| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Environment : Development News

189 Environment Articles | Page: | Show All

Leadership Sarasota Makes Plans To Improve Michael Biehl Park, Venice

Leadership Sarasota, a program of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, is making Venice's Michael Biehl Park a focus, with plans to improve the local park as part of a community service project.

Located next to Venice Theatre on West Tampa Avenue, improvements will be made to the park with $5,000 of seed money that was given to Leadership Sarasota by the local chamber of commerce to get the project off of the ground. ProGo Solutions, a company specializing in agronomic solutions, will also play an instrumental role in the project, as well as the City of Venice, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Venice Theatre.

In addition, the program -- which is designed to nurture and engage leadership skills through community immersion, leadership training and educating participants on "how things work'' in the local community -- will use resources through various Tampa Bay area-based businesses for additional funds via in-kind donations of consulting, supplies and equipment.

"Leadership Sarasota's Class of 2013 came to choose the Michael Biehl Park project after thorough consideration'' says Bridget McGrath, a member of Leadership Sarasota. "We all felt that this park and location had immense potential to enhance downtown Venice and, with the resources we have through our class and the local community, knew this project would be a success.''

The project plans to brighten the park with lighting and landscaping, add picnic tables and bike racks and enhance the overall design of the park; an existing mural will be embellished with new lighting.

"Currently, the landscape is pretty drab and lacks color; we intend to change that,'' McGrath says. "We feel that this park is a main focal point when you enter historic downtown Venice and will be helping the continued revitalization of the downtown area.''

An unveiling and community barbecue will be held at the park on April 21st, celebrating the new and improved Michael Biehl Park. Until then, Leadership Sarasota has plans to put in more than five scheduled work days where the class in its entirety will be putting in work to see the project through.

"Leadership Sarasota's class of 2013 is full of solid talent and great charisma with a strong desire to give back to our beautiful community that we are so fortunate to call home.''

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Bridget McGrath, Leadership Sarasota

New Bistro To Open In Tampa Convention Center, Downtown Tampa

Designed to provide an oasis from the loud, congested atmosphere typically found in convention centers, a new dining option is coming to the 600,000-square-foot Tampa Convention Center.

Located on the waterfront in the heart of downtown Tampa, Bay Bistro at the Tampa Convention Center will expand opportunities for patrons taking advantage of the Riverwalk. The new 7,830-square-foot waterfront bistro promises to provide visitors an opportunity to enjoy menu items and daily chef specials while relaxing on both lounge seating or traditional cafe seating.

The restaurant will officially open to the public, serving lunch, on Wednesday, January 16th.

“Bay Bistro was added to reposition the Convention Center as a destination rather than just a venue for special events,” says Eric Blanc, director of sales and marketing at the Center. “As we continue to separate ourselves from the competition, Bay Bistro, as well as The Sail Pavilion (located on Tampa's Riverwalk), are keys to our success in providing that memorable experience we wish to provide our guests.”

A year in the making, Blanc says the Tampa Convention Center is focusing efforts on customer experience and satisfaction.

Bay Bistro is expected to feature an eclectic menu with items including Southern-Fried Green Tomatoes, Brie-L-T, Grilled Mahi Mahi, Bay Bistro Fritters, Chicken Mole Quesadillas and Portobello Steak Salad. Prices will range from $6 to $12.

“The Convention Center is not just a convention center to be used by visitors to Tampa. It is our goal to provide quality events and activities that the citizens of Tampa can participate in and enjoy,” Blanc says. “Bay Bistro is only the beginning of an exciting development that will culminate with Tampa's waterfront becoming one of the best waterfront destinations in the country.”

For Bay Bistro hours and more information, visit the Tampa Convention Center website.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Eric Blanc, Tampa Convention Center

New Nature Park, Trails Open In New Tampa

A new city park is now open in New Tampa for active residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor activities such as bicycling and ziplining.

Located at 17001 Dona Michelle Dr. in New Tampa, the 122-acre New Tampa Nature Park connects to Hillsborough County's 7-mile, 400-acre Flatwoods Park trail system. Together, the two parks give Tampa Bay area residents access to miles of trails and preserved green space; not to mention the opportunity to keep an eye out for native wildlife.

“The New Tampa Nature Park is a great, active park,” says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

An elevated boardwalk -- “nature walk'' -- crossing a wetland habitat, elevated "marsh walk,” rock and rope playground climber, zip lining system and a one-half mile long entrance road are among some of the activities offered at the new Nature Park.

“Children can explore nature,” Buckhorn says. “Our commitment to New Tampa is not just in roads and sewers, but is embodied in our parks and playgrounds, as well.”

Funded through Community Investment Taxes, Phase I of the project cost approximately $927,469, including stormwater control elements and parking for 22 cars and two buses. General contractor for Phase I was QGS Development, Inc.

Land for the 122-acre park was acquired through assistance with the Florida Communities Trust Preservation 2000 and Hillsborough County Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection programs.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa

InVision Tampa Releases Draft Of City Center Plan

Thanks to help and input from nearly 800 Tampa residents, 1,000 online users and AECOM's globally recognized urban planners, the InVision Tampa project has released a draft of its City Center Plan.

The City Center -- a Texas-shaped area of Tampa -- spans from downtown Tampa to Ybor City on the east, Armenia Avenue on the west and north along Nebraska and Hillsborough Avenues, including the University of Tampa (UT) neighborhood, North Hyde ParkWest TampaTampa Heights, Ybor City, V.M. Ybor, downtown Tampa and the Channel District. The City Center Plan will act as a road map to transform the area.

InVision Tampa is going to create a blueprint for downtown Tampa for the next 25 years,” says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “The community input and engagement on this planning effort was just extraordinary. With that kind of collaboration, I am even more confident that, together, we can make this happen.”

The plan focuses on re-centering downtown around the Hillsborough River, connecting area neighborhoods in a pedestrian-safe, transit-friendly manner while improving both the quality of life and economic development in the center of the city.

In the plan, the InVision Tampa team outlines 10 short-term and long-term ideas to help move the City of Tampa forward, helping to improve the city's urban core:

1. Nurture new river places that spur activity and create access to the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel, extending the economic value of the Center City waterfront.

2. Make the north downtown neighborhoods a multimodal, walkable area that extends the value of the Riverwalk and cultural venues east to Nebraska Avenue.

3. Establish streets and parks as primary elements of civic identity to catalyze downtown as the location of choice for new private development investment in the region.

4. Redevelop south downtown in a pattern of streets, blocks and public spaces that connect the Channel District with venues in the Downtown Core.

5. Reposition street corridors from traffic conduits to residentially oriented, balanced “Neighborhood Connectors” and local business “Main Streets.”

6. Rebalance Tampa and Florida Avenues as local streets, joining neighborhoods while providing regional access.

7. Develop an attractive, safe, cross-city, multipurpose trail that links the eastern and western Center City to neighborhoods and the Riverwalk.

8. Create a premium local transit route crossing the river from the Channel District to North Hyde Park to link residential, employment, and academic areas and capture “choice riders” as a mechanism for both transportation and economic development.

9. Continue on the mission of repositioning the large parcels of property within the Center City for development while supporting grassroots efforts for neighborhood improvements.

10. Leverage substantial education and healthcare assets and investments by linking their large workforce and student populations with community revitalization.

“In the draft process, we really took advantage of online social media. Residents provided input on what they liked and what they wanted to see more of in the downtown area,” says City of Tampa Urban Planning Coordinator Randy Goers. “We needed to take a look at our urban core because it hasn't been looked at in this standpoint in almost 20 years. We needed to take a look at a bigger area -- a more comprehensive look.”

Beginning in early December, expect additional outreach by the InVision Team as a draft plan focusing on the Nebraska Corridor develops, including community charrettes in early December. By early January, the project expects to begin a multi-year revitalization and transformation of the West Tampa area.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn & Randy Goers, City of Tampa

Net Zero Energy Building Opens In St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg's first self-sustaining, net zero building celebrated its grand opening on Monday, December 3rd.

As Florida's first designated green city, St. Petersburg is the new home of the Sierra Club's state headquarters and Big Sea Design and Development and Roundhouse Creative offices.

Built by All Florida Management with partners Bosch and Florida garden center Twig Leaves, St. Pete's first self-sustaining, net zero building is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum applicant, fully equipped with environmentally friendly solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, a water-to-air geothermal heat exchange system, glare-reducing thermal barrier window tinting, green spaces with native landscaping, rainwater harvesting and a weekly recycling program.

In other words: zero energy bill.

“These days, green businesses aren't just focused on developing earth-friendly technologies -- they are committed to offering a product or service that consumers know has little to no environmental impact,” says Tom Hall, the building's developer and managing partner of All Florida Management. “The emergence of this new green business culture has allowed our company to focus on meeting the needs of the small business community by dedicating ourselves to cultivating environmentally conscious commercial building platforms that reflect both our clients' personal and professional values.”

Roundhouse Creative is one of those small businesses looking to take advantage of everything the new eco-friendly building has to offer; Andrew Lee and his wife, Brooke, founded their production studio in 2007, focused on telling powerful stories and creating beautiful designs. Roundhouse Creative moved into a 2,600-square-foot space in the new building that is shared with Big Sea Design and Development.

“We made the decision years ago in our personal lives to be conscious of the environment and are excited about what being net zero will mean to our customers,” says Lee. “By hiring Roundhouse Creative, our customers can now benefit from the fact that their new website, TV commercial or web video has been produced with a near net zero environmental impact.”

With Roundhouse Creative's new space currently open for business, Lee looks forward to thriving in downtown St. Pete: What he calls a regional hub for art, culture and great food.

“Innovative, forward-thinking projects like this building are a perfect fit for the city and add to why I love St. Pete. I couldn't be more excited about what this project means for the area,” he says. “I hope other business owners become educated on the benefits of net zero and understand that they can now make conscious decisions for their business with the environment and future generations in mind.”

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Tom Hall, All Florida Management & Andrew Lee, Roundhouse Creative

Tampa Mayor Adds StreetLights, Improves Safety

Thanks to a multimillion dollar investment, Tampa's about to get a lot brighter.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced a new street lighting program, “Bright Lights, Safe Nights,” a $2.2 million commitment over the next five years to expand the city's current streetlight network by 30 percent.

“Brighter lights mean safer neighborhoods and safer streets,” says Buckhorn. “Joining with our partners at TECO, this initiative will eliminate dark areas where criminals can hide and illuminate streets and intersections where our children cross.”

Improving Tampa's quality of life, approximately 8,400 new streetlights will be strategically placed throughout the city, including Community Redevelopment Areas and zones with high crime and/or crash rates; installation will begin in January 2013 with approximately 1,683 new lights per year.

Tampa Electric will oversee the installation with the City of Tampa funding electricity and maintenance; the City currently funds 30,000 streetlights, totaling $5 million annually.

“We've been lighting Tampa for 114 years and we look forward to doing our part to meet the Mayor's goal,” says Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, early-morning and nighttime crashes can be reduced by about 35 percent with additional streetlights.

In addition, two research projects by the Institute of Criminology at the United Kingdom's University of Cambridge in 2005 found that documented crimes decreased up to 45 percent with the financial savings from reduced crimes exceeding the cost of lighting by up to 10 times.

“A well-light city is a safer city,” says Buckhorn.

“Bright Lights, Safe Nights” fulfills Buckhorn's promise to complete a citywide lighting inventory, determining where updates and repairs are necessary throughout Tampa, including the replacement of dimming streetlights and removal of tree branch obstructions.

The City is asking residents to request repairs on existing streetlights and/or submit suggestions for new streetlight locations.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa & Gordon Gillette, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas

Tampa Spay/Neuter Clinic Moves, Increases Services

If you visit the Animal Coalition of Tampa Spay/Neuter Clinic on Lemon Street on a typical day, you'll see clients braving the summer heat and storms under tents pitched in the parking lot.

Affectionately called the "waiting room,'' the tents are a temporary solution to space issues experienced by the clinic. With an average of 20,000 animals served per year, the clinic has outgrown its 3,000-square-feet space and plans to move to a new building on Gilchrist Avenue on October 9.
 
"We needed so much to come together for the building to be right,'' says Linda Hamilton, the clinic's founder and executive director.

The new building, located four blocks from the current one, was chosen because of its proximity to the existing space (to keep their dedicated staff and clients), large parking area, reasonable rent, ideal size and layout.
 
With the mission of ending unnecessary euthanasia of dogs and cats in Hillsborough County, the Spay/Neuter Clinic first opened in 2006 to provide low cost, high quality spay/neuter services to low-income residents. Since then, services have been expanded to include vaccine packages and even life-saving surgeries.

"It's because of the community's reactions to our services that moving became such a critical need,'' says Hamilton. "People bring in a pet they have saved from the street or a shelter, and they are able to give it a home because of our affordable prices.''
 
The new building will allow ACT to offer pet care classes for the public on topics such as managing feral cats and grieving the loss of a pet. They also plan to utilize more volunteers and loan space to local rescue groups for meetings.

"We want our clients to know that someone is there for them, to help them keep their animals in the home rather than surrendering them to a shelter. The building is in honor of the community, who cares and wants to see unnecessary euthanasia finally come to an end,'' says Hamilton.
 
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Linda Hamilton, ACT Spay/Neuter Clinic

Explore Downtown Tampa Architecture On QR Code Tour

AIA Tampa Bay members are serving as guides for Do the Local Motion's Discover Design Architect Tour of downtown Tampa's unique architecture on Friday, Oct. 5, from noon to 1 p.m

The one-hour tour, beginning at Lykes Gaslight Square Park in downtown Tampa, will include five to six historically significant buildings that contribute to the city's sense of place. The event is free and open to the public. Just show up!

Tampa Bay residents and visitors also can experience downtown Tampa's unique architecture through a self-guided walking tour using QR codes. The tour was launched as part of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects' Archifest in October 2011. Twelve new sites were added in August this year, bringing the total to 23.

"It's another way to get the public thinking about architecture,'' says Dawn Mages, executive director for AIA Tampa Bay. The tour is free and both phone and tablet-friendly, making it attractive to people visiting downtown.

Participants can start the tour by visiting Tour Tampa Bay Architecture, where they will find maps of the sites and pictures showing where the QR codes can be found. Some codes are obscure, whereas others stand out on windows and can be found while passing by. The website also includes historic sites in Ybor City and Hyde Park.

The tour has had 600 unique visitors since the new buildings were added in August. The most popular building is Tampa Theatre on Franklin Street, followed by Sacred Heart Church on Florida Avenue. Rivergate Tower on Ashley Street is a favorite among architects.

AIA was recently awarded a grant from the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources and is also receiving support from the Tampa Downtown Partnership. Future plans include site enhancements such as professional videos to provide more information about the buildings.

Additional local events honoring Archtober can be found on AIA Tampa Bay’s website.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Dawn Mages, AIA Tampa Bay

Gift To USF: $12 Million Toward New College Of Global Sustainability

Thanks to the help of Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel, a new College of Global Sustainability may be in the works for the University of South Florida (USF).

The latest contribution to the USF: Unstoppable Campaign -- a $600 million effort to celebrate the energy, vision and future of the university -- the Patels recently donated $12 million to the university toward an endowment aimed at creating the new Patel College of Global Sustainability.

The new college will expand on nearly a decade of research in an attempt to advance sustainability around the globe.

“The Earth is God's gift to humanity and we believe that the current generation must ensure that while meeting our present needs,” the Patels say. “The world's rapidly depleting resources and growing population require us to become more efficient and think of new ways to develop sustainable and renewable sources of clean water, energy, food and transportation.”

Upon university approval, the new Patel college -- which could begin accepting students as early as January 2013 -- will bring the current work of the Patel School of Global Sustainability to a new level, allowing it to focus on improved urban systems, water and transportation.

Recently, the Patel School of Global Sustainability, which Pallavi Patel calls a “do tank, not a think tank,” became the first North American university to obtain a research and strategy partnership with the UN-HABITAT Partner University Initiative. Together, USF and UN-HABITAT will establish the first United Nations Urban Futures Research Hub in the U.S., promoting education and professional development in emerging cities.

“We are inspired by the Patels' vision of a world where all people have a real chance to reach their full potential in a clean, healthy environment,” says USF President Judy Genshaft. “We are humbled that they have entrusted USF to be a partner in making the vision of a better tomorrow a reality. The Patels' trust in us means as much as the money they give.”

Right here in Tampa, the current Patel School has created a multiyear learning and research partnership with water management in the Netherlands called Resilient Tampa Bay. An effort to prepare the region for potential urban flooding challenges brought by hurricanes and rising sea levels, the program is guiding future development in an attempt to protect areas vulnerable to severe flooding.

The latest $12 million gift from the Patels brings the family's contribution to USF to $25.8 million. Through a series of donations and matching state funds, the Patels have focused their endowments and attention on sustainable global development and healthcare through supporting the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions Endowment Fund, USF Health, the Dr. Kiran Patel Center for Global Solutions Operating Fund and the Patel Center for Global Solutions.

According to Genshaft, the Patels leadership, influence and donations have helped USF become one of the top 50 research universities in the nation.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel & Judy Genshaft, USF

TradeWinds Sandpiper Suites Becomes Guy Harvey Outpost, St. Pete Beach

The TradeWinds Sandpiper Suites on St. Petersburg Beach has now become Guy Harvey Outpost.

A TradeWinds Beach Resort, the $3 million rebranding of the 211-room beachfront property, at 6000 Gulf Blvd. in St. Pete, marks the first Guy Harvey Outpost in the U.S. The Outpost celebrated its grand opening on September 12th.

“Due to the growing popularity of Guy Harvey, his brand and conservation efforts, the timing is great,” says Keith Overton, president of TradeWinds Island Resorts. “Guy has a lot of fans in the country and this gives them a place to come to experience his lifestyle, see his artwork and live his ideals. We're thrilled with the opportunity to work with Guy on creating a sustainable, green environment for our guests.”

Some highlights of the project include Guy Harvey décor in all guestrooms, a Guy Harvey Outfitter Shop, eco-based programs and activities, a renovation of the resort's current restaurant and beach bar and the addition of a marine-themed Guy Harvey restaurant with lounge area, private dining and retail store.

“Through our partnership with Guy Harvey, we're looking forward to building on our commitment to conservation and education while continuing to provide extensive recreational options for our guests,” says Overton. “These programs will not only be a wonderful addition for our guests, but will also positively impact local and regional tourism. Visitors, locals and guests will all be able to have fun while learning about conservation and our area's unique marine environment.”

One of Guy Harvey Outpost's first endeavors is the sponsorship of the auditorium at the new Florida Gulf Coast Center for Fishing and Interactive Museum in Largo.

According to Overton, guests of Guy Harvey Outpost should expect the same service that was given at TradeWinds Sandpiper Suites and will still have access to the amenities at the Island Grand, including the JetLev, surf school, High Tide Water Slide and Splash Island Water Park.

New carpet, paint, artwork and flat screen HDTV's are expected in all Outpost guestrooms by December 2012 with the Guy Harvey-themed restaurant and lounge seeing development in 2013.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Keith Overton, TradeWinds Island Resorts

Ballast Point Park In Tampa Caters To Kids, Families

Looking for a cool place to take the kids on a hot afternoon? Check out the new play spaces, climbing apparatus and water jets at the redesigned Ballast Point Park in south Tampa.

Designed by Hardeman-Kempton and Associates, construction on the $995,602 improvement project began in December 2011 and was funded by the City of Tampa's Community Investment Tax (CIT). The City matched a portion of funds raised by Ballast Point for a tot lot, a playground for children under 5 years old.

Ballast Point Park has been an integral part of our community for over 100 years,” says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “It's a popular spot because it has something from everyone -- from the fishing pier to the expanded wellness center to the new splash pad.”

In addition, park improvements include a sail structure to cover an existing playground, a great circular lawn, four new prefabricated picnic shelters featuring benches and grills, eight additional parking spaces and a new patio at the existing Joe Abrahams Fitness and Wellness Center. Florida friendly landscaping and irrigation were also installed.

The park also features a New England-style restaurant, Taste of Boston, featuring seafood, burgers, a kid's menu and Old Meeting House brand ice cream served on the edge of the Tampa Bay. The restaurant recently underwent new management.

Ballast Point Park was originally developed as a tropical park in 1984, serving as a terminal for an electric trolley-car line at the south end of Bayshore Boulevard; the park was previously named Jules Verne Park.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa

TGH Moves Offices To New Corporate Center, Downtown Tampa

Tampa General Hospital (TGH) has moved a number of its offices to the new Corporate Center on Kennedy Boulevard in downtown Tampa.

Located at 606 Kennedy Blvd., the hospital renovated a two-story, 52,000-square-foot facility originally built in 1926, making enough space to relocate approximately 450 TGH employees on 5.6 acres of land just west of downtown Tampa.

“Many TGH offices were moved to the new TGH Corporate Center so we could convert the spaces they previously occupied at the hospital into patient care,” says TGH Manager of Construction Services Kelly Glass. “The Kennedy Boulevard location was the right size for us and is in close proximity to the hospital.”

Designed to U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements, existing wood flooring, brick arches and several items for added energy efficiency were left in place from the original architecture of the Bryn-Alan Photography laboratory and call center. According to Glass, the center expects to receive LEED Certification upon completion of a more than 450-space parking lot; the lot is currently under construction.

“The building was designed to blend into the current, new architecture of the Kennedy Boulevard area,” Glass says. “We believe the addition of the Corporate Center is a positive influence in the redevelopment of the corridor.”

Approximately $9.7 million was spent on purchasing the land for the Corporate Center with an additional $5 million spent on renovations.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Kelly Glass, TGH

Crescent Resources Begins Work On Apartment Community On Bayshore, Tampa

A new eight-story, 367-unit apartment community is in the works for Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa.

North Carolina-based Crescent Resources is working on a $68 million project, Circle Bayshore, located at 319 Bayshore Blvd., just minutes from the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway, Hyde Park Village, Channelside, downtown Tampa and Ybor City.

Circle Bayshore will rent studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment units featuring high ceilings; walk-in closets; private balcony; full-size washer and dryer; gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, undermount sinks and a prep island; and bathrooms finished with custom wood cabinetry, ceramic tile floors and granite countertops.

“Circle Bayshore will offer its residents a unique lifestyle in an uncommon location with amazing amenities, first-class programming and high-quality interiors,” says Brian Natwick, president of Crescent Resources' multifamily division.

Keen on going green, Circle Bayshore is expected to incorporate a number of sustainable, energy efficient features and materials, ultimately receiving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In addition, the bay-front community will feature high-end amenities including a resort-style swimming pool, two-story health club and fitness center, outdoor living area with grilling stations and a fire pit, business center and club room.

Funded by an equity investment from Crescent Resources, construction financing from Capital One and mezzanine financing from Nationwide Real Estate Investments, the new community was designed by MSA Architects of Miami with Fort Lauderdale's Moss & Associates acting as general contractor, King Engineering of Tampa as civil engineer and Orlando's Land Resource Design Group, Inc. as landscape architect.

Crescent Resources expects to break ground on Circle Bayshore by October 2012 with initial apartments complete by the first quarter of 2014.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Brian Natwick, Crescent Resources

New Urban, Green Community Near Downtown St. Pete

A newly renovated 176-unit multifamily apartment community is in the works for St. Petersburg.

An example of affordable urban housing, Avesta Woodlawn Park by Avesta Homes touts itself as "St. Pete's first sensibly green apartment community" located on 18th Avenue just minutes from downtown, offering double-pane, low-e windows, ENGERY STAR appliances, water efficient landscaping featuring native plants, LED lighting, efficient plumbing fixtures and an on-site recycling program.

Avesta Woodlawn Park embodies the urban “live, work and play” concept, promoting alternative ways to travel with covered bike parking for residents and easy access to public transportation.

“Avesta Homes is very excited to be a part of the St. Petersburg community,” says Carol Toffolo, Avesta Homes director of marketing. “Improvement of a local neighborhood community while attracting residents will directly benefit local shops and business owners. Our improvements (the renovation and beautification of the prior Woodlawn Park property) increase the desirability for future home buyers and renters in the local area.”

Residents of the new urban community will also have access to eco-friendly amenities such as a community garden, fenced dog park, fitness trail and workout stations, private fenced backyards and a swimming pool featuring poolside WiFi.

The $3 million renovation project is slated to be complete by December 2012. Units are expected to be available for rent beginning September 2012 ranging from as low as $695 for a one-bedroom and up to $895 for a two-bedroom.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Carol Toffolon, Avesta Homes

New Trees, Artsy Bridge Lighting Spruce Up Downtown Tampa

Almost 800 strategically planted new trees and artsy lightning along Tampa's downtown bridges are among the most noticiable improvements made by the City of Tampa in preparation for the RNC.

The Opportunity Corridors Project planted 782 indigenous trees such as Southern Red Cedar, Chickasaw Plum and Sabal Palms along major streets in downtown neighborhoods; irrigation and lighting were also installed.

Agua Luces by Artist Tracey Dear features colorful lighting along five of nine downtown bridges, including the Platt Street Bridge, Brorein Street Bridge, Kennedy Boulevard Bridge, the Crosstown Expressway overpass and CSX Railroad Bridge.

The downtown Opportunity Corridors -- what Mayor Bob Buckhorn calls the “front doors” of the city -- include Bayshore Boulevard from Platt Street to Rome Avenue, Ashley Drive, the Organe/Jefferson Interchange, Union Station, Laurel Street, Franklin Street and Nuccio Parkway.

“Mayor Buckhorn believes that major transportation arteries are economic development opportunities,” says David Vaughn,  City of Tampa director of contract administrations.

The city plans to expand the tree plantings in concentric circles beyond downtown.  The goal is to encourage the improved corridors to grow neighborhood support through retail, creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

Agua Luces is an initiative of the Lights On Tampa Committee, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: David Vaughn, City of Tampa
189 Environment Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts