Central Park: Reviving the Scrub

A virtual look at Tampa's progress in the revival of a historic African-American community that was nearly completely razed by mid-20th century urban renewal.



Encore Project * Redevelopment Of Central Park*

The Central Park redevelopment project is the Crown Jewel and most complex mixed income, mixed used multi family housing deal that THA has ever been involved with. It is anticipated the redevelopment will greatly contribute to the quality of life for its residents and the community as a whole. A joint venture agreement between the Housing Authority of the City of Tampa (THA) and the Bank of America Community Development Corporation (BACDC) has been established. Through this partnership, a master plan of mixed used, mixed income housing development consisting of the entire 28+ Central Park site has been completed. The new development has been renamed “Encore District”.

The proposed development will consist of 2,030 residential units, 50,000 square feet of commercial retail space, 59,000 square feet of office space including a hotel, supermarket, St James Church restoration, Perry Harvey restoration and Town Center. Construction of this project began in the fall of 2010. Four of the 11 pads will consist of THA owned affordable Housing market rate rental mixed income rental units.

Ten percent of those affordable units will be public housing. The THA and its Partners expect to receive a profit of approximately a half billion dollars from the sale of individual parcels of land that have been created from this plan to private Developers. This profit and the revenues generated from the operation of the affordable rate rental properties will help THA achieve its goals of quality housing for its residence and thereby lessen economic dependence on HUD subsidies.

Source: https://www.thafl.com/departments/real-estate-development/strategicPlanning/encoreDistrict.aspx

In 2011, construction began on The Ella. This 160-unit apartment building for seniors opened in December 2012.

In 2012, construction began on The Trio. Featuring the Encore’s first family residences, the 141 unit multifamily building opened in June 2014.

The 158-unit Reed building opened June 2015 after breaking ground in 2013. Serving elderly families, it is the second senior residential project to be built at the Encore.

In 2014, construction began on The Tempo. This 203-unit multifamily affordable development was completed in 2018.

The Tempo (left) and The Ella (right) are located at the intersection of Ray Charles Boulevard and Governor Street.

Completed in 1921, the historic St. James Episcopal Church is in the process of being restored by the Tampa Housing Authority.

Originally established to serve black Bahamians and Afro-Cubans working in the city’s cigar industry, the St. James Episcopal Church will be used as a community center and African-American museum.

Designated as an Opportunity Zone, two additional multifamily blocks are currently under construction at ENCORE! Legacy at Encore, a five-story wood frame, 228-unit multifamily community with a parking garage. A second project, The Independent, will consist of 288 units in one six-story building with a total square footage of 275,000. A seven-story parking deck is currently going vertical.

A rendering of The Legacy at ENCORE!

The Independent will face Perry Harvey Sr. Park (see next page).

A rendering of The Independent.