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Pinellas Commission to sell 67 lots for affordable housing

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County commissioners agreed Tuesday to sell 67 parcels of vacant land to build affordable housing.

Six of the parcels would be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Nine would be immediately put up for bid to be developed into single-family homes, Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard said. The remaining 52 lots would be sold later this year. County staff members estimate the sales will bring in about $1.3 million.

The project is part of a larger goal to provide more affordable, single-family housing for Pinellas’ working families.

The lots are in the Ridgecrest-Danville area in the mid-western section of the county. It is bounded on three sides by the city of Largo.

In recent years, the county has stressed redevelopment in the area, which included the purchase of 31 acres of property, elimination of slum and blight conditions through demolition of substandard structures, Brownfield designation and remediation, dedication of public-owned right of way, new streets, sidewalks, improved utilities, and stormwater drainage facilities.

The building of new houses is the final phase of that redevelopment. County staff said they hope the sale of the lots will make private sector housing construction in the area more feasible.

“It’s a very exciting project,” Pinellas commission chair Charlie Justice said.

In other action during Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners awarded a bid worth about $3.2 million to Highway Safety Devices of Tampa to improve traffic flow on Park Boulevard from Gulf Boulevard on the beaches to Grand Boulevard in Pinellas Park, just east of U.S. 19 N.

The project will include signals, digital signs, and closed circuit televisions that are designed not only to improve traffic flow but also to provide drivers with alerts about traffic and other issues.

The project is funded in equal parts by the ninth-cent local option gas tax and a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

Commissioners also awarded a $1.2 million bid to Suncoast Development of Pinellas County, based in Odessa, to extend the Duke Energy trail from Sunset Point Road to the southern connection of the existing trail overpass at U.S. 19, south of Enterprise Road.

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