Uptown Sky will create more affordable housing in North Tampa

Uptown Sky, a 61-unit, low-income multi-family apartment complex, officially breaks ground today in the Uptown/University area of North Tampa.

Blue Sky Communities is working in partnership with the University Area Community Development Corp. on the project, which will be located at the corner of 13603 N. 12th Street and Fletcher Avenue near I-275 in north Tampa.

“What excites me the most is that we are proving you can do very low to low-income housing in Tampa,” says University Area CDC Executive Director Sarah Combs. “No one’s building for this population so there is no place to house these individuals. This is a perfect example of why the HOPE Fund was created for Hillsborough County. This is what they fought for. It’s so exciting to show we can do this.”

Hillsborough County is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, Combs says. “Displacement is happening” as rent prices go through the roof.

In addition to the apartments, the CDC will offer programming on the ground floor including dance or music lessons, health and wellness programs, and more.

The idea behind this project is to eliminate the cost burden of rent, increase access to transit, and increase access to other needed services. There are three income categories eligible for the apartments -- 18 units at 50% of Area Median Income, or AMI; 30 units at 60% AMI and 13 units at 70% AMI.
Uptown Sky is funded by about $7.3 million of 4 percent Housing Credit Equity syndicated by Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, with Aetna, a CVS health company.

The Housing Finance Authority of Hillsborough County also issued $9.25 million of Multifamily Mortgage Revenue bonds purchased by Truist Bank. There is also a $5.8 million low-interest loan from the county’s HOPE and SHIP Affordable Housing Trust.
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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.