Monday, July 23, 2018
Real Estate

St. Petersburg panel approves tiny-house community

ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay’s first tiny-house community won unanimous approval Wednesday from St. Petersburg’s Development Review Commission.

Pedro Medina, manager of the project, said he hopes to start construction this fall on six houses in the city’s Midtown area. Initially, they wouldn’t be for sale but instead would be rentals, possibly through Airbnb.

"This tiny-house movement has been very popular,’’ Medina told the commissioners. "I was very passionate about it and this is a good time to get started.’’

RELATED COVERAGE: Tiny houses might be coming to a St. Petersburg neighborhood

RELATED COVERAGE: Photos: Tiny houses seen at the Tiny Home Festival in St. Pete

Each house would have 722 square feet of living space, including two bedrooms, and a porch with an additional 94 square feet. Although each would have the same floor plan, the houses would be painted in different colors with different trim.

The only opposition came from Jalessa Blackshear, who said she owns property near the houses proposed for two lots at 1253 22nd Avenue S.

Blackshear questioned whether the homes would truly be "tiny houses,’’ which she said are generally defined as those of 350 square feet or less. She also asked Medina to explain his previously published statements that he thought the project would appeal to millennials.

"Is it just for millennials and outsiders?’’ she asked, expressing concern that the houses, if sold, would go for relatively high prices and raise property taxes for people already in the area "who are just hanging on.’’

Medina responded that the neighbors he had spoken to were "all very happy’’ that the houses would replace a 1920s-era apartment building that has been condemned and is slated for demolition.

MORE: Go here for more Business News

The city’s planning and zoning development staff recommended approval of the project, which is in a blighted area targeted for new construction and affordable housing.

The six-unit building, owned by real estate investor Ashok Shah, is in a neighborhood of single-family homes but was grandfathered in. Technically, the review commission approved reconstruction of the six units but as detached houses rather than as multi-family units. Since the commission voted yes and no appeal to the City Council is expected, Medina and Shah will only have to deal with city staffers from now on.

In response to a question by Commissioner Chuck Flynt, Medina said the houses, if ever sold, would probably be marketed as condominiums. Buyers would own the houses but share responsibility for maintaining the parking lot and other common areas.

"In the spirit of the tiny-house movement, I think that should be divided among all neighbors,’’ Medina said.

Commissioner John Barie, an architect, also had some suggestions that he said would make the houses look more attractive than the renderings.

But, he added, "I’m all in favor of tiny houses. I think the plan is generally right.’’

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

Comments
Tampa Bay homes prices rise as area remains stuck in vicious cycle

Tampa Bay homes prices rise as area remains stuck in vicious cycle

Halfway through the year, Tampa Bay’s real estate market remains stuck on the same sad song: too many buyers for too few houses.Sales of single-family homes in Pinellas County plunged more than 12 percent in June compared to the same month a year ago...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Some not-so-tiny obstacles in the growing market for tiny houses

Some not-so-tiny obstacles in the growing market for tiny houses

When Tom Alsani heard about plans for a tiny-home community in St. Petersburg, he got so excited he immediately wanted to know more. "Right now I have a house with three bedrooms but the kids are gone and I’m trying to downsize,’’ says Alsani, a qual...
Updated: 3 hours ago
St. Petersburg cites hotel in Historic Uptown for code violations

St. Petersburg cites hotel in Historic Uptown for code violations

Times Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — The owner of the popular Hollander hotel has been hit with a notice of code violations at a hotel he is currently renovating. A city codes investigator found that Lake View House at 465 Seventh Ave. N is operating w...
Published: 07/23/18
East Ybor residents say their neighborhood is ready for big things

East Ybor residents say their neighborhood is ready for big things

Ybor’s Bread Basket was what the late-Domenic Giunta called his East Ybor neighborhood.East Ybor once produced food for the tobacco workers of adjacent Ybor City, which earned renown in the early to mid-1900s for hosting the world’s largest cigar ind...
Published: 07/23/18
Luxury townhomes come to Westshore business district

Luxury townhomes come to Westshore business district

Westshore, one of the largest business districts in the southeast, continues to add residential accommodations with ICON Residential’s Westshore Village at 2511 N Grady Ave. officially opening on Saturday (July 21).The location near W Boy Scout Boule...
Published: 07/19/18
A new design raises hopes for restoring St. Petersburg’s historic YMCA building

A new design raises hopes for restoring St. Petersburg’s historic YMCA building

ST. PETERSBURG — Nick Ekonomou, the South Florida developer who has owned the deteriorating former YMCA building in downtown since 2015, has come up with a potential new design for the historic Mediterranean Revival-style property.The former football...
Published: 07/19/18
New 35-story condo tower to rise in Tampa’s Channelside area

New 35-story condo tower to rise in Tampa’s Channelside area

TAMPA — A 35-story condo tower with just two units per floor is expected to start construction in the booming Channelside area early next year.Tampa-based Mercury Advisors announced Wednesday that it had obtained construction financing for the $74 mi...
Published: 07/18/18
Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent in June

Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent in June

Associated PressWASHINGTON — U.S. homebuilders sharply curtailed the pace of construction in June as housing starts plummeted 12.3 percent. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 m...
Published: 07/18/18
Want to live on Beeswax Lane? Tampa Bay developers strain to create new street names

Want to live on Beeswax Lane? Tampa Bay developers strain to create new street names

When Newland Communities began developing FishHawk Ranch in Hillsborough County two decades ago, naming streets wasn’t much of a problem."Literally, we would get out our list of Florida native bird names every time a new section came online," said Pa...
Published: 07/17/18
Updated: 07/18/18
Blacks can afford far fewer rentals than Asians and whites, study shows

Blacks can afford far fewer rentals than Asians and whites, study shows

Black and Latino residents of the Tampa Bay area can afford far fewer rentals than Asians and whites can. According to Zillow, blacks can afford just 19 percent of available rentals and Latinos 20.7 percent. That compares to whites being able to affo...
Published: 07/17/18