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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New homes, crappy area



It’s not exactly fuzzy math, but Clearwater leaders say $700,000 could equal $7-million.

Clearwater City Council recently approved a $700,000 loan to local developer South Port Financial Services as seed money for a 36-unit affordable townhome complex that will include a Jacuzzi, pool and club house.

The reason? The project is for East Gateway, a corridor along Cleveland Street into downtown that’s riddled with drugs, prostitution and rental homes. If the developer comes through, then the loan becomes a grant. The money is from federal funding, so it doesn’t come out of the city’s daily operating budget, but that doesn’t mean taxpayers aren’t footing the bill.

Officials for 10 years have been working to clean up the area. So far, it looks about the same. Bad.

- Mike Donila, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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