TAMPA, Fla. — A new cultural campus being planned in Tampa's University Area is bringing hope and resources to the community.
For the past four years, we've been telling you about the developments happening in the University Area, located right off Fletcher Avenue, including affordable housing initiatives, a community vegetable garden, and free job training programs.
"I see a lot of difference right now," said one community volunteer in 2019 as he helped paint and restore one of the properties at Harvest Hope Park. "Because we've got a safer community now."
Their sense of pride is now growing as the University Area community development corporation is now breaking ground on a new cultural campus.
"We've been doing construction all week, and we have residents kind of gathered all around just to get behind it and ask what's going on," said Erica Nelson, who serves as the UACDC Director of Operations.
The non-profit agency said the site, now full of construction workers, could one day contain a multitude of services, such as a kitchen cooperative, coffee shop, legal services, a health clinic or a pharmacy. However, the UACDC still wants your input.
"We're working with architects and engineers to see what can we do with this space, and then outreaching, to the community to see what do they need," Nelson said.
The new cultural campus will be located on N. 22nd Street, right near Harvest Hope Park, the recently-built Kaboom! playground, pond, and affordable housing units.
Organizers say this will be opening in phases with it fully ready for the public by 2026.