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Old May 24th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #41
tampamobster21
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Housing complex proposal shrinks
The plan to redevelop Central Park Village has been scaled back by half. The development team appears to have gotten smaller, too.
By JANET ZINK, Times Staff Writer
Published May 23, 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TAMPA - Bank of America on Monday unveiled its plans to redevelop the crumbling Central Park Village public housing complex, and it's a vastly different proposal than the one touted last year as the future of that rundown neighborhood.

In August, a team that included Bank of America and Tampa developers Bill Bishop and Don Wallace laid out plans to create a mixed-income neighborhood on prime property between downtown and Ybor City.

But Monday, at a Tampa Housing Authority workshop, the proposal had changed. The mixed-income idea is still there, as is the plan for retail development alongside residential.

The latest plan is vastly smaller, however, taking in only 28 acres, compared with the original 60 and envisioning 2,000 homes instead of 4,000.

The dynamics of the development team have changed, too.

Bishop and Wallace, the founder of Lazydays RV Supercenter, have distanced themselves from the project since they lost an option to buy Tampa Park Apartments, a 20-acre property adjacent to Central Park Village.

Bank of America officials insist Bishop and Wallace are still part of the team, but the Housing Authority says it hasn't spoken to either since late last year, around the time the Tampa Park Apartments deal fell apart. And support documents mention only Bank of America, not the Central Park Group that the Housing Authority selected for the redevelopment last year.

A spokeswoman for Bishop and Wallace says the project no longer offers the opportunity for a master-planned community on a scale appropriate for Bishop.

"This project now, at the 28 acres, is the kind of project that Bank of America does. It's not the kind of project that Bill Bishop does," Deanne Roberts said. "He stands ready if they need him."

Wallace, she said, is available to assist with negotiations. Wallace made a brief presentation Monday, and then turned things over to Bank of America.

The plan suggests replacing Central Park Village's 484 public housing units with 794 rental units and 1,236 for-sale units in 13 buildings of seven to 26 stories.

Historic St. James Episcopal Church would be turned into an African-American history museum at the entrance to the new development.

Bank of America officials offered no details on how many public housing units the project would include, but said all the rental units would be available to people with housing vouchers.

The project's high density raised the eyebrows of Housing Authority board member Hazel Harvey.

"Sociology tells me we don't put masses of poor people together and warehouse them in," she said.

Bank of America representatives said the company has done projects like this before, and safety features and a good management company should provide adequate security.

James Grauley, senior vice president of Bank of America, said "economic realities" make the tall buildings necessary.

"There is clearly a need for more density than there is today to make the numbers work," he said.

Bank of America vice president Roxanne Amoroso repeatedly emphasized the importance of creating a special taxing district to fund new roads, stormwater systems and other infrastructure.

"Without it, redevelopment cannot occur," she said. "It's financially unfeasible."

Mayor Pam Iorio spoke strongly about the importance of the taxing district and accompanying community redevelopment area, which requires an agreement between the city and Hillsborough County. The County Commission is scheduled to consider the agreement June 7.

Iorio pointed out that the community redevelopment area includes 143 acres in a key part of Tampa that needs to be redeveloped. Central Park Village is only part of that.

Iorio also supports the high density, saying it helps provide a critical mass of people to support mass transit in Tampa.

If all goes as planned, Amoroso said, demolition of Central Park Village would begin in May 2007.

Housing Authority president Jerome Ryans said he will start moving the 1,300 residents out of Central Park Village this summer. If the Bank of America plan doesn't work out, he said, the Housing Authority will come up with its own strategy.

"I made a decision we need to get on with our business," he said recently. "We've been talking about this for years, and quite frankly, I'm tired of talking about it. I'm going to take care of the 28 acres we own."

The Central Park Group was chosen after the Housing Authority sought bids from private developers for remaking the area.

In May 2005, a selection committee ranked the Central Park Group third of three finalists.

Two months later, the two top-ranked teams announced they would join forces. But Housing Authority officials killed the idea, saying the joint proposal violated the agency's procurement policies because it created a new team that wasn't part of the initial selection process.

That left the Central Park Group as the only developer in the competition. The team suggested combining the authority's 28 acres with the Tampa Park Apartments property and other land Bishop and Wallace had options to buy to create a 60-acre master-planned community with grand boulevards, outdoor cafes, million-dollar condos and public housing.

But the owners of Tampa Park Apartments chose not to sell their land to Bishop and Wallace. Without the surrounding land, the plan revealed Monday is less ambitious, though Iorio touted it as a chance to jump-start redevelopment in the area.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 10:05 PM   #42
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Holy crap... There are way more buildings that will be at least 7 stories than I thought.

13 buildings... That will make for a nice little addition to the clutter popping up around DT's periphery.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 04:26 AM   #43
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I can not wait. It is really going to happen from the way the article is sounding, but it is a shame about the Tampa Park Apts. not being incorporated into the mix.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 07:09 PM   #44
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It will be in a few years... And when it does, it will probably be a bit taller and denser than this project.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:28 PM   #45
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The further away from the civitas project the less appealing this sounds. Who the hell wants to pay good money to live in housing projects. This reminds me of what they did in Parramore in Orlando, except some of this is actually public housing and not just section 8.

The point of this is to erase some of the plight. It needs to be on a much "grander" scale or else no one but public housing recipiants will live there.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #46
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The key is that the CRA covers a much greater area. With a little coaxing by the city and county, the whole thing could be redeveloped in a few years...
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Old May 26th, 2006, 06:20 AM   #47
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You know not all of the state assisted people are bad, but it is most of them. I remember when I lived in Boston, we had this duplex that my parents were renting for some ungodly sum, there were these less than desirable people who moved next door and god they were freaking horrible and there was nothing we could do about it because they were state-assisted. I guess the point that I am trying to make is that I would NEVER, and I emphasize on the never want to share another area with a detriment to society. All they are doing is milking the taxpayers like us dry. (Sorry if that offended anyone, but it is just how I feel.)
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Old May 26th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #48
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ORLANDO - After seven years spent looking at drab white walls, deteriorating facades and cramped alleyways snaking through Central Park Village, it didn't take long Thursday for Mary Williams to want to move.

Maybe it was the lobby, which resembles an art deco museum, or the spacious indoor theater where residents can play personal DVDs or watch free cable television.

Perhaps it was the secure entrances and well-lit walkways from an adjacent, attached parking garage.

Maybe it was the model apartment with a garden bathtub, walk-in closets, computer alcove and breakfast bar.

"Seeing is believing," said Williams, 63, Central Park's longtime resident council president, wide-eyed and gleeful as a child, standing near a rooftop pool overlooking downtown Orlando.

It was the reaction Tampa Housing Authority officials wanted when they toured City View, offering a first-hand look at the type of urban redevelopment project that might replace one of its oldest and largest public housing properties.

Orlando's $36 million, eight-story facility sits just off Interstate 4, in a historic black neighborhood called Parramore. Local markets and landmark buildings, some from the 1800s, ring the structure.

The tour came three days after Bank of America unveiled an ambitious proposal for replacing Central Park with a mixed-use community of affordable apartments and high-rise luxury homes for sale just outside Ybor City.

At the unveiling, reaction was mixed, as Williams and board chairwoman Hazel Harvey expressed concern about the height of the proposed buildings, which would be between seven and nine floors.

"I've got to process this," Harvey said Thursday, visibly impressed. "It's gorgeous. It is very nice."

Board members Rubin Padgett and Gerald White said they worried about Tampa's housing population acclimating to such an environment.

"It's been said black folks can't afford anything like this. Is it truly affordable?" White asked. "Can we really place poor folks in a facility like this?"

"We're doing it here," responded John Sabatier, Bank of America's vice president of community development banking.

City View is similar in several ways to the Central Park proposal, only it encompasses one building instead of five. Also, the land already was designated as a special tax district, which provides needed dollars for infrastructure improvements.

Tampa's own Community Redevelopment Area proposal must be approved by the city council and county commission. It goes before the county June 7 for a vote. The county rejected a previous CRA request for Central Park Village in 2004.

City View in Orlando was developed by Bank of America's Community Development Corp., which worked with the Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corp., to renovate the 3.95-acre site and create 266 rental apartments starting at $487 monthly up to $1,535, plus 25,000 square feet of retail space.

Of those, 108 apartments are set aside for individuals making less than 60 percent of the average median income.

In Tampa, Bank of America is partnering with other private investors on its proposed 28-acre development, which would include up to 800 mixed-income apartments plus 60,000 square feet of office space and 35,000 square feet of retail.

Of those, up to 667 would be considered affordable, said Leroy Moore, housing senior vice president and chief development officer.

A portion of the land would be sold to private developers to build condominiums and retirement housing.

The housing authority also would have the option to build a new administration building, and Bank of America is offering to refurbish a historic church, turning it into a black history museum.

http://news.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBJOLPZNNE.html
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Old May 27th, 2006, 01:12 AM   #49
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^lol... that article does a poor job of quantifying how many units are involved in the Central Park redevelopment proposal...
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:07 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonhouse
^lol... that article does a poor job of quantifying how many units are involved in the Central Park redevelopment proposal...
It's kind of funny. The thing in Orlando is another one of those "questionable" things I've spoke of in other posts that is going on in O-town where people make it seem a bigger deal than it is. In the end all it really is, is an apartment attached to the headquartes of the former Hughes Supply. It's not very big, and does not incorporate the scale of even the reduced version of what they are trying to do in Tampa.

The other issue in Tampa is the "poor people" themselves. There are way more institutionally poor people that will not conform to decency standards in Tampa compared to Orlando. Well over 100 years of poor people begatting more poor people. I can't picture in my mind how that is going to work in an area with retail and other higher income earners. They must be planning to attract the "working class" singles instead of higher end folks, with the current cost of housing out of reach of most, that would make sense.

I say level and relocate the housing project elsewhere, and use the current interpretation of "eminant domain" to take over whatever is left. I know this is very touchy, but there is just too much at stake connecting channelside, downtown, and ybor to have to deal with slum lords. Make the city council take control.

Last edited by zerobullchip; May 27th, 2006 at 07:00 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:16 AM   #51
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Damn while you are at it why don't they just claim eminent domain.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 04:43 AM   #52
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Yea, you know, think for a minute - 1) they have new rules so felons will not be allowed in, 2) there is a vast resevoir of "working class" people who could use the housing - in fact, I worked with a single mother who lived in one of the BoA projects in tampa Heights, 3) there are a lot of people like young cops with families and young soldiers who need more affordable housing, 4) and it has been shown that mixing a neighborhood helps the lowest income folks. No more projects - let the people live. I think it will be fine, provided they give enough open space nearby for people to relax.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 04:53 AM   #53
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I agree, Smiley. Redevelopments like this have worked in other places like Chicago and Atlanta. I don't see why it can't work in Tampa.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 07:32 PM   #54
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I am actually hoping that this still happens. I think it might be a long time before the area is redeveloped, but it is just my opinion. If it does I will look into buying something in the project, because it is a good location to everything.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 03:50 AM   #55
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This would make a nice urban cluster between Downtown, Ybor, Channelside, and the Heights. Very Midtownish.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 03:56 AM   #56
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I can not wait until all of the people move and all of the buildings are demolished, then I will feel like downtown is really heading in the right direction.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 06:07 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahi98
I agree, Smiley. Redevelopments like this have worked in other places like Chicago
Cabrini Green?
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Old May 28th, 2006, 06:45 AM   #58
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Cabrini Green was not mixed income, ownership based. . .it was a traditional project.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 08:40 AM   #59
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Look at what BoA did in the west, I think it was either LA or San Francisco.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiley
Cabrini Green was not mixed income, ownership based. . .it was a traditional project.
I think he's referring to its successor.
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