Downtown North CRA
Since the original Downtown North Redevelopment Plan, adopted in 1993, progress has been made on many of the projects and programs undertaken by the Downtown Improvement Board/CRA to address the continual decline of Panama City's African- American community, through efforts such as the Greater Glenwood revitalization and visioning initiative in 2003. While many areas of the Downtown and those neighborhoods adjacent to the revitalization areas have seen significant investment, the areas further away from that economic activity, particularly the Downtown North CRA, are in need of attention. In March 2008, the City Commission adopted the results of the Finding of Necessity Study and unanimously approved expanding the original Downtown North CRA boundaries from 12th Street North to U.S. Highway 231 between McKenzie Avenue and Mercedes Avenue.
The Downtown North CRA encompasses nearly two square mile of land area, which includes the Greater Glenwood area and Bay Medical Center. The City Commission and the Downtown Improvement Board/CRA working in partnership with the Glenwood residents and the Glenwood Revitalization Steering Committee initiated a community-driven visioning effort in 2004 and since then several improvements and projects have been initiated to address the neighborhood concerns. However, several of the improvements were implemented in isolation and have been overshadowed by projects, such as the widening of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which has resulted in proliferation of vacant parcels and substandard lot sizes leading to a decline in investment image and contributed in creating a negative perception within the area.