Pinellas Agrees to Buy Lealman Land for Affordable Housing
The land is located in the Lealman Community Redevelopment Area.
LEALMAN – The Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County, in partnership with the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, entered into a contract to purchase approximately 7.7 acres of property directly across from Lealman Avenue Elementary School on 58th Avenue North. The property is currently owned by D&D Ministries.
The property consists of an assembly of 26 parcels of land containing 55 housing units (a mix of single family and apartment units), some non-residential facilities, and a former fire station building. It is located within the recently established Lealman Community Redevelopment Area. Lealman is an unincorporated area located generally between Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg on the north and south; I-275 on the east and Park Street on the west. It is divided in two by Kenneth City. The Lealman CRA is centered in the portion of Lealman to the east of Kenneth City.
The immediate use of the properties is to maintain the existing residential units as affordable housing and to introduce county services needed in the area. These services may include staff and programs from Pinellas County Health & Human Services, Community Development, Code Enforcement, and the Sheriff’s Office.The long-range plan for the properties will continue the affordable housing focus with possible expansion and more housing units with redevelopment. It will also will prevent de-stabilization of a four-block area and is envisioned as a “testing ground” to introduce innovative programs and policies to support community revitalization.
It is unclear how much the property will cost. But county officials say the money will come from the Affordable Housing Land Assembly Fund, which was established by county commission and funded through the county’s capital improvement program with Penny for Pinellas dollars. The Land Assembly Fund was established to promote affordable housing development and is funded with $15 million dollars.
This property was identified through a public Letter of Interest request that allowed property owners interested in selling property to negotiate with the Housing Finance Authority for a potential sale. This offer included the land, existing residential units and other structures. Property acquired with Land Assembly Funds must remain in ownership of Pinellas County or the Pinellas County Housing Finance Authority.
“This is a great example of how your county commission is working hard to improve one of the most impoverished communities in our county,” Pinellas County commissioner Janet Long said in an email to constituents. “For this particular area, it will be transformational.”
For information about the Lealman CRA, go to pinellascounty.org.
Map of Lealman CRA courtesy of Pinellas County.
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