The executive director of a city of Miami agency tasked with encouraging redevelopment in one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods handed in his resignation, The Real Deal has learned.
Clarence Woods’ resignation as executive director of the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency is effective Dec. 1st, according to Cornelius Shiver, assistant director of the Overtown CRA. The Miami City Commission, which acts as the Overtown CRA’s board of directors, unanimously named Shiver as Woods’ replacement.
Shiver said Woods resigned so he could retire as a “full-time employee” and spend more time on his private real estate ventures. “He’s doing a lot of development outside of the CRA boundaries and he’s going to devote more time to that,” Shiver said.
Woods did not return requests for comment from TRD.
Woods served since April 2012 as the executive director of the Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA, an agency that utilizes property taxes collected within its district to promote affordable housing and economic development. Since 2005, the agency has invested $78.6 million toward affordable housing, according to a CRA report. The CRA also offers incentives to private development projects, including $17.5 million in tax rebates for All Aboard Florida’s MiamiCentral project near downtown Miami and $75 million in tax rebates for a proposed $750 million Marriott Marquis hotel complex in Park West.
The CRA has also issued grants for the renovation of historic buildings within Overtown, including an $850,000 grant for the renovation of the Josephine and Dunn hotels that was the subject of a July 31 Miami Herald article, “Deal and dollars under scrutiny as Overtown hotel projects runs years behind.” The article found that the Odua Group, headed by former city of Miami official Ola Aluko, commenced the renovation job three years ago, but the property “remains vacant and far from completion.”
“At this point, we have no reason to believe there was anything done that was improper. But we are doing an audit and [we’re] reviewing [the project],” Woods told the Herald.