Downtown Homestead, Florida was once the inviting center of a lively, small-town commercial district. After Hurricane Andrew struck Homestead in 1992, Homestead was thrown into a long, economic decline, especially in the town’s historic downtown district.
Homestead Station is the second phase of a multi-phase effort to revitalize downtown Homestead. It includes the development of a 250,000 square foot mixed-use education, entertainment, retail, dining, parking, and transportation facility and will continue to stabilize downtown Homestead and make later phases possible.
Homestead Station consists of two full city blocks and includes 30,000 square feet of retail and dining space, 65,000 square feet of family entertainment center space including 10 movie theaters, 14 lanes of bowling, and 1,000 parking spaces. The City’s new transit station at the site is forecasted to reduce commuter times significantly as a stop for a planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route. The site will also include Homestead’s Trolley Hub, which provides free transit services for visitors to the nearby national parks.
The Homestead Station development team worked with local, county, state, and federal partners to develop a funding plan for Homestead Station. However, even with a high level of support, a funding gap remained due to the Project’s comprehensive nature and funding limits. With all other sources of funds exhausted, New Markets Tax Credits were critical for the project moving forward.
MBS Urban Initiatives funded a $7 million New Markets Tax Credit investment, which was combined with an investment from Capital One Community Renewal Fund and Popular Community Capital for a total of $16 million in NMTC allocation for Homestead Station.
In addition to providing services, retail, amenities and transit in Homestead, the project will result in 135 jobs, job outreach and training to low-income persons, flexible leases and free space for community partners and host food fairs and other events that will increase access to healthy food and nutrition-related education in this food desert.
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