Photo courtesy of the PINELLAS COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY
Officials dig first shovels full of dirt on Pinellas Heights.
LARGO – Officials celebrated the groundbreaking for Pinellas Heights, a 153-unit affordable housing community for senior citizens Nov. 14.
The ceremony took place at the Pinellas County Housing Authority site at 11479 Ulmerton Road in Largo. Norstar Development USA, LP and the Pinellas County Housing Authority are co-developers for the project.
“Today was another step forward for the Pinellas County Housing Authority in providing more affordable housing to the citizens we serve,” said housing authority Chairman Joseph Triolo. “I am honored to be a part of this great organization.”
Pinellas Heights is a mixed-finance redevelopment of the former Greenhouse Shoppes commercial strip center, eight acres owned by the city of Largo. The former strip center was largely vacant and in need of significant repair.
The new mixed-finance community of 153 apartment homes will provide additional affordable housing for seniors, ages 62 and older, with incomes less than 60 percent of the area median income. The apartment homes are scheduled to be ready for occupancy by summer 2014.
“It was a delight to work with the Pinellas County Housing Authority on the Pinellas Heights project,” said Richard Higgins, president of Norstar. “It was an extremely complicated deal that required the participation of myriad public and private sector organizations. In the end, it was well worth the hard work as we are now under construction on a beautiful building that will house 153 low income seniors who desperately need affordable housing in Pinellas County.”
Along with the developers, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County, Pinellas County Community Development, city of Largo, RBC Capital Markets and JP Morgan Chase provided funding for the $24 million development. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta also provided a $1 million Affordable Housing Program grant to the project.
As an additional benefit to creating more affordable housing for Pinellas County seniors, more than $17 million construction dollars will be infused into the local economy through this project. About 200 jobs will be created during the 18-month construction of Pinellas Heights, and additional jobs will be created for management and maintenance of the development. The total impact is expected to be 395 jobs including direct, indirect, and induced.