On Thursday, May 21, 2015, approximately 150 guests attended the ribbon cutting celebration for the beautiful, completely renovated, Landings at Cross Bayou in St. Petersburg. Prior to its gut rehab and renovation, the property was a vintage 1970’s public housing property with failing infrastructure.
The Landings at Cross Bayou was the first HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration project to close in Florida, preserving the HUD subsidy for very low income families. Norstar Development USA, LP and Pinellas County Housing Authority co-developed the project. Financial partners include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Florida Housing Finance Corporation, Raymond James, Pinellas County, Norstar Development USA and Pinellas County Housing Authority. The new property was designed by Bessolo Design Group and constructed by Brooks & Freund.
In addition to all of the partners that made Landings possible, other attendees and participants in the ribbon cutting included State Representative Kathleen Peters, representatives from the offices of Congressman Jolly and State Senator Jeff Brandes, HUD Field Office Director Alesia Scott-Ford, and PCHA board members Joseph Triolo, Angela Rouson, Michael Guju, and Alan Swartz. Rep. Peters praised Pinellas County Housing Authority and partners for a job well done, saying, “The people that have put this together have really worked on building a really, really strong community for some of our most vulnerable citizens.”
Rick Cavalieri, Construction and Development Manager for Norstar, praised the housing authority’s efforts in creating a lasting, affordable community through what was a difficult and intense project. Alesia Scott-Ford made similar remarks, saying, “It is just great to see the power of partnership and putting the greater good at the very forefront of what we do,” adding, “This project was actually the very first RAD project to close in the state of Florida… To really pull one of these projects off is a challenge.” The Pinellas Sheriff’s Police Athletic League executive director, Neil Brickfield, spoke passionately about the importance of providing a safe home for youths to learn and grow, saying, “How many of us have a safe place to live every day? … What would it be like if you were trying to raise a family and you didn’t have a safe place, and then you got the opportunity to move to the Landings? That weight’s off your shoulders; Landings residents don’t have to worry about that part. They live in a newly renovated, clean, wonderful place.”