‘Extreme Martin Makeover: East Stuart Edition’ earns award

STUART, FL – October 21, 2011 – The City of Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency has won an award for its role in the Extreme Martin Makeover – East Stuart Edition. The 2011 Roy F. Kenzie Award for Management Program/Creative Partnership was presented at the Florida Redevelopment Association Awards Dinner in Orlando last night. The project is one of only 12 statewide to receive the recognition and the
only one recognized in its category.

With the Extreme Martin Makeover – East Stuart Edition, the Stuart CRA maximized public-private partnerships, participation, improvements, and funds to complete exterior repairs, painting and landscaping on 17 homes in the community. The project leveraged a CRA investment of less than $7,000.00 in funds with another $18,700 in cash donations, equipment, materials, repairs and in-kind services, and over 3,000 volunteer hours. The improvements were completed in conjunction with a neighborhood-wide street cleanup and volunteer appreciation event, and was so successful that it has become an annual project.

“By partnering with Habitat Angel, Habitat for Humanity of Martin County, Keep Martin Beautiful, and the East Stuart Main Street program, as well as the City of Stuart Sanitation Department, we were able to dramatically increase our impact in this neighborhood,” explained CRA Coordinator Teresa Lamar-Sarno. “Even more importantly, the project renewed community pride and invested residents in maintaining the
improvements.”

The FRA awards committee carefully selects the winners from over 60 entries embodying the spirit of successful community redevelopment and revitalization. “Through a lot of hard work, successful partnerships and local support, these projects are completed and have helped to rebuild that community in some way,” said Kurt Easton, FRA president.

“Once vibrant and self-sufficient, economic and social pressures have led to poor maintenance, litter, and deteriorated landscaping in East Stuart,” said Lamar-Sarno. “Cleanups have short-term success, but a lack of community investment and decreasing TIF monies set the stage for a new approach. With this project the CRA was able to maximize public-private partnerships, participation, improvements, and funds.”