Is there a list of Opportunity Zones available?

A. Yes. The list of designated Qualified Opportunity Zones can be found at Opportunity Zones Resources and in the Federal Register at IRB Notice 2018-48.  Further a visual map of the census tracts designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones may also be found at Opportunity Zones Resources.


Q: What do the numbers mean on the Qualified Opportunity Zones list, Notice 2018-48? 

A: The numbers are the population census tracts designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones.


Q: How can I find the census tract number for a specific address? 

A: You can find 11-digit census tract numbers, also known as GEOIDs, using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Geocoder.  After entering the street address, select ACS2015_Current in the Vintage drop-down menu and click Find.  In the Census Tracts section, you’ll find the number after GEOID.


Q. I am interested in forming a Qualified Opportunity Fund. Is there a list of Opportunity Zones available in which the Fund can invest?

A. Yes. The list of designated Qualified Opportunity Zones in which a Fund may invest to meet its investment requirements can be found at Notice 2018-48.


Q. How does a corporation or partnership become certified as a Qualified Opportunity Fund?

A. To become a Qualified Opportunity Fund, an eligible corporation or partnership self-certifies by filing Form 8996, Qualified Opportunity Fund, with its federal income tax return. Early-release drafts of the form and instructions are posted, with final versions expected in December. The return with Form 8996 must be filed timely, taking extensions into account.


Q: Can a limited liability company (LLC) be an Opportunity Fund?

A: Yes.  A LLC that chooses to be treated either as a partnership or corporation for federal tax purposes can organize as a Qualified Opportunity Fund.


Q.  I sold some stock for a gain in 2018, and, during the 180-day period beginning on the date of the sale, I invested the amount of the gain in a Qualified Opportunity Fund.  Can I defer paying tax on that gain?

A. Yes, you may elect to defer the tax on the amount of the gain invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund. Therefore, if you only invest part of your gain in a Qualified Opportunity Fund(s), you can elect to defer tax on only the part of the gain which was invested.


Q. How do I elect to defer my gain on the 2018 sale of the stock?

A.  You may make an election to defer the gain, in whole or in part, when filing your 2018 Federal Income Tax return. That is, you may make the election on the return on which the tax on that gain would be due if you do not defer it. 


Q. I sold some stock on December 15, 2017, and, during the required 180-day period, I invested the amount of the gain in a Qualified Opportunity Fund.  Can I elect to defer tax on that gain?

A. Yes. You make the election on your 2017 return. Attach Form 8949, reporting Information about the sale of your stock. Precise instructions on how to use that form to elect deferral of the gain will be forthcoming shortly. 


Q. Can I still elect to defer tax on that gain if I have already filed my 2017 tax return?

A. Yes, but you will need to file an amended 2017 return, using Form 1040X and attaching Form 8949.


Q. How can I get more information about Opportunity Zones?

A. Over the next few months, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service will be providing further details, including additional legal guidance, on this new tax benefit. More information will be available at Treasury.gov and IRS.gov.



Opportunity Zones



"Four improvised areas of the City soon see long-term investment and job creation after being designated as “Qualified Opportunity Zones” under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, according to a release from the City of Sarasota."
"The program helps to revitalize low-income communities by providing tax advantages for private individuals and corporations who invest in an Opportunity Zone Fund. It encourages the private sector to reinvest capital gains from other investments into businesses and start-ups located in these Qualified Opportunity Zones, according to the release."
Poverty rates, family income, unemployment and other factors played a role in selecting the four zones in Sarasota.
For more information, visit SarasotaFL.gov or contact General Manager of Economic Development Steve Stancel at 941-316-8412.


Sustainable "Green" Economic Development

Sustainable "Green" Economic Development combines environmental improvement and traditional economic development into one discipline. Traditional economic development can be employed to increase employment while improving our environment. Economic Development and “Green” Development can be synergistic, improving our overall quality of life.

Sustainable Development is defined by the United Nations as "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Sustainable development begins at home and is supported by effective domestic policies and international partnerships. Self-governing people prepared to participate in an open world marketplace are the very foundation of sustainable development".


.The Canadian Center for Community Renewal defines “Community Economic Development as the process by which local people build organizations and partnerships that interconnect profitable business with other interests and values - for example, skills and education, health, housing, and the environment. In CED a lot more people get involved, describing how the community should change. A lot more organizations look for ways to make their actions and investments reinforce the wishes and intentions of the whole community. Business becomes a means to accumulate wealth and to make the local way of life more creative, inclusive, and sustainable - now and 20 or 30 years from now.” 

Sustainable Economic Development 

KISS (Keep it Sweet and Simple). A simple rule set and acronym is: 


KEEP 

Keep the businesses and jobs that you have

Expand the businesses you have

Enhance your community to attract new businesses

Protect and continuously improve the environment




Sustainable Economic Development is the art of keeping and expanding our businesses while continually improving the Environment. As economic developers we provide information and assistance to companies who create new jobs. We create the policies and incentives to retain our existing businesses and support expansion. A good economic development office strives to have the most comprehensive and current information available on the following subject matter areas:

• Local demographics

• Quality of life

• Public infrastructure

• Business assistance

• Real estate

• Taxes, fees, regulations

• Market the community to targeted business industries


Both successful economic development and continuing improvement to the environment are a hallmark of a quality community. Some people still think that economic development is chasing smokestacks and that economic development hurts the environment. But that view is outdated. Working intelligently, business and government can expand the economy and retain and attract quality jobs while enhancing and improving the environment.


Sustainable Economic Development Strategy 

The Vision 

Our communities will provide quality jobs at good wages while improving our environment.

Mission Statement
We are committed to providing an environment in which our natural resources, our people, and our economy are balanced. We will not compromise the future by focusing solely on the needs of today. We aspire to make our communities regional leaders who develop, promotes, and improves the quality of our community through sustainable practices.


Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Mixed Use Development 


Sustainable Economic Development is consistent with the principles of Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Mixed Use Development. Growth presents a tremendous opportunity for progress and change. Communities around the country are looking for methods to optimize development and to amend zoning rules that make it difficult to place workplaces, homes, and services closer together. Citizens are faced with economic pressures and seek ways to save on car and gas use and on commuting time.

To address these challenges we must make a commitment to sustainable land use planning, often called "smart growth." Taking steps such as preserving open space, providing a variety of transportation choices, encouraging compact building designs and creating walk able communities will help the city choose smart growth strategies that encourage social, cultural and physical activity. Smart growth is a way to offer more choices to citizens in terms of deciding where to live, how to get around, and will protect the environment while stimulating economic growth. Mixed use development and new urbanism emphasize reducing travel times between work and home. This is certainly consistent with sustainable development.

Sustainable Economic Development operates within a social and economic context. Smart growth also strongly supports the revitalization and/or redevelopment of established and emerging urban neighborhoods. It promotes neighborhood-centric activity centers that employ a smart growth development template that integrates a mix of uses, multi-modal circulation options, public spaces and other elements.

Environmental sustainability is a part of this operation and is best achieved when integrated with other components. A sustainable economic development organization seeks to participate within its community, integrate economic development with environmental protection, and minimize the impacts of development on the community. Through seeking balance, an organization will take into account the needs of future generations.

With financial difficulties and environmental concerns facing the global and national economy, we will place a high priority on sustainable economic development, energy efficiency, and responsible growth management.


Conclusion 

Sustainable Economic Development will be the standard for future economic development and “green” environmental improvement efforts. We can and will improve our environment while providing jobs and tax base for our community.

Sustainable Economic Development will be the standard for future economic development and “green” environmental improvement efforts. We can and will improve our environment while providing jobs and tax base for our community.


Recommended Improvements

The following are our recommended improvements to "Green" our communities that we will pursue that while working to retain and expand our businesses and jobs:

· We will retain our existing businesses and jobs

· We will help our existing businesses expand

· We will attract new businesses

· Energy efficiency in all businesses is encouraged

· Developers are encouraged to create green buildings

· Mixed use development will be emphasized

· Historic buildings will be adaptively reused

· Walk ability of the city will be encouraged

· Incentives will be employed to support improvements

· Energy efficient buildings will be required

· Sedimentation and erosion controls will be enforced

· The ecology of waters edge areas will be enhanced

· Bike trails and racks will be emphasized

· Transit will be improved

· Trees and natural landscaping will be planted

· Renewable energy sources will be sought

· Recycling will be supported

· Air and water quality will be improved

· We will ensure a just and fair society

· We will seek to provide jobs for all of our citizens


We will follow the principles below: 

Promote efficient buildings

Use recycled material in buildings

Recycle building material waste

Encourage rain harvesting and irrigation

Use passive solar orientation of buildings

Encourage solar and wind energy systems

Employ green roofs

Support the use of natural landscaping

Improve municipal staff knowledge of “green” techniques

Support quality construction for long lived buildings

Encourage mixed use development

Support walk to work programs

Encourage development that supports transit

Support efforts to redevelop older communities

Permit Live / Work Space development

Support natural open space and parks

Use open surface natural drainage where feasible

Design wetlands, drainage ways and retention into parks

Support the local production of “green” technology equipment

Incorporate bikeways and pedestrian path

Minimize pavement widths & cost & material

Update codes to encourage “green” development

Encourage geothermal energy

Require street trees

Sustainable Land Use Planning




Economic Development Links

edcsarasotacounty.com

scgov.net

scgov.net/sustainability

sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasota

sarasotachamber.com

srq-airport.com

portmanatee.com

enterpriseflorida.com



References