New and renovated apartments for seniors opening soon in West Tampa

Hundreds of Tampa seniors on fixed incomes will soon be moving into new and renovated affordable housing units near Blake High School on the northwest edge of downtown.

Some 820 families were relocated to complete the renovation of the Mary McLeod Bethune High-Rise and new construction of The Renaissance at West River, replacing old public housing that was demolished on the site.

Eventually, says Tampa Housing Authority Senior VP Leroy Moore, 2,200 units for seniors over 62 will stand in place of the original 820 units on the 44-acre property.

Families are already moving into The Renaissance and Moore says the Authority hopes to hold the Mary Bethune High-Rise grand opening at the end of October.
“It is an active adult community for people who can live independently,” he says. Those who will occupy the buildings are seniors who either lived in public housing on the same site previously or are some of the 20,000 people on a closed waitlist.

“It’s all about allowing them to live safely and in a healthier environment,” Moore says. Tenants must be at least 62 years old and make no more than 60% of the area median income to qualify for this housing. So, if a senior gets $1,000 in income monthly, they will pay $333 in rent.
The units are one- and two-bedroom apartments with high efficiency electrical and mechanical systems and space better planned for seniors, he says. The complex includes office space, a craft room, workout room, and other amenities designed especially for seniors.

The Renaissance, the first of the senior complexes completed, was constructed by DPR Construction. Baker Barrios Architects designed the building.

Hennessey Construction renovated the Mary McLeod Bethune building, with Place Architects as designers.

“There is an incredible demand for affordable housing here,” Moore says. “We tore down 670 units on that site. We have got another 500 under construction and two more buildings already fully funded and going under construction in the next six months. So, we have 927 units of housing already funded and another 300 units under contract for the development of market-rate housing. At the end of the day, we will have over 2,200 units on the footprint that had 820,” including 80 townhomes that will be available to purchase.

Additionally, the property includes office space, a grocery store, and some other commercial space.

For more information, visit the Tampa Housing Authority website.


Read more articles by Yvette C. Hammett.

Yvette C. Hammett, a native Floridian and a graduate of the University of Florida, has spent much of her career as a professional journalist covering business, the environment, and local features throughout the Tampa Bay Area. She is an avid camper and outdoors person who has also been involved in local events for foster children and the elderly.