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County OKs $17.8M for Largo affordable housing project

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of the Seminole Square Apartments. Image: City of Largo.

A new affordable housing complex that would create units for at least 96 Largo residents has secured $17.8 million of bonds, allowing the developer to proceed with the development. 

This week, the Pinellas County Commission unanimously approved a resolution allowing Miami-based developer Enter Archway Partners to tap into $17.8 million of bonds through the Housing Finance Authority’s multifamily housing revenue pot to develop the Seminole Square Apartments.

“This enables them to go for state or federal dollars,” Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton said, noting how the developer has applied for Penny for Pinellas funds. City commissioners previously voted to provide a $75,000 grant contingent on the developer securing the needed funding.

The Seminole Square Apartments, estimated to cost over $27 million, would be built on a vacant 4.97-acre site at 2075 Seminole Blvd. adjacent to the Town and Country Mobile Home Park. 

The property has two zoning classifications, R/OG (Residential/Office General) and CG (Commercial General). The proposed garden-style apartment development entails building 48 one-bedroom units and 48 two-bedroom units.

All of the affordable units will be capped at 60% of the Average Median Income (AMI).

The plans show that 34 units would be set aside for households at or below 30% of the AMI, 11 units will be set aside for households earning at or below 60% of the AMI and 51 units will be reserved for households earning at 80% of the AMI.

Construction is expected to commence this fourth quarter and take approximately 15 months to complete.

Upon completion, 45 vouchers would be provided to the development from the St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s waiting list, and the remaining 51 units will be leased to the general public, according to city documents. 

Meanwhile, another affordable housing project in the area is no longer going to come to fruition. 

Blue Sky Communities, the Tampa-based affordable housing development group that’s building the nine-story Blue Dolphin Tower project, has backed out of moving forward with the project of converting a former fire station in Clearwater into an 81-unit affordable housing development, according to a representative from the company. 

The Community Redevelopment Agency purchased the land from the city, and Blue Sky was under contract to buy it.

The company representative didn’t disclose why Blue Sky did not proceed forward with the plans; however, the city previously received interest from the Church of Scientology, which proposed building a community center at the site, as the site is adjacent to the church’s existing 300,000-square-foot Flag Building.

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