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Environmentally friendly townhomes planned for North Hyde Park

The streets of North Hyde Park may get greener — environmentally speaking, that is.

Klar and Klar Architects of Clearwater has designed nine three-story environmentally friendly townhomes to be built at Fremont Avenue and A Street, a block north of Kennedy Boulevard.

Called Fremont City Homes, the houses will come equipped with efficient drainage and rainwater runoff, technologies enhancing indoor-air quality, lighting, energy and water efficiency, and other green-friendly amenities. They will be registered under the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) green building rating system.

Klar and Klar was commissioned by St. Petersburg dentist Thomas Silver, 45, who is in charge of selling nine 1,300- to 1,700-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom homes. They will go for $300,000 to $400,000, depending on construction costs, Silver said. As of press time, Silver hadn't sold any, but he said he does have a few interested buyers.

Silver bought the land, which is occupied by tenants in low-cost apartments, for $650,000. He plans to market the homes to young families and first-time home buyers.

The homes will come with a living space on the top floor, bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor and a bonus room with a tandem garage on the first floor. The homes will face east toward the downtown Tampa skyline.

The contemporary exterior of the homes will complement the bungalow-style architecture prevalent in the Hyde Park area, said firm spokesman Steve Klar.

"West Tampa is kind of a mix of neat old historical bungalows and some run-down places, and this happens to be the latter, which this (project) will eventually replace," he said.

Even though the real estate market has slumped, Silver said he hopes some people are still willing to pay extra to live in a green development, as he is. He plans to buy one of the homes.

"I think I'm making something unique," he said. "I'm pretty confident I'll sell them."

Council member John Dingfelder, who represents the North Hyde Park area, said the project fits in with the city's desire to adopt a green ordinance to encourage more green building.

"North Hyde Park needs a shot in the arm," he said.

The firm is in the process of getting initial site plan approval, which Klar said he hopes will be finalized within the next six months. He thinks the homes will be ready in 18 months in a best-case scenario.

Eric Smithers can be reached at or (813) 226-3339.

Environmentally friendly townhomes planned for North Hyde Park 03/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:00am]
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