TAMPA — With demolition expected to start in late 2016, the first resident has moved out of North Boulevard Homes, with about 2,000 more to follow over the next 18 months.
But for the moment, City Hall and Tampa Housing Authority officials have decided this isn’t the time to seek a $30 million federal grant to help pay for the sweeping redevelopment of the area around Tampa’s oldest public housing complex.
“We didn’t feel we were in a position to be competitive yet,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. “We needed to be more shovel-ready.”
Applications for this year’s round of federal Choice Neighborhood grants were due in February. One reason local officials decided to take more time was that McCormack Baron Salazar, the St. Louis-based urban planning firm hired to create a master plan for the West River area, had indicated it would need tens of millions of dollars in public subsidies to proceed as the master developer for what’s being called the West River area.