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Pinellas County Housing Authority Officials Break Ground on Apartments for Low-Income Seniors

This week local officials broke ground on a new 153 unit affordable housing community for senior citizens.  The ceremony took place at the Pinellas County Housing Authority site at 11479 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

Pinellas Heights is a mixed-finance redevelopment of the former Greenhouse Shoppes commercial strip center.  The former strip center was largely vacant and in need of significant repair.  The new mixed-finance community of 153 apartment homes will provide additional affordable housing for seniors ages 62 and older with incomes less than 60% of the Area Median Income.   The apartment homes will be ready for occupancy by summer 2014.

Norstar Development USA, LP and the Pinellas County Housing Authority are co-developers for the project.  Richard Higgins, President of Norstar, said “It was a delight to work with the Pinellas County Housing Authority on the Pinellas Heights project. It was an extremely complicated deal that required the participation of myriad public and private sector organizations. In the end, it was well worth the hard work as we are now under construction on a beautiful building that will house 153 low income seniors who desperately need affordable housing in Pinellas County.”

Funding for the $24 million development was provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County, Pinellas County Community Development, City of Largo, Norstar Development USA, LP, RBC Capital Markets, JP Morgan Chase and the Pinellas County Housing Authority.  The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta also provided a $1 million Affordable Housing Program grant to the project.

“Today was another step forward for the Pinellas County Housing Authority in providing more affordable housing to the citizens we serve.  I am honored to be a part of this great organization” said PCHA’s Chairman, Joseph Triolo.

To view photos of the event, please click here.

As an additional benefit to creating more affordable housing for Pinellas County seniors, over $17 million construction dollars will be infused into the local economy through this project during 2012 – 2014.  Approximately 200 jobs will be created during the 18-month construction of Pinellas Heights, and additional jobs will be created for management and maintenance of the development. The total impact on employment is expected to be 395 jobs including direct, indirect, and induced.

PCHA is a HUD designated High Performing Agency and the Florida Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials 2012 Housing Authority of the Year.  As Pinellas County’s largest housing authority, PCHA provides affordable, public and assisted housing opportunities for nearly 10,000 county individuals.  PCHA also provides opportunities for resident economic self-sufficiency and is a Florida Ready to Work site.   For more information about PCHA, visit www.pinellashousing.com

Norstar Development USA, LP  has been involved as lead developer in twenty (20) separate mixed-finance/mixed-income public housing authority transactions.  Norstar’s Punta Gorda project, Gulf Breeze Apartments, was recently recognized as the National Winner of the Charles L. Edson award for public housing revitalization by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition as well as being the featured project in the November 2008 issue of Novogradac’s “Journal of Tax Credit Housing”.  Norstar has completed or is in the process of developing or constructing over 2,000 mixed finance multifamily and senior units and has over 900 more units in various stages of construction and development with housing authorities in New York, Michigan, Florida and Alabama.