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Habitat pursues another affordable housing project in South St. Pete

Veronica Brezina

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Habitat for Humanity's sketch of The Grove community it is proposing to build at the South St. Pete site. Rendering: Habitat for Humanity

A vacant property in the South St. Pete CRA could become the site of new affordable housing – giving financially struggling families a chance of homeownership. 

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has submitted a proposal to acquire the city-owned land at 1805 18th Ave. South to build an affordable townhome development. 

This is the second offer Habitat has made to the city for obtaining a South St. Pete site. The group recently submitted a proposal to acquire 2100 18th Ave. South, across from the vacant Tangerine Plaza.

Habitat made the proposal to the city for the other site after the St. Pete-based development group Namasté Homes LLC submitted an unsolicited proposal to the city several weeks ago to acquire it. 

Due to Namasté’s unsolicited proposal, the city invited any alternative proposals from private developers interested in undertaking the lease, purchase or development of the site.

The deadline for proposals was today (March 9) at 10 a.m. Habitat for Humanity was the only additional proposer, according to the city’s records. 

Under Habitat’s plans, similar to Namasté’s proposal, it is asking the city to donate the land so it can develop townhomes that would be sold on a fee-simple basis to income-qualified homebuyers.

Habitat’s community, called “The Grove,” has two-separate conceptual site plan designs –  a 10-unit and a 12-unit design for consideration. 

Habitat for Humanity’s rendering of the 10-unit design for The Grove. 

The 10-unit design consists of two five-unit buildings with primary frontage on Russel Street. The site plan for the 10 units would not entail having frontage on 18th Avenue South and it allows for a more open design with added green space for residents.

Meanwhile, the 12-unit design plan consists of four separate buildings. This design has primary frontage on 18th Avenue South, which aligns with the zoning.

A different view of Habitat for Humanity’s 12-unit design for The Grove. 

The townhomes would all be sold to residents who earn 80% of the Area’s Median Income (AMI). 

Habitat projects an average sales price of $225,000, which would create an average monthly mortgage of $1,075. The mortgage payment for a three-bedroom unit includes taxes, insurance and an HOA fee. Habitat would also waive interests. 

Habitat for Humanity’s 12-unit design for The Grove. 

“This proposed development will be solely affordable homeownership. Mortgage restriction will not allow subleasing or rentals to help maintain the character of the development and prevent sales to investors for market-rate rentals,” Habitat wrote in its proposal. 

Habitat would also eliminate the need for a down payment and private mortgage insurance (PMI); however, it will require $1,000 in closing costs.

All of the three-story units would have bottom-floor garages and a utility/storage area. There would be a total of two parking spaces per unit, to limit the impact of on-street parking in the area.

The units will average 1,224 square feet with the majority being three-bedroom units. The total development cost for the project is roughly $3.4 million.   

If selected to develop the site, Habitat would commit to exclusively market to South St. Petersburg CRA residents for the first three months of the program. It would also market toward city employees for an additional three-month period.

Namaste’s rendering of its proposed affordable townhome development at 1805 18th Ave. South in St. Petersburg. This rendering: Namaste/City of St. Petersburg documents.

Under Namasté’s plan, it would build 11 two-story townhomes. The roughly 1,300-square-foot units would be priced at $215,000. 

The deed-restricted units would be affordable for households with three or more members earning between 80% and 120% of the AMI. 

The development would cost roughly $3.2 million.  

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Anisah J Pierce

    March 11, 2022at7:15 am

    How do you apply

  2. Avatar

    Will Mill

    March 11, 2022at9:07 am

    Could I have more information on how to apply?

  3. Avatar

    Mary Rodriguez

    March 11, 2022at9:31 am

    How soon can I apply need to move in 3 months. I am desperate. Please help!!!!

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