Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Standoff awaits HUD decision: public housing vs. condos

ST. PETERSBURG — Community activists have joined forces to stop the controversial sale of the city's largest public housing complex.

Nearly 500 families would be uprooted by the St. Petersburg Housing Authority's plan to sell the Graham-Rogall complex to a condominium developer.

The Committee to Save Graham-Rogall wants the housing authority to renovate the deteriorating low-income units instead.

"These people have nowhere to go," said Judith Nelson, 73, the group's chairwoman.

The housing authority decided to sell Graham-Rogall after its staff determined repairing the complex would cost more than $22-million. The two buildings, which share a hallway, are valued at $5-million.

But Nelson, a retired film distributor and president of the South St. Petersburg Democratic Club, said the housing authority board should try to find the money for repairs.

"This should be a priority," she said. "Who are they doing housing for, the rich or the poor?"

The housing authority began moving residents out last year. About 95 of the Graham building's 336 units are occupied. All of the 150 units in Rogall are full.

The redevelopment has been stalled since June 2007 because of complications involving the sale of the Rogall building to condominium developer KEGB.

Under the terms of a restriction placed on part of the building during a 1994 bond refinancing, the Rogall apartments must remain affordable rental housing until 2017.

The housing authority and KEGB have appealed to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a special exemption to redevelop the property into condos sooner.

"Nothing has changed," said Audra Butler, spokeswoman for the housing authority. "We are still waiting to hear from HUD."

KEGB has said it could not make a profit running Graham-Rogall as apartments even if given the property for free.

The housing authority will meet April 24 to discuss how to move forward with the development.

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or csilva@sptimes.com.

Standoff awaits HUD decision: public housing vs. condos 04/15/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii

    Military

    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.