Not A Storage Unit! Idea for Downtown Niceville Gains Steam

While the idea for a downtown Niceville continues to be in the abstract – the proposals the City’s community redevelopment agency has made have gotten notice around the state. 

The City announced Wednesday the Florida Redevelopment Association named the Old Town Landing Project on Bayshore Drive near Blue Collar Cafe the 2022 Redevelopment Project of the Year at a redevelopment conference in Daytona Beach. 

The City of Niceville’s Community Redevelopment Agency, a part of the city government, spearheads the effort to build a walkable downtown in the area where the original City of Niceville stood before a fire in the 1930s. 

“The Old Town Landing on Boggy Bayou project is evidence of the City of Niceville’s unwavering commitment to historic preservation, community enhancement, and innovative development,” said a release from the City of Niceville’s government office, “This project underscores the revitalized economic contribution of Niceville’s historic

downtown to the City’s economy.”

The project, which is still in the early stages of development, will eventually contain a public water landing, a festival site and a six-acre commercial village. According to the City, the project will finish its final design phase in 2023. 

What is the Niceville CRA and What does it do?

The Niceville Community Redevelopment Agency is a geographically based unit of the City of Niceville that takes tax dollars collected from a specific part of the community and reinvests them specifically to increase the property values of that community. 

Taxes that increase in property value after the CRA area get reinvested in the area to remove blight and other issues in the geographic zone and continue to improve property values in that area. 

All major cities in Okaloosa County, Including Crestview, Destin and Fort Walton Beach have CRAs in their city center areas. 

In Niceville, which created its CRA Area in 2012, the CRA includes most of the western part of the City, including Turkey Creek. You can see a map of the CRA here.

Right now, the Niceville CRA is still in the planning phases of what downtown Niceville will look like. The project, which CRA documents estimate will cost more than six million dollars, would include a short pier, several green spaces, a bed and breakfast, a restaurant and several other commercial properties. The six acre tract of land would not have any mixed use or residential areas – according to the plans available on the City’s website. 

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