ST. PETERSBURG — The makeover of Jordan Park, the city’s oldest public housing project, begins Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony that comes after yearslong delays.
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Michael Lundy and Chairperson James Dates are scheduled to speak at the ceremony, along with developer Brian Evjen, City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman and housing commissioners Jerrilyn Evans and Terri Lipsey Scott.
The Housing Authority received the green light to begin demolishing the empty bungalows built decades ago after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gave final approval in November. The $93 million project was initially scheduled to start in 2017. After delays, it was nearly derailed after city leaders replaced five of the agency’s seven governing board members and its chief executive was fired in 2019.
The 31 Craftsman-style bungalows that make up its historic village will be razed and replaced by a 60-unit, three-story senior housing complex. More than 200 townhome apartments built in 2000 will also undergo an extensive makeover. The development spans from 10th Avenue S to 13th Avenue between Jordan Park Street S and 22nd Lane.
The project includes washers and dryers in every apartment, increased resident parking, community porches, community gathering spaces, a pickleball court, a walking trail at the seniors property and updated playgrounds. Programs for residents will include financial counseling, health and nutrition classes, computer training, and first-time homebuyer seminars.
The homes are for families that make less than 60 percent of the region’s median income. A family of four would have to earn no more than $43,600 to qualify. Residents who were relocated from the complex will have first right of refusal should they want to return.
Both the family units and senior midrise building at Jordan Park will be managed by the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which will also handle the initial leasing.
The original 24-acre public housing complex was built between 1939 and 1942 on land donated by its namesake, African American businessman Elder Jordan Sr. Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett and Pinellas County Commissioner Rene Flowers grew up there.