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Scope and Content Note

The records of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) were transferred to the Special Collections Unit of the Lakeland Public Library in early 2003, with an additional transfer in 2004.  The records are in generally good condition and were in no particular order when received. The records provide a comprehensive overview of the agency since its inception.

The LDDA was created by the "Lakeland Downtown Development Authority Act" enacted by the Florida State Legislature in 1977 and amended in 1978. The Lakeland City Commission adopted Ordinance 2046 on September 19, 1977 establishing the boundaries of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority Area, which were expanded in 1984.

Property owners within the area voted to make the area a Special Downtown Development Authority Tax District in 1978. The City Commission adopted Ordinance 2155 on November 19, 1979, designating the LDDA as the Community Redevelopment Agency for the City of Lakeland. A downtown development plan was adopted by the City Commission in 1980, and in 1981 it issued a development order "for the Lakeland Downtown Revitalization Plan."

LDDA is charged with recommending projects, plans, and developers to the City Commission. It is empowered to option, buy, sell or lease real estate, and arrange financing to support and stimulate private projects authorized by the development plan with the approval of the City Commission. With the help of City Administration and community organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Historic Lakeland, and the Historic Preservation Board, LDDA has revitalized Lakeland's downtown in the past twenty years.

After processing the records were organized into ten series as follows: Subject Files, Financial Records, Reports and Studies, Newsletters, Photographs and Videos, Scrapbooks, Plans, Minutes, Resolutions and Correspondence.

Series I, Subject Files, 1928-2002, contains the administrative files of the agency. Topics include the many development projects in which the agency was involved and the types of records include correspondence, agenda and minutes of meetings, brochures, grant proposals,reports, copies of leases, property descriptions and completed forms.

Series II, Reports and Studies, 1975-1991, consists of reports commissioned by the LDDA on various topics relating to the development of Lakeland's downtown business district. Topics of the reports include urban design plans, urban blight, market analyses and evaluations, traffic flow and community redevelopment.

Series III, Newsletters, 1988-1998, contains the agency's bimonthly and, later, monthly newsletter.

Series IV, Photographs and Videos, 1961-1995, consists of photographs and videotapes of LDDA board meetings and activities, as well as aerial photos of downtown Lakeland before and after the creation of the LDDA.

Series V, Scrapbooks, 1977-1996, consists of scrapbooks of newspaper clippings documenting the activities of the LDDA.

Series VI, Resolutions, 1977-1998, consists of Resolutions and a few Ordinances pertaining to the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority.

Series VII, Plans, 1946-92, consists of architectural blueprints, drawings and plat maps of Lakeland historic neighborhoods and buildings. Included in this series are the Lake Mirror Promenade, Lemon Street Promenade, Munn Park, the Marble Arcade and other downtown sites and plat maps of the South Lake Morton Neighborhood.

Series VIII, Minutes, 1977-2009, consists of agendas, minutes and accompanying reports to the LDDA Board meetings from December 1977 through 2009. 

Series IX, Financial Records, 1977-2009, documents the fiscal activities of the LDDA and includes audit reports, budgets, financial statements and copies of revenue bonds issued by the agency.

Series X, Correspondence, 1987-2001, includes copies of letters, memos and faxes from the Executive Director and originals to the Director about LDDA activities.

There are 36 linear feet of records.