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Old May 30th, 2006, 10:24 PM   #61
TPAMAN
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It might be a turn off to some people but when you look at the whole picture you will realize that they are going to target working class professionals. In other words, teachers, plumbers, electricians, police officers, military people, retirees, etc... people who currently live on the outskirts of town alongside those who might have some form of government help.
These people will help to integrate these people on "welfare" to a more balanced place in society. It's part of the REAL master plan of helping them help themselves by providing them with a place to live they can be proud of, help care for, and raise a family in with the hope they will turn out ok and be a productive member of society.
I don't think anybody dreams of living in the getto, collecting that check, and sending their kids off to the school of hard knocks on the street.
They ALL deserve a chance to live in a decent area and have access to the same public amentities the rest of us do.
I mean, what kind of a vibrant downtown would we have if all the housing is high end?
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #62
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One where I wish I could afford.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:06 AM   #63
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Central Park plan in danger
Hillsborough commissioners have concerns about the proposal to rebuild the Tampa housing project.
By JANET ZINK and BILL VARIAN
Published May 30, 2006

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

TAMPA - Construction cranes ring one of the city's most infamous public housing projects, heralding the rebirth taking place all around it, from Ybor City to Channelside to the central business district downtown.

But in Central Park Village, where dreams of a better tomorrow are crushed daily by crime and squalid living conditions, residents can only wonder when their day will come.

Politicians have promised to redevelop Central Park for years. Still it festers on the edge of downtown like a scar that won't heal.

Now, about a week from a Hillsborough County Commission vote that could make or break the latest plan to rebuild Central Park, approval looks uncertain.

City of Tampa officials are pushing hard to win approval, but some commissioners say they have serious questions about a Bank of America proposal to redevelop the complex and a request by the city to create a special taxing district to help pay for amenities there and in the immediate area.

Those concerns range from the tall buildings proposed to replace the two-story Central Park Village apartments to the relocation of existing residents.

In short, they say they want more details.

Observers fear the real obstacle could be sour relations between city and county leaders.

"Put aside the partisan bickering,'' said Bob Buckhorn, a former Tampa City Council member who has been watching the machinations. "This should be about improving the lives of the people in Central Park Village, pure and simple.''

The city and county have been here before.

In 2004, a proposal by the private group Civitas to rebuild the 28-acre complex as part of a 156-acre master-planned community collapsed amid complaints from county commissioners that the plan was dumped in their laps just days before a deadline to apply for a federal grant, leaving little time to consider details. Commissioners and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio also couldn't agree on the terms of the taxing district.

Some commissioners remain bitter that they were blamed for the demise of Civitas when they felt Iorio's take-it-or-leave-it pitch put them in an impossible position. Now they're confronted with a proposal that is less ambitious but which they believe is still flawed.

"It's a smaller plan,'' said Commissioner Tom Scott, who represents the area and has been the board's proxy in discussions with the city about the latest proposal. "Apparently it does not have the impact that the prior plan had. Clearly, I'm concerned.''

Once again, a deadline looms. The city wants to have the taxing district in place by July to capture an extra year's worth of revenue from increased property taxes.

But commissioners say they have too few details about the actual redevelopment plan for Central Park. They take up the issue June 7, a week before they go on a monthlong summer break.

Bank of America proposes building a mixed-income community, with 794 "affordable'' residential rental apartments, 1,236 for-sale condos and shops.

Most controversial, residents would be concentrated in buildings of seven to 26 stories, which some say is a bad model for housing the poor.

Earlier drafts that spread out the housing fell apart when Bank of America's partners couldn't secure the purchase of surrounding land.

Commissioner Ronda Storms is already conjuring images of Cabrini Green, the Chicago high-rise public housing project whose wretchedness was chronicled in studies and documentaries.

"We shouldn't be recreating the mistakes of the past,'' she said.

Most other commissioners are also raising concerns about the concentrating the poor in large buildings.

City and Housing Authority officials say they have done all they can to assuage commissioners.

"We have absolutely brought the county in as partners this time around," Iorio said. "In sharp contrast to the Civitas proposal, which came at them without much warning and without a lot of preparation, there has been two years of preparation for this."

Iorio said she has talked multiple times with Scott and with County Administrator Pat Bean, and sent a letter to commissioners updating them about the effort.

A county staff member served on the panel that helped select the developer for Central Park Village.

City finance director Bonnie Wise and Tampa Housing Authority president Jerome Ryans have scheduled meetings with all the county commissioners. Ryans arranged for a van to pick them up at County Center to take them on a tour of potential future homes for Central Park Village residents.

Commissioners technically don't have a say in the redevelopment plan for Central Park proper. That's the responsibility of the Tampa Housing Authority, which owns the land, and city officials, who oversee zoning rules in Tampa.

But commissioners must approve a plan known as a community redevelopment area, for the 143 acres that includes Central Park and is needed to create a special taxing district. Bank of America says it must have the taxing district to make its Central Park Village plan work.

Iorio wants the county to look at the larger redevelopment proposal on its own merits. The Central Park Village project, which is only one-fifth of the targeted area, shouldn't be part of the equation, she said.

"It's not in its final form. It may undergo a lot of changes," she said.

Some commissioners say that approval of one is tacit support of the other.

"Can you separate the skin from a human and still have the human walk around?'' Storms asked. "How can you?

Under terms of the community redevelopment plan, a portion of all future increases in property taxes collected in and around Central Park would be spent on improvements in the area. That includes some taxes that would normally head to county government coffers. As a compromise, Iorio indicated that after 10 years, she is willing to dedicate only 70 percent of the county's share of the tax money back to the area instead of the 80 percent she originally requested.

The county has approved eight similar taxing districts, which siphon millions of dollars away from county budgets and into neighborhoods to pay for upgrades such as new roads and drainage.

Five have been approved in the last three years with little fanfare.

So why is this one so problematic? City officials aren't sure.

"You have that Civitas history to contend with. Otherwise this is a request for another (redevelopment area)," Iorio said, noting that this is the last one her administration will request. "It's pretty straightforward. It's an area of blight. It needs to be redeveloped and this is a tool for redevelopment."

Whatever happens June 7, the Tampa Housing Authority plans to start moving people out of Central Park Village in July.

If the Bank of America plan doesn't come to fruition, the Housing Authority will resurrect a plan of its own to redevelop the property.

That plan, floated in October 2004, calls for selling about 13 acres of Housing Authority land to a private developer and putting 590 units in four- and five-story buildings on the remaining land. There would not be structured parking or drainage upgrades.

Leroy Moore, chief development officer for the Housing Authority, said that plan doesn't require a taxing district, and therefore no vote of the County Commission.

Supporters of the redevelopment plan now on the table say that would squander an opportunity to do something special at Central Park.

Tampa City Council member Kevin White, who represents Central Park Village and its surroundings, said the neighborhood redevelopment plan is a good one.

The high density of the project doesn't bother him. That's necessary to bring such things as retail and public transportation to the area.

"We all need to get bruised egos out of the way so we can move forward with making the community a much better place," he said.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:41 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaTower
Central Park plan in danger
Hillsborough commissioners have concerns about the proposal to rebuild the Tampa housing project.
By JANET ZINK and BILL VARIAN
Published May 30, 2006

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

TAMPA - Construction cranes ring one of the city's most infamous public housing projects, heralding the rebirth taking place all around it, from Ybor City to Channelside to the central business district downtown.

But in Central Park Village, where dreams of a better tomorrow are crushed daily by crime and squalid living conditions, residents can only wonder when their day will come.

Politicians have promised to redevelop Central Park for years. Still it festers on the edge of downtown like a scar that won't heal.

Now, about a week from a Hillsborough County Commission vote that could make or break the latest plan to rebuild Central Park, approval looks uncertain.

City of Tampa officials are pushing hard to win approval, but some commissioners say they have serious questions about a Bank of America proposal to redevelop the complex and a request by the city to create a special taxing district to help pay for amenities there and in the immediate area.

Those concerns range from the tall buildings proposed to replace the two-story Central Park Village apartments to the relocation of existing residents.

In short, they say they want more details.

Observers fear the real obstacle could be sour relations between city and county leaders.

"Put aside the partisan bickering,'' said Bob Buckhorn, a former Tampa City Council member who has been watching the machinations. "This should be about improving the lives of the people in Central Park Village, pure and simple.''

The city and county have been here before.

In 2004, a proposal by the private group Civitas to rebuild the 28-acre complex as part of a 156-acre master-planned community collapsed amid complaints from county commissioners that the plan was dumped in their laps just days before a deadline to apply for a federal grant, leaving little time to consider details. Commissioners and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio also couldn't agree on the terms of the taxing district.

Some commissioners remain bitter that they were blamed for the demise of Civitas when they felt Iorio's take-it-or-leave-it pitch put them in an impossible position. Now they're confronted with a proposal that is less ambitious but which they believe is still flawed.

"It's a smaller plan,'' said Commissioner Tom Scott, who represents the area and has been the board's proxy in discussions with the city about the latest proposal. "Apparently it does not have the impact that the prior plan had. Clearly, I'm concerned.''

Once again, a deadline looms. The city wants to have the taxing district in place by July to capture an extra year's worth of revenue from increased property taxes.

But commissioners say they have too few details about the actual redevelopment plan for Central Park. They take up the issue June 7, a week before they go on a monthlong summer break.

Bank of America proposes building a mixed-income community, with 794 "affordable'' residential rental apartments, 1,236 for-sale condos and shops.

Most controversial, residents would be concentrated in buildings of seven to 26 stories, which some say is a bad model for housing the poor.

Earlier drafts that spread out the housing fell apart when Bank of America's partners couldn't secure the purchase of surrounding land.

Commissioner Ronda Storms is already conjuring images of Cabrini Green, the Chicago high-rise public housing project whose wretchedness was chronicled in studies and documentaries.

"We shouldn't be recreating the mistakes of the past,'' she said.

Most other commissioners are also raising concerns about the concentrating the poor in large buildings.

City and Housing Authority officials say they have done all they can to assuage commissioners.

"We have absolutely brought the county in as partners this time around," Iorio said. "In sharp contrast to the Civitas proposal, which came at them without much warning and without a lot of preparation, there has been two years of preparation for this."

Iorio said she has talked multiple times with Scott and with County Administrator Pat Bean, and sent a letter to commissioners updating them about the effort.

A county staff member served on the panel that helped select the developer for Central Park Village.

City finance director Bonnie Wise and Tampa Housing Authority president Jerome Ryans have scheduled meetings with all the county commissioners. Ryans arranged for a van to pick them up at County Center to take them on a tour of potential future homes for Central Park Village residents.

Commissioners technically don't have a say in the redevelopment plan for Central Park proper. That's the responsibility of the Tampa Housing Authority, which owns the land, and city officials, who oversee zoning rules in Tampa.

But commissioners must approve a plan known as a community redevelopment area, for the 143 acres that includes Central Park and is needed to create a special taxing district. Bank of America says it must have the taxing district to make its Central Park Village plan work.

Iorio wants the county to look at the larger redevelopment proposal on its own merits. The Central Park Village project, which is only one-fifth of the targeted area, shouldn't be part of the equation, she said.

"It's not in its final form. It may undergo a lot of changes," she said.

Some commissioners say that approval of one is tacit support of the other.

"Can you separate the skin from a human and still have the human walk around?'' Storms asked. "How can you?

Under terms of the community redevelopment plan, a portion of all future increases in property taxes collected in and around Central Park would be spent on improvements in the area. That includes some taxes that would normally head to county government coffers. As a compromise, Iorio indicated that after 10 years, she is willing to dedicate only 70 percent of the county's share of the tax money back to the area instead of the 80 percent she originally requested.

The county has approved eight similar taxing districts, which siphon millions of dollars away from county budgets and into neighborhoods to pay for upgrades such as new roads and drainage.

Five have been approved in the last three years with little fanfare.

So why is this one so problematic? City officials aren't sure.

"You have that Civitas history to contend with. Otherwise this is a request for another (redevelopment area)," Iorio said, noting that this is the last one her administration will request. "It's pretty straightforward. It's an area of blight. It needs to be redeveloped and this is a tool for redevelopment."

Whatever happens June 7, the Tampa Housing Authority plans to start moving people out of Central Park Village in July.

If the Bank of America plan doesn't come to fruition, the Housing Authority will resurrect a plan of its own to redevelop the property.

That plan, floated in October 2004, calls for selling about 13 acres of Housing Authority land to a private developer and putting 590 units in four- and five-story buildings on the remaining land. There would not be structured parking or drainage upgrades.

Leroy Moore, chief development officer for the Housing Authority, said that plan doesn't require a taxing district, and therefore no vote of the County Commission.

Supporters of the redevelopment plan now on the table say that would squander an opportunity to do something special at Central Park.

Tampa City Council member Kevin White, who represents Central Park Village and its surroundings, said the neighborhood redevelopment plan is a good one.

The high density of the project doesn't bother him. That's necessary to bring such things as retail and public transportation to the area.

"We all need to get bruised egos out of the way so we can move forward with making the community a much better place," he said.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 03:15 PM   #65
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Okay, this one is going down to the wire which scares me a little.....but we may be winning.

Central Park Backers Woo County Leaders
Skip directly to the full story.
By JOHN W. ALLMAN [email protected]

Published: May 31, 2006


TAMPA - Tampa Housing Authority officials are aggressively lobbying Hillsborough County commissioners as the deadline for a crucial June 7 vote on redevelopment of Central Park Village approaches.

The extra effort may be working.

The commission will decide the fate of Central Park Village when it either designates the 143-acre neighborhood around Central Park as a Community Redevelopment Area or blocks the request as it did two years ago when the Civitas Group pitched a similar proposal.

Housing authority officials and city staff are using property tours, e-mail and phone calls to show the county that this plan includes all the missing ingredients from the flawed Civitas effort in 2004.

Those ingredients include relocation of Central Park's residents, which will begin in July regardless of the CRA vote; redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood, not just the 28-acre housing authority property; and a possible compromise on how tax revenue from the CRA would be split.

At least four commissioners appeared to support the effort Tuesday.

Commissioners Kathy Castor and Ken Hagan both voted in favor of the Civitas proposal, and each said Tuesday that they appreciate the sustained communication this time from city officials and the housing authority. Commissioner Tom Scott supported the Civitas proposal in 2004 and has been the county's liaison for the new plan.

The Civitas plan was widely criticized for not being discussed thoroughly in advance of the county being asked to approve that CRA.

"This is an area in desperate need of redevelopment," said Castor, who supports the proposed CRA. "It's the front door to downtown and our tourist district. There's no reason for it to remain in deplorable condition."

The new plan is being pitched by Bank of America and A Better Place Group, which includes investors Bill Bishop and Don Wallace.

Bank of America unveiled its concept last week and talked about successful urban projects it helped develop in Orlando and Charlotte, N.C., where it is based. Tampa's housing board toured City View in Orlando on Thursday.

Hagan also said he likely will support the CRA. He said he has yet to review Bank of America's proposal.

It calls for five new buildings with up to 800 mixed-income apartments.

The remaining acreage is proposed for private development for up to six additional buildings offering nonsubsidized housing for sale to retirees, families and young urban professionals. Three of those buildings would be high-rise structures of 23 to 26 floors. The plan also designates space for a THA administration building, which the housing authority would pay to build, plus renovation of St. James Episcopal Church into a black history museum.

Hagan and Commissioner Brian Blair said they have heard the city is willing to compromise on how tax revenue from the CRA will be split, another change from the 2004 proposal. The CRA creates a special taxing district that generates financing to assist with needed infrastructure work such as street and water-sewer system upgrades.

The revenue split is viewed by many as a main reason why the Civitas proposal failed. Blair said Tuesday he understands the city will offer a 70-30 split, which he said he supports.

"That hurdle has been jumped through," he said.

Blair said he wants to know where people living at Central Park will be relocated.

The housing authority had extended an invitation for Blair and other commissioners to tour each of its Tampa properties to see first-hand where Central Park residents may move. One tour was Friday; the other was Tuesday.

Central Park residents will be first in line and have their choice of moving to another housing property or applying for a federal housing voucher.

The relocation is expected to last at least nine months.

No commissioners took the tours, but two city council members, Kevin White and Mary Alvarez, did participate.

Castor and Commissioner Mark Sharpe had agreed to take the tour. Castor said she was out of town Tuesday. Sharpe was in a meeting but sent his aide, Eric Larson.

"I think if ever there was an area designed for a CRA, that's it," Sharpe said Tuesday. "The challenge is with regard to the Bank of America plan."

Sharpe said he is concerned about height and density of low-income residences. The proposed buildings would be seven to nine stories and have more than 100 units each.

Blair said he wants to ensure the development doesn't change after approval, but the county has no say in how the site is redeveloped. Commissioners may approve or reject the proposed CRA.

"I obviously support the concept. I wish they had more of a plan before we go and approve the CRA," Sharpe said. "My goal is to move this project forward."

http://www.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBGYCF5VNE.html
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Old June 1st, 2006, 12:09 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPAMAN
They ALL deserve a chance to live in a decent area and have access to the same public amentities the rest of us do.
I agreed with everything that you said except this...

Imo, people only deserve what they earn.

It is not a person's birthright to live in a house, and have a family and basic material possessions. If they don't earn the money to afford such a life, then they don't deserve such a life.




Also, notice in today's article about Central Park that the building count is 11, not 13... And that instead of two 26 story highrises, the article states that there will be 3 towers 23-26 floors high.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 01:46 AM   #67
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I am antzy about this project. I want it started tomorrow. I know it won't though. So wait are those salmon apartments the ones being knocked out? The ones on Nuccio?
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Old June 1st, 2006, 07:25 AM   #68
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^No.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 09:01 AM   #69
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Where are they then?
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Old June 1st, 2006, 04:18 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonhouse
I agreed with everything that you said except this...

Imo, people only deserve what they earn.

It is not a person's birthright to live in a house, and have a family and basic material possessions. If they don't earn the money to afford such a life, then they don't deserve such a life.




Also, notice in today's article about Central Park that the building count is 11, not 13... And that instead of two 26 story highrises, the article states that there will be 3 towers 23-26 floors high.
I agree with you Jason, if you don't earn it you shouldn't have it.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 04:29 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonhouse

Also, notice in today's article about Central Park that the building count is 11, not 13... And that instead of two 26 story highrises, the article states that there will be 3 towers 23-26 floors high.
Its going to be a very large cluster between Downtown and Ybor. Hopefully it looks nice or all this means is that it'll be a huge eyesore.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 07:09 PM   #72
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Jasonhouse,
With all due respect, I am not saying we need to support anyone. If they are part of the problem (i.e. drug dealers, prostitutes, gang bangers, etc...) move them out and keep them out!
There are people out there that have a genuine need for "help" in getting them by a tough period in their life. It could happen to any of us via a major layoff, bankruptcy, horrible divorce, or serious medical condition...all I am saying is we, as a society and a country for that matter, have a responsibility to each other.
This is a fact and the errors of the past show you can't just cram these people together to live in shit or that's exactly what they will produce, more shit.
Given the opportunity, most will become producing members of society versus the same old, same old drain on the rest of us... but you have to give them a chance to feel worthwhile.
Again, I am not talking about the loosers who have mastered the art of manipulating the system... kick them out and KEEP them out... no one, two, three you're out... mess up once and you loose the opportunity to help yourself.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 07:59 PM   #73
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Its going to be a very large cluster between Downtown and Ybor. Hopefully it looks nice or all this means is that it'll be a huge eyesore.
I thought this project would be eliminating the ones near the Hillsborough River?
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Old June 1st, 2006, 08:04 PM   #74
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Tax payers are tired of being taken advantage of. A helping hand is different than the lifestyle that has been created by these housing projects.

As I am sure most here know, the city of Tampa just spent over $500k to evict a woman who has been living off of the public since the 1980's. Her child was dealing drugs in the housing project. She lived in a 4 bdrm apartment for $25 a month. She paid this $25 out of the electic allowance money she received every month from the government. These people are not using this as a stepping stone to get them through a tough period..... This is their lifestyle and they believe the gov't owes it to them.
Given the opportunity to live for free and these people will choose to live for free. Force them out and remove the handouts and they WILL take care of themselves. For heaven's sake....Florida's unemployment rate is 3% and the Tampa Bay area is even lower.

Of course there are people with real needs but there are plenty of charities and other services that are way more helpful and resourceful/frugal than our gov't. The gov't should not be redistributing wealth. Americans are the most generous people in the world and give more to charities than all the other nations combined. I think we can do better than having the gov't handle this. Just my opinion.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 08:13 PM   #75
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I thought this project would be eliminating the ones near the Hillsborough River?
No i'm 99.9% sure its the ghetto barracks NE of Downtown, between Downtown and Ybor. The Heights is the one destroying the rundown apartments near the river.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 08:13 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPAMAN
Jasonhouse,
If they are part of the problem (i.e. drug dealers, prostitutes, gang bangers, etc...) move them out and keep them out!
Again, I am not talking about the loosers who have mastered the art of manipulating the system... kick them out and KEEP them out... no one, two, three you're out... mess up once and you loose the opportunity to help yourself.
The problem comes with identifying the losers and keeping them out. Few in public life are willing to take a stand on this issue, so effectively the losers are able to permanently mix with the people that have legitimate needs and that erodes the quality of the whole project.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 08:24 PM   #77
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Let me point out a few things:
1) the heights is not touching the projects near the river - that is North Boulevard Homes, and there are no firm plans for that
2) it is unacceptable for people to live in shacks or completely crappy housing
3) people are willing to pay subsidies for housing
4) there are now rules that require people to meet decent criteria to get the subsidies - like you can't be a felon
5) what replaced Cabrini Green (just low income housing) was mixed housing -and is generally viewed as successful (we will see what happens later)
6) mixed housing already exists nearby this project and is successful
7) i hope it gets built
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Old June 1st, 2006, 09:29 PM   #78
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Quote:
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5) what replaced Cabrini Green (just low income housing) was mixed housing
Yknow, I was joking about Cabrini Green

Anyway, thanks for clearing up the differences between the redevelopment projects. What can I say, there are just too many ghettos to keep straight.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 09:31 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Maxim98
Yknow, I was joking about Cabrini Green

Anyway, thanks for clearing up the differences between the redevelopment projects. What can I say, there are just too many ghettos to keep straight.
But Rhonda the idiot was not.
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Old June 8th, 2006, 04:00 PM   #80
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Storms,Storms,Storms

Central Park Village Plan Survives Last-Minute Frenzy
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Ronda Storms, on monitor, grilled housing authority President Jerome Ryans about putting low-income residents in high-rises.

By JOHN W. ALLMAN The Tampa Tribune

Published: Jun 8, 2006

TAMPA - They accused. They alleged. They admonished.

And that was during the dull moments Wednesday as some Hillsborough County commissioners attacked a plan to revitalize Central Park Village and its surrounding neighborhood.

A day that was expected to bring relief to one of Tampa's most-blighted neighborhoods instead became a heated fight that ended with a 4-2 commission vote designating 143 acres between downtown and Ybor City as a Community Redevelopment Area.

The vote came with last-minute stipulations that could kill the deal.

The one person many thought would champion the project - Commissioner Tom Scott - played the role of spoiler, attacking his commission colleagues and city peers alike and making demands that caught city officials cold.

The meeting ended with a flurry and confusion as staff and even commissioners wondered aloud what exactly had been decided.

Now it comes back to the city council, whose members also serve as the CRA board. They meet this morning to sift through the politics and decide what they are willing to accept.

Scott's proposed changes include giving the county more voice than it has ever had in city-controlled CRAs. A CRA creates a special taxing district that generates financing for infrastructure in a designated area.

If the city vetoes the county's agreement, a proposed redevelopment of the 28-acre Central Park Village housing property site will risk missing a June 30 deadline.

If the city agrees, it will in essence give up partial control of not only this CRA but also the other eight redevelopment areas, allowing two county commissioners to join the CRA board with voting authority over how each is developed.

A new state law takes effect in July allowing commissioners to serve on CRA boards. They previously were blocked from doing so.

The county also wants to hand-pick two citizens to sit on an advisory panel to be appointed to oversee the Central Park CRA.

"This proposal hasn't been thought out," City Attorney David Smith said after the meeting. "I'm not even sure how to explain this. Many of the provisions make no sense. Many are contradictory."

Smith said he doubts the city can accept the deal. Essentially, the city would have to redo its existing CRAs and possibly abolish and reappoint the existing CRA advisory councils. He argued Wednesday that the county was trying to change the rules after approving previous CRA designations.

The city did try to compromise. It countered by offering to place one county commissioner on the Central Park advisory panel and to hold an annual workshop between the city and county to discuss the Central Park CRA and also to allow county input into that CRA's strategic plan.

Mayor Pam Iorio also agreed to a more generous allocation of tax revenue, offering a 70-30 split, which the county accepted.

Two years ago, the tax revenue was viewed as a major reason another effort to revitalize Central Park Village failed. That deal was presented by the Civitas Group, and it was killed by the county because of confusion about the plan and Iorio's refusal to budge over an 80-20 split in the city's favor.

Scott was expected to play a key role Wednesday, but from the outset his tone and words caught many off guard. He blasted the proposed CRA as being a way for the main developer, Bank of America, and the Tampa Housing Authority to profit off poor black people. He accused the city of not involving the county in the process and excluding minorities.

He presented a two-page list of criticisms and a two-page list of demands that he said must be met for him to vote in favor of the CRA.

He verbally attacked another commissioner, Mark Sharpe, whom Scott could face this fall for a countywide seat. Scott is being forced out of his District 3 seat by term limits. He initially indicated he might campaign for city council before deciding last week to challenge Sharpe.

At times during the meeting Sharpe looked dumbfounded.

"This should have been done several months ago," he said of Scott's last-minute changes, which drew applause from proponents. "The last time it was a last-minute deal, but it came from the other side, and the whole thing fell apart."

Scott came right back at Sharpe, accusing him of using "terminology" after Sharpe suggested the commission risked "blowing up" the deal.

"It's about what's best for the people of Central Park Village," Scott said, then shouted at the audience, "Clap for that!"

The hours-long meeting was enough to bring Jerome Ryans, housing authority president, to tears as he pleaded for them to approve the deal. He talked about his past, growing up in public housing. He had to stop twice to compose himself.

"Central Park is dilapidated, obsolete housing," he said. "It makes no sense for people to live like that."

Commissioner Ronda Storms challenged Ryans about the proposed redevelopment, asking whether low-income residents were going to be placed in high-rise towers.

Bank of America is proposing to build five buildings of seven to nine stories, each building with up to 800 mixed-income apartments, of which up to 667 would be considered affordable. The plan also calls for several additional condominium projects, which would be built by private developers.

"My initial reaction was kind of shock and surprise," Councilman John Dingfelder said late Wednesday night, "but the more I thought about it, I'm open-minded to it."

If what the county is asking is legally possible, Dingfelder said, "then we should give it serious consideration.

"I think there's too much at stake not to."

http://www.tbo.com/news/nationworld/MGBHJDPK6OE.html
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