Metro 510: Calling Historic Downtown Tampa Church Home

Sage Partners has purchased and is renovating a beloved landmark church in downtown Tampa to create a 120-unit, six-story workforce housing mid-rise to give residents working downtown an affordable option for urban living. The mid-rise is projected to open on or before Oct. 1, 2011.

"It's close to transit stations, so residents living there can basically go anywhere without getting into a car," says Sage President Debra Koehler. "And they can walk to work, of course. It's also two blocks from the Marion Street Transit Station that will serve the high-speed rail system."

According to Koehler, the new building, to be named Metro 510, is being built around the historic St. Paul AME Church at 506 E. Harrison Street, which will serve as the mid-rise's community center.

"The first floor will have a fully equipped exercise room, a computer lab and a library," says Koehler. "And the 7,700-square-foot sanctuary on the second floor will be converted into an area for all ages of children -- a place for play, learning and arts. Kind of like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids."

Its stain glass windows will remain and be illuminated with LED lighting.

"The lighting will make it public art for all of Tampa to enjoy," says Koehler.

The new building also features covered parking, a playground, a spray park, outdoor movie area and a community garden where residents can grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Koehler says each one- to three-bedroom unit is fully equipped with stainless steel appliances, large window lines to take advantage of natural light and plenty of storage space.

Urban Studio Architects designed the renovations, and First Florida is handling the construction.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Debra Koehler, Sage Partners, LLC

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