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Pinellas Park opens doors to affordable apartments

An artist’s rendering shows the planned affordable-housing project called Lodges at Pinellas Park. Rents would range from $565 to $845.

An artist’s rendering shows the planned affordable-housing project called Lodges at Pinellas Park. Rents would range from $565 to $845.

PINELLAS PARK

A Park Boulevard parcel that once housed a run-down mobile home park may be the site of 120 affordable apartments.

The complex, which is to include a clubhouse, pool and playground, will target families whose incomes are between $16,000 and $39,300 a year. Construction is expected to consume $10.2 million of the $16 million project.

Pinellas Park council members have tentatively approved an annexation and zoning change on the 5.63-acre parcel at 6721 Park Blvd.

Though he joined his colleagues in voting for the zoning change, council member Ed Taylor voted against the annexation, saying he wanted a better deal.

The city is waiving $170,000 in fees to entice TPA Investments to annex into the city.

Taylor said he would like to see the city waive fewer fees — perhaps $130,000 — which could be made up in roughly three years from the estimated $42,833 the city will receive from property tax revenue. The city will also get an estimated $105,730 from water and sewer connection fees.

Taylor was not the only one unhappy about the deal. Mainlands resident Tim Robinson also objected, saying, "I'm sorry, but this is out of our pocket."

Robinson called the deal "idiotic."

"There is no need in Pinellas Park for affordable-housing buildings now," he said.

But Pinellas Park Mayor Bill Mischler pointed out that the apartments would be built, no matter what. The question was whether the tax money would flow to the county or the city.

Construction is expected to start in April 2010.

The buildings will be three stories with a stucco exterior. Sizes will range from 750 square feet for a one bedroom to 1,350 square feet for a four-bedroom unit.

Monthly rents are expected to be from $565 to $845.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at (727) 893-8450 or alindberg@sptimes.com.

Pinellas Park opens doors to affordable apartments 02/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:30pm]
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