ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - City leaders approved plans for a new apartment complex in downtown St. Petersburg. It's part of a group of residential projects scheduled to be built there. They say the affordable housing measure is vital to the area's growth.
Albert Edgemon headed to lunch in downtown St. Petersburg with a group of friends Friday. He lives about 20 blocks away and says he's always wanted to live downtown, but never had the chance. Edgemon said, "It's priced a bit beyond my income. Otherwise, I'd be on one of the top floors."
That's why city officials gave the go ahead to the Urban Edge apartments. The 125-unit, five-story affordable housing complex will be built on the 300 block of Fourth Avenue South.
The complex is in City Council Member Karl Nurse's district. Nurse said, "It's good to see the buildings finally coming out of the ground again. We were hoping for years and we haven't seen many cranes in the skies."
Nurse says the project is one of nine new apartment complexes popping up soon. The Urban Edge will include 40 market rate units and 85 units for seniors. Prices will range from $1,600 to $2,000 a month. Nurse said, "If you can create a city that has a full spectrum of housing from affordable to middle class to wealthy housing, then you have a city that's thriving."
Nurse hopes the facility will enhance the area, known for it's easy-going lifestyle. There's retail space for downtown stores. It's also within blocks of USF's St. Pete campus. Edgemon said, "The more people you have living downtown, the more vibrant it is at all hours. The safer it is for people to get out and about. So I'm a great believer in bringing people downtown."
Construction should start in four months and could take eight more before doors officially open.
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