The Keystone Project Program is intended to encourage investment from property owners and developers who have the greatest potential for activating the Revitalization Pilot Program Areas. The incentive funds are for commercial and mixed use projects that make a significant expansion or upgrade of real property and act as a catalyst for further positive change for the area, which may result in an increase in private investment in other Revitalization Pilot Program Areas.
The Keystone Project Program establishes mechanisms to create substantial economic development activity that can be an impetus for other development, with a focus on underutilized and/or vacant property. The program is open to a broad range of innovative proposals. Resources will be allocated to selected projects, distinguished by:
- Scale and scope of proposed construction and redevelopment investment;
- Projected fiscal impact of the project
- Potential to cause increased property values in the adjacent area;
- Complexity in plan or program
- Additive diversity in uses.
Eligible Uses: Commercial, Retail and/or Mixed Use
- The project must be a minimum of 5 acres in size and be developed at a minimum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 0.5.
- A minimum capital investment of $3 million is required.
- The project would result in increased business diversity in the community and provide a greater variety of goods and services for residents and visitors.
- Obtain a local development order and be in compliance with all applicable county, state, and federal codes, regulations and permitting requirements. Any improvements for projects located wholly within or partially within any flood hazard area that constitutes a substantial improvement must comply with the Flood Hazard Reduction Ordinance.
The grant provides a reimbursement of up to 20 percent of total eligible costs over the initial $3 million capital investment. The maximum award will be limited by the current budget allocation for the fiscal year.
Commercial and mixed-use development projects that meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Rehabilitation and renovation projects, including site work, which provide substantial visible exterior improvements
- New construction projects on unimproved land including site work and landscaping, which provide substantial visible exterior improvements
- Assemblage of properties with a combination of rehabilitation, renovation and new construction projects that when complete provide a cohesive development.
The County will enter into a development agreement with the property owner/developer. A development agreement is a voluntary contract between Lee County and a person who owns or controls property, detailing the obligations of both parties, including incentives, and specifying the standards and conditions that will govern development of the property. Although the agreements are voluntary, once made they are binding on the parties and their successors. The development agreement dictates reimbursement to the property owner or developer after completion of the redevelopment project. Fees accrued prior to execution of the development agreement with the County are not eligible for reimbursement.