Saint Petersburg, FL

County, city officials celebrate opening of 65 new affordable units in St. Pete, with more coming soon

Rose Burke

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SkyWay Lofts in the Skyway Marina District of St. Pete |Facebook

Officials from Pinellas County and the City of St. Petersburg gathered Tuesday to celebrate the grand opening of a new affordable apartment development that’s already housing 65 hardworking individuals and families.

SkyWay Lofts is an affordable housing community that serves households earning less than 80% of the Area Median Income, with the majority of the units priced at $762 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $901 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.

All apartments are equipped with multiple energy-efficient features. Amenities include a clubroom, a fitness center, on-site laundry and free parking. The apartments are already fully leased.

The new apartment community located in St. Petersburg’s Skyway Marina District is the first of many new affordable housing developments supported by a new countywide partnership aimed at adding thousands of units to the area over the next decade.

The County and City have approved nearly 900 affordable homes for funding support with the Penny for Pinellas in the past two years alone, with many currently under construction by local developers. The voted-approved Penny sales tax helps cover the land and other authorized costs for residential developments where some or all units are reserved at affordable rates.

The County and City have also joined with Forward Pinellas and the cities of Clearwater, Largo and Pinellas Park in the Advantage Pinellas Countywide Housing Compact, an agreement to develop and implement long-term solutions to housing affordability.

“We cannot solve the housing crisis alone. It’s because of strong partnerships that 65 individuals and families now have a safe, affordable place to lay their heads at night,” said Pinellas County Commission Chairman Charlie Justice.

“What I love about it is, it kills the stereotype of affordable housing. This is great housing. It is well built and it will be well managed and it’s a place where folks can be proud to live,” St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch said.

SkyWay Lofts marks the first new construction community completed in St. Petersburg by Blue Sky Communities. Blue Sky Communities is based in Tampa and develops affordable housing across the State of Florida. Financing for the development was provided by: City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida Housing Finance Corporation, TIAA Bank, Raymond James Bank and Raymond James Tax Credit Funds.

Pinellas County has committed $700,000 for land acquisition from the Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program while the City of St. Petersburg is committing an additional $90,000 from its Pinellas County Housing Trust Fund Assistance.

Learn more about local affordable housing programs at www.homesforpinellas.org.

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