Friday, February 16, 2018
Business

Charlie Crist pays another visit to troubled Jordan Park complex as sale nears

ST. PETERSBURG — An electrician's van sat in front of Heidi Hampton's Jordan Park home shortly after noon Thursday.

Hampton, 41, said it had been two days since she called managers of the public housing complex near 22nd Street and Ninth Avenue S to report the smell of wires burning in her ceiling.

"I called the office nine times," she said.

Several doors away, former governor Charlie Crist, now running for Congress, told reporters how upset he was that conditions continue to deteriorate at the 237-unit low-income complex.

Residents there have complained about rats, mold and aging appliances. Crist said residents have reached out to him for help. He met with them in July and sent a letter to the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, asking the commissioners to intervene. The rodent issue seems to have been addressed, he said, "but the other issues still remain."

But he said he has received no response to his Aug. 31 letter.

"The ideal response is to improve the conditions for the residents," Crist said. "That's the bottom line and that's the goal. That's what they deserve and that's what they should have."

He added: "They should get rid of the rats. They should get rid of termites. They should get rid of the mold and have the living conditions be better for these people in our fair city."

Crist, a Democrat, is running against U.S. Rep. David Jolly, the Republican incumbent from Belleair Bluffs, in the 13th Congressional District.

The St. Petersburg Housing Authority plan to fix Jordan Park is still to buy back the property it once owned. They plan to pay Jordan Park Development Partners $400,000 and expect to close on the apartments on Sept. 30.

The complex, demolished in 2000, was rebuilt with $27 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, low-income housing tax credits, a $500,000 federal home loan and a $3.1 million loan from the City of St. Petersburg.

In an agreement with Jordan Park Development Partners, the housing authority owns the land. Jordan Park Development owns the buildings, pays nothing to lease the land and is responsible for maintaining the property.

As the housing authority prepares to buy Jordan Park back, it wants St. Petersburg to forgive the $3.1 million loan. But City Council member Steve Kornell wants an audit first. One of the questions that should be asked, he says, is whether the property was properly maintained according to the loan agreement.

The housing authority has maintained that under the agreement it signed 15 years ago with Jordan Park Development Partners, it could do little about conditions there.

As for Hampton's electrical problem: "He didn't smell anything," she said as the electrician drove off.

Contact Waveney Ann Moore at [email protected] or (727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes.

Comments
Trump administration recommends stiff penalties on steel, aluminum imports

Trump administration recommends stiff penalties on steel, aluminum imports

The Tampa arm of Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau S.A. was cautiously optimistic Friday after the Trump administration took a big step toward a policy Gerdau has been vocally advocating for — higher tariffs on imported steel. "We’re hopeful that President...
Published: 02/16/18
Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Associated PressNEW YORK — Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down and others who question Facebook’s financial support of some advisers who approved of the app. Me...
Published: 02/16/18
Inexpensive Tampa Bay homes gain the most value of any in U.S.

Inexpensive Tampa Bay homes gain the most value of any in U.S.

Owners of affordable homes in the Tampa Bay region are seeing the biggest gains in equity among the nation’s top 20 housing markets. A bay area home now worth $110,000 rose 20 percent in value over the past year while a house now worth $337,400 incr...
Published: 02/16/18
Amid CareerSource controversy, allegations of a love affair, big raises and family favoritism at the top

Amid CareerSource controversy, allegations of a love affair, big raises and family favoritism at the top

The anonymous letter described a possible love affair at the top of the local jobs center. President and CEO Edward Peachey was in a romantic relationship with top administrator Haley Loeun, it said.It described how Loeun was seen at a conference co...
Published: 02/16/18
Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s experimenting with takeout-only locations

Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s experimenting with takeout-only locations

Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill have become household names in casual dining. Now, their parent company, Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands is taking the "dining" part out in a concept that it’s bringing to Tampa Bay for the first time. A ne...
Published: 02/16/18
Which Tampa Bay ZIPs had the priciest, least expensive and most house sales in 2017?

Which Tampa Bay ZIPs had the priciest, least expensive and most house sales in 2017?

If you bought or sold a house in Tampa Bay last year, you were a player in one of Florida’s hottest real estate markets.Even though prices eased a bit from their torrid pace in 2016, the median cost of a single family home shot up 11 percent. That’s ...
Published: 02/16/18
Florida’s liquor license lottery can make you a ton of money. So why is it such a secret?

Florida’s liquor license lottery can make you a ton of money. So why is it such a secret?

Every year, millions of people play the Florida Lotto. Their chances of winning are about as great as those of being struck by a comet. Fewer than 12,000 enter a much lesser known lottery that also is run by the state. Yet the odds of winning are vas...
Published: 02/16/18
Travel insurance company brings tree houses, beer kegs and creativity to former church

Travel insurance company brings tree houses, beer kegs and creativity to former church

ST. PETERSBURG — Neither the Lutherans who first occupied the 4300 block of Central Avenue, nor the evangelical congregation that followed could ever have imagined tree houses sprouting in their church sanctuary.Yet that’s one of the plans of new own...
Published: 02/16/18
Prosecutors drop drug case against ConnectWise co-founder David Bellini

Prosecutors drop drug case against ConnectWise co-founder David Bellini

TAMPA — ConnectWise co-founder David Bellini won’t be prosecuted on a drug trafficking charge filed by Tampa police this week, the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. The county’s top prosecutor instead applauded police for helpi...
Published: 02/15/18
Tropicana Field may be named for a Pepsi product, but it will now only serve Coke

Tropicana Field may be named for a Pepsi product, but it will now only serve Coke

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays’ stadium may be named for PepsiCo’s Tropicana orange juice, but that’s not stopping the baseball team from switching its pouring rights to Coke.The Rays said Wednesday the ballpark would begin serving Coca-Cola pro...
Published: 02/15/18