Proposed senior living home worrying some in Hyde Park

Residents say it could add traffic, parking issues

TAMPA, Fla. - Change could be coming to a corner of Hyde Park in the form of a brand-new senior living facility. However, not all neighbors are excited about the prospect.

Developers would like to construct Hyde Park Group Care, a senior living facility with 215 available beds and around 70 parking spaces with it. The 5,000 square foot facility would be located at 509 S. Hyde Park Ave.

However, some neighbors are concerned the facility will add even more congestion to a highly-trafficked area and are concerned the facility's employees will take away precious parking spaces.

"It's going to be awful," said Nancy Turner, a Davis Islands resident. '"This thing is not going to work. It's too much for this area. It's too much for the streets."

Turner also said she believes the construction could cause dangerous traffic backups and blind spots, between deliveries to the facility and pick up and drop offs.

"To put a 215 bed facility on this site and have only 71 parking spots, it's too many people," said Gail Lykes, who owns a neighboring building to the proposed site.

They're also concerned about the loss of live oak trees during the construction, Lykes said.

However the people behind the project say they're adding more options for active seniors close to downtown Tampa.

"Seniors don't want to be just put out to pasture," said  Grady Pridgen of Pridgen Development, the business behind the project. "They want to be active in the community. They want to volunteer."

Pridgen said their proposal for the facility meets or even exceeds all city standards for parking spaces. He also said the proposal includes a huge area inside the facility specifically for commercial deliveries, so trucks coming in and out twice a week will not be a problem. 

"You can actually park a semi in there and shut the door," Pridgen said.

He also said those deliveries will be timed for non-peak traffic hours.

Turner, Lykes and other concerned residents plan to go before Tampa City Council on August 10, asking city leaders to reject Pridgen's proposal. In the meantime, developers maintain the development will only help the neighborhood, not hurt it.

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