Tampa’s North Boulevard Homes demolition begins in earnest

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa’s oldest public housing complex is about to undergo a major change.

On Thursday, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn kicked off the process by partially bulldozing one of the buildings at North Boulevard Homes. Residents actually started moving out two years ago. The project is a multi-million dollar community.

“This is a major investment, somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 or $500 million dollars will be spent over the next five years,” said Jerome Ryans, President and CEO of the Tampa Housing Authority.

The new homes, called Boulevard at West River, will eventually include 1,240 market rate for rent, multi-housing and 96 for-sale townhomes; 842 income-restricted affordable family and senior housing with broader range of incomes; a retail and office component primarily oriented to serving the local community; 90,000 square feet of retail and 70,000 feet of professional office space.

People who lived here when the complex was built in 1940 are apprehensively excited to see the change.

“I really hate to see it come down…but that’s life,” said Mary Franklin Gadson.

The new facility should be completed over the next five years.

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