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Church site to be redeveloped into age-restricted community

Veronica Brezina

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Grace Connection at Pasadena. Google Maps.

Tampa-based workforce housing developer Blue Sky Communities will be demolishing a church to build a new age-restricted development in St. Petersburg. 

The St. Petersburg Development Review Commission unanimously approved a site plan for Blue Sky, under the entity named Blue 64 Street LLC, to construct an 85-unit apartment development that would serve those 55 years old, and older. 

The four-story building would be built at 635 64th St. S. on the west side of 64th Street South and north of Fairfield Avenue South. The Grace Connection at Pasadena church is currently located on the property. 

“All of the units would be for workforce housing, 100% of them. There will not be market-rate units,” said Don Mastry, an attorney representing Blue Sky. “The zoning for the 4.37 acres NSM-1, which permits 15 units an acre and would account for 66 units for this project based on the acreage and the project is utilizing the workforce housing bonus, which allows an additional 26 units.” 

The site is near Bear Creek, and immediately adjacent to the south, is an older mobile home park with 196 units, which breaks down to 24 units per acre. To the east, there is a single-family residential community across 64th Street. 

Residents of the adjacent neighborhood collected over 500 signatures from those in opposition to the project as it increases the general density of the area and impacts the privacy of the neighboring mobile home park residents. Concerned residents also noted that the 90 parking spaces are not adequate parking for 85 units, assuming most residents will have at least one vehicle. 

However, given the current zoning coupled with the workforce housing density bonus, Blue Sky can build up to 92 units. 

“The use is permitted, and we aren’t seeking any variances,” Mastry said, adding how the 90 parking spaces are considered adequate parking for this type of project. 

Blue Sky Communities is the same developer behind the recently opened SkyWay Lofts, a 65-unit affordable development at 3900 34th St. N and 3313 29th Ave. S. in the Skyway Marina District. 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. John Avery

    John Avery

    June 3, 2022at3:43 pm

    There are an incredible number of problems with this “redevelopment.” 1) There is not another four story building anywhere in sight. All of the homes in this area are one or two story structures, including numerous apartment complexes in the area. Completely out of character for the neighborhood! 2) 90 parking spaces for 85 “workforce” housing units? Are you kidding me? Last time I looked, most couples in ANY housing unit are both working just trying to make ends meet and most likely both have a car. Where are they going to park? 3) When these “workforce” dwellers finally retire in 7-10 years or less, then what? Are they kicked to the curb? 4) The city of St Petersburg picked this location because it is in the far reaches of the city, bordered by Gulfport and unincorporated Pinellas County who have no say in the matter. No wonder 500 adjacent residents oppose this project. IT STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN!

  2. Avatar

    Meredeth

    June 3, 2022at9:47 pm

    This is a terrible thing. No one in this community wanted this. Companies like blue sky profit off of “affordable housing” and pretend to help poor people. If they really wanted to help people they would help the folks rent to own or assist them with a down payment for a property of their own. Instead they take in the guaranteed rent checks from the government and leave nice neighborhoods to deal with the riff raff. The city council members did not listen to the people and even accepted money from blue sky’s for their campaigns the year before. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

  3. Avatar

    Shirley Hayes

    July 1, 2022at11:52 am

    Blue Sky Units at 39th Ave and 34th St. So turned down folk with Housing Vouchers, said they were full and there were only 3 vehicles in the parking garage and 3 lights on in the units after 8PM. 3313 29th Avenue South is NOT in the Skyway Marina District. I agree, Blue sky is not a good venture. What will happen when tenants retire???.

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