Apartment

Tampa’s new apartment complex hopes to attract mixed-income tenants and end city housing projects

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Some living in the new Boulevard at West River residential towers at West Main Street and North Oregon Avenue will pay market rate while others living in the complex of 300 modern apartments will pay rent based on their income.

“People need to see something different,” said Jerome Ryans, president and CEO of the Tampa Housing Authority. “People need to know that they can live in a good community.”

Ryans says these towers and other buildings under construction in Tampa’s West River District will put an end to Tampa’s notorious housing projects.

“We weren’t doing a very good job of managing social housing in this community,” Ryans explained. “Things had gotten to a point where they were so bad, we had to do something different.”

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With attractive amenities and a location close to the city center, officials are hoping West River will attract a mix of different incomes.

“Market-priced apartments and condominiums, right up to subsidized, and no one knows the difference. They’re all the same quality,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

As Tampa adds hundreds of upscale apartments on Water Street and other parts of downtown, the mayor says many can’t afford the rent.

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“The Tampa Housing Authority has 7,000 on their waiting list,” Castor said. “This is why affordable housing is one of my main goals”

Housing officials say a good environment and good management will prevent new subsidized housing from following the path of old projects that Ryans calls a failure.

“So we demolished these units and we decided to build units here,” Rans said. “We are going to build restaurants and a grocery store here. It will make a difference in this community.”

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