Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Transforming troubled Mariners Pointe apartments into St. Charles Row

ST. PETERSBURG — It is not yet a complete metamorphosis, but the signs are there.

A new fence. Sod. Clusters of gold, red and crimson coleus. New magnolia trees. Fresh paint.

The 368-unit apartment complex even has a new name, St. Charles Row, its sixth name since it was built in 1972.

Until recently, it was known as Mariners Pointe, and like previous incarnations, burdened with a reputation for crime.

A limited liability corporation called DWSS St. Pete bought the complex for $11 million in February and promised to pour millions into renovations and rebranding. No longer would it offer government-subsidized housing, the new owners said. Residents behind on their rent by more than 30 days would be asked to move or face eviction. Others with erratic payment histories would not have their leases renewed.

Council member Steve Kornell, who represents the area, said he tried unsuccessfully to work with the previous owner, Texas-based AHF-Bay Fund, to improve the property.

He wants government agencies to hold landlords accountable for the conditions under which people who get subsidized housing live, Kornell said. That just didn't happen at the former Mariners Pointe.

"It was cited for open sewage running out into the ground on the outside of the apartments at least six times," he said. "I took pictures of the mold and the bugs and the leaking roof."

Postcard invitations featuring a photograph of a professionally decorated model apartment recently drew curious visitors and prospective renters to St. Charles Row.

One- , two- and three-bedroom units and townhomes range in price from $729 to $1,209. Amenities include swimming pools, a clubhouse, business center and a dog park. There's also 24-hour security.

Chris Koback, area manager for Weller Management, the St. Petersburg company hired to run the property, said its new name was designed "to honor the 'St.' in St. Petersburg."

"From the beginning, we always thought there was a bit of a New Orleans feel in the community with all of the balconies and iron rails, so we also tried to tie New Orleans to the community," he said via email.

"Then we looked down the main street and noticed the row of houses and different colors we selected — and our designer thought of the row houses in New Orleans and St. Charles Avenue."

Work to upgrade the apartments began at the Pinellas Point entrance and will continue toward the back of the property, which stretches to 66th Avenue S. The transformation will not be complete for more than a year.

Meanwhile, new people have begun to move in.

Koback said 60 apartments are still occupied by former Mariners Pointe renters and he expects some to remain.

"Every resident who is in good standing is being offered the opportunity to apply under the new rental criteria. … We've had approximately 10 residents who have reapplied and will be staying with us and we know of a few more that have also said they will be reapplying."

Advocates for affordable housing geared up to help low-income residents who would be displaced.

"Trying to help people find housing is very difficult, compounded by if anybody has any kind of eviction or record of any kind," said Clifford Smith, the city's manager of veterans, social and homeless services.

But few sought help.

"I was prepared to be inundated," he said, guessing that some people moved in with family or friends.

Contact Waveney Ann Moore at wmoore@tampabay.com or(727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes.

Transforming troubled Mariners Pointe apartments into St. Charles Row 08/10/14 [Last modified: Monday, August 11, 2014 12:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.