Make us your home page

Apartments for low-income seniors coming in August


A senior housing complex rising at the corner of Eighth Street and Third Avenue N will take applications this month for apartments that open in August.

The four-story City Place Senior Residences is one of the last affordable housing projects in the city from a funding pipeline that's all but dry.

Bare walls will take on shades of moss, terra-cotta and cream, and wrap covered parking, a rooftop terrace, a shuffleboard court, exercise and community areas and a play spot for visiting grandkids. Rent for the poorest residents in one-bedroom units will start at $276 a month.

The $15.5 million project was developed by Southport Financial Services with help from the Florida Housing Finance Corp., the agency that administers the low-income housing tax credit program. The agency encourages affordable multifamily housing by offering federal tax credits that developers can sell to businesses, such as banks, that want to reduce their tax liability.

The City Place development won $15 million in tax credits in 2009 that generated $12 million for the project, said Scott Seckinger, vice president of development at Southport.

For 2010, the Florida Housing Finance Corp. won't even offer an application process for the credits.

Even if it did offer the credits, developers would struggle to win them for local projects — a city loan program that meets a local match requirement is low on funding, according to Stephanie Lampe, senior housing development coordinator for St. Petersburg.

The economy hit from all sides. City loans at 0 or 1 percent interest were funded by three sources that all suffered. One was based on state fees from property sales. Another was the county. A federal source has dropped to $1.3 million that's split with a single-family program.

Southport's $500,000 city loan, at 1 percent interest, was critical to its application for tax credits, Seckinger said. His company, which is based in Tacoma, Wash., but operates its developments east of Chicago from a Clearwater office, specializes in development that takes advantage of the federal credits. A perfect score is key to win in a competitive process that ultimately puts the strongest applicants in a lottery, he says.

The economy offered another twist: The City Place development was one of the few projects that managed to sell its credits, to Regions Bank. The bank will get $1.5 million in tax credits a year for 10 years in exchange for pumping $12 million into the project. But economy-wide, the market for credits dissolved just like other forms of financing.

Still, projects moved forward.

"Anytime you drive by and see something being built, it's probably affordable housing these days," Seckinger said.

It's important not for merely low-income residents — who have wider choices now, anyway, for low-rent housing precisely because of the housing crash — but for groups that need extra care, such as the elderly, disabled, or youth just out of foster care, said Cecka Green, communications director for Florida Housing Finance Corp.

"There is always a need for decent, safe and affordable elder housing, particularly in Florida," she said.

The city's using some of its $9.4 million Neighborhood Stabilization Fund grant to renovate foreclosed buildings into special housing, such as to provide a no-interest loan to Boley Centers to buy and rehab the former Fountain View Apartments at 425 and 430 13th Ave. S. Some of the last tax credit projects funded similar work, such as an 188-unit high-rise now called Viridian at 518 Third Ave. S. It had an open house in March to show off $6 million in renovations, still in progress.

But there's unlikely to be money anytime soon for new construction.

Joshua Johnson, director of the city's housing and community development department, says local funding might return with the housing market, perhaps in the next two years.

Lampe pipes in: "That would be our hope."

Becky Bowers can be reached at or (727) 893-8859. Follow her on Twitter at

Fast facts

Courtesy of Mez Studio

City Place Senior Residences

298 Eighth St. N, St. Petersburg

The complex is open to residents over 55. When it takes applications this month, it will offer 58 one-bedroom apartments and 24 two-bedroom apartments from 500 to 850 square feet. For 10 percent of residents who earn at or below 33 percent of the area median income, rent would be $276 for one or $327 for two bedrooms. For the rest, who earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income, rent would be $576 to $687 a month. Units would be ready to live in by late August. For information, call (727) 823-0307 starting April 19.

Apartments for low-income seniors coming in August 04/03/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  2. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  3. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights


    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.


    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Ford's Garage opens new Westchase spot


    Ford's Garage opened its sixth Florida location in Westchase this week.

    hillsevbiz081817: Ford's Garage opened its sixth Florida location in Westchase this week. Photo courtesy of Ford's Garage
  5. Carls Patio celebrates great outdoor furnishings in Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — While many northerners are shoveling snow, Floridians are lounging poolside in the middle of winter.

    hillsevbiz081817: After selling outdoor and patio furniture in locations in South Florida since 1993, Carls Patio has opened its first store to open in the Tampa Bay area and there are plans for more. Photo courtesy of Carls Patio.