Ponce de Leon
Lest you underestimate the power of neighborhood involvement, read this.
After working to have neglected homes demolished, this association is celebrating the anticipated arrival of new replacements.
Neighborhood Enterprises Inc., a company owned by Rick Dunn and Rolfe Duggar, purchased the vacant land and is building six houses selling for $129,000 each. They'll be on the west side of 28th Street N between 27th and 28th avenues.
The architect is Bob Jeffrey of Rhode Clemmons Architects Inc. Jeffrey is president of Historic Kenwood. Tim Clemmons is president of North Downtown. The marketing and sales agent for the project is Realtor Amy Christian of Your Neighborhood Realty Inc., a firm owned by Brian Longstreth.
Longstreth is former president of United Central Neighborhood and current officer for the Council of Neighborhood Associations. Christian is president of Eagle Crest Homeowners Association. "This was not a planned sit-down discussion," Christian said about the neighborhood connections. "It's a coincidence. It's a wonderful union."
Home designs will be a bungalow style popular at the turn of the century. Features include front and rear porches, large windows, high ceilings, glass bricks, skylights, built-in kitchen office area and inside laundry. Each house's total space (including garage and porches) is 2,150 square feet. "It's going to be a wonderful upgrade for that area," Christian said. Construction should be finished by the end of this year.
Susan Ajoc has received a promotion _ to director of Neighborhood Partnership. Sally Eichler is manager of Codes Compliance Assistance, replacing Julie Weston, who becomes assistant director of Development Services. Kevin Dunn vacated that position and moved to Economic Development Administration as development coordinator.
Florida Neighborhoods Conference
St. Petersburg is hosting the third annual Florida Neighborhoods Conference on Oct. 1-2. Before being interrupted by a hurricane, Jacksonville's conference last year had 850 registrations. The storm reduced attendance to half.
The public is invited to attend if registered. Topics include neighborhood improvements, how to write grants, tips on dealing with the media, and communicating with city hall. Early registration deadline at a reduced $30 rate ends Aug. 30, said Susan Ajoc, who is state chairman.
Four neighborhoods _ Historic Kenwood, Old Southeast, Tropical Shores and United Central _ have expressed interest in holding a parade of homes after the conference. If interested in joining them, call Ajoc this week at 892-5141.
Vandals recently left Meadowlawn Little League shelter a mess. Mistica Nicely offered help. "As soon as I heard, I knew it was the right thing to do," said Nicely, whose 8-year-old son, Steven, started playing ball there last year.
Nicely owns Nicely Done Cleaning Service and is used to dirt, but this job was one of her biggest challenges. Vandals poured 20 gallons of cooking oil on the floor. Walls and ceilings were covered in mustard. Food from freezers was thrown everywhere.
"When I got a call from her, I was just overwhelmed," said league president Carla Carbonero. "It had to be a $4,000 or $5,000 job. Someone so new coming into the league to offer that."
Nicely and 13-year-old daughter Krystin worked without help and charged nothing.
"She's got to be one of the most giving people," said Carbonero. "That was just so kind of her."
An Atlanta company and Meadowlawn Neighborhood Association sent a monetary donation. Target and Winn-Dixie provided Nicely with some cleaning supplies. But despite news articles about the vandalism, Carbonero said she was shocked at the limited community response from businesses.
The Little League has 206 registered kids and will play ball Sept. 20. Carbonero said Mistica Nicely won't have to worry about fees. "I will never charge her son registration as long as he wants to play."
Residents are looking to City Council Chairwoman Bea Griswold for guidance and suggestions on a traffic issue at Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. meeting at St. James United Methodist Church, 845 87th Ave. N. They want improved access onto Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) Street from 87th and 89th avenues N.
Leaders also are planning future beautification projects. They've been admiring recently planted trees between Crescent Heights and Crescent Lake neighborhoods. "Eventually we'd like it to look like 22nd Avenue N," said president Carol Stock.
Recycling computers and the Florida Neighborhoods Conference are topics of Tuesday's 7 p.m. meeting at Walter Fuller Recreation Center, 7891 26th Ave. N. This group also has a traffic committee reviewing ways to improve crossing busy Park Street.
Volunteers working with newly developed Lealman Family Center at 4070 58th Ave. N continue to seek neighborhood input. They're inviting residents to a family night open house from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Partners in the effort include the YMCA, Juvenile Welfare Board, Lealman United Methodist Church and an Optimist Club led by Marcie Lauster.
Chris Allen, the YMCA outreach coordinator, said the center has a teen room and children's room, but they need furnishings and toys. Volunteer carpenters and electricians are needed, too. The center is drawing about 36 neighborhood children on a regular basis. School supplies such as crayons, glue and paper are welcome. To assist, call Allen at 528-7891.
New neighborhood organizations
Make that 96 associations registered with the Neighborhood Partnership Office, with three taking their first steps.
Westminster Heights is expanding from a Crime Watch group. Boundaries run from 49th to 58th streets S between Central Avenue and the city limits.
Woodlawn Oaks is being organized by Skip Brooks and will run from 13th to 22nd avenues N between 16th Street and Interstate 275. Brooks' wife, Llynn, is part of a core group of more than 25 residents. Reasons for forming the association include having a voice in the city, being eligible for grants and beautification projects, taking advantage of Crime Watch and traffic calming measures, and getting to know and assist neighbors.
A name is yet to be determined for a third new association. It will run from 30th to 36th avenues N between 16th Street and Interstate 275. Jo Williams is organizer.
Susan Ajoc predicts reaching a goal of 100 neighborhood associations within a few months.
The neighborhood association will meet Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at Woodlawn Presbyterian Church, 2612 12th St. N. For information, call 481-7377.
Have a good week, neighbors.