No Vacancy In Popular Upscale Affordable Apartments, Downtown St. Petersburg

After overcoming initial skepticism upon the announcement in the summer of 2011 of construction of a new 12-story affordable apartment project in downtown St. Petersburg, The Portland is now full and enjoying a good reputation.

Currently 100 percent leased, The Portland hosted a ribbon cutting in November 2011, welcoming a 100,000-square-foot 68-unit high-rise complex onto Eighth Street in St. Pete. Perhaps the best affordable housing available in St. Petersburg, rents range from approximately $380 to $900 per month.

“We caught a lot of criticism when the project first went public,” says Jonathan Moore, principal of ROJO Architecture who worked on the design of The Portland. “But I believe the project's intentions of bringing 'high design' to an often over-looked archetype -- affordable housing -- will allow The Portland to become a catalyst for the area while giving a unique sense of pride to the building's tenants.”

Featuring 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units, the $17 million 908 Development project includes three stories of secure parking, as well as an Internet cafe, workout room, rooftop patio and practice putting green.

Interior sustainable design features such as Energy Star appliances, low emissivity windows and recycled materials throughout has made The Portland one of 2011's greatest examples of successful construction projects in the Tampa Bay region.

“I think The Portland will really encourage future projects to 'step up' and bring exciting, sustainable design to the St. Pete area,” says Moore. “It was such an exciting project to work on, with many hurdles in design, funding, approvals and construction, but the finished project is a trophy for the City of St. Pete and the residents who reside.”

Taking approximately 12 months to complete, the project was funded through several public funding sources including the City of St. Pete, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Tax Credit Exchange Program.

“From Mayor Bill Foster to city staff, St. Pete was a true asset to the project, providing constant support and communication,” says Moore.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Jonathan Moore, ROJO Architecture
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