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School district partners with developers to possibly convert properties into affordable housing

The Hillsborough County school district has picked the developers, including one with ties to the Related Group in Miami, to work on repurposing schools if a redistricting plan is enacted.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 p.m. December 20, 2022
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Hillsborough County Public Schools has picked three developers to build affordable workforce housing when and if district-owned properties become available for redevelopment.

The county school board chose the developers Dec. 13 to work on the projects if the district decides to repurpose properties and convert them into affordable rental housing for middle and lower-income families — including school employees. 

The developers include Tampa affordable housing developer Blue Sky Communities; Wire Development, also from Tampa; and RUDG, an LLC that shares an address with Miami mega-developer the Related Group.

The school district is working on an attendance boundary analysis that looks at school enrollment. As part of that analysis, a consultant working with school officials has created a redistricting plan that includes a possible partial or full repurposing of school or district properties.

What school board members voted on Dec. 13 was an item to “identify a number of vendors” with experience who can help determine how to reconfigure properties for potential affordable housing, Addison Davis, the district’s superintendent, said at the meeting.

“This is just in case we move forward with any particular repurposing or looking at any venues that we may have or facilities we may have in our district,” he said.

“If we want to be able to convert that (to) affordable housing for our staff members, these three companies have done it not only in the city limits but throughout the state of Florida and feel very comfortable about the partnership.”

He added that the vote did not mean the school district was engaging with the developers but that it was a way to identify them as vendors that can help with the process.  

Although district and school board officials talk as if the redistricting and the freeing up of properties is some far off possibility, the hard and, for some parents, harsh reality is a decision is just weeks away.

According to a timeline shared with parents, the district will hold 10 community meetings between Jan. 9-13 and the school board will hold a workshop Jan. 31.

The first reading of a final redistricting will then happen in mid-February with the second and final reading scheduled for Feb. 21.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the commercial real estate editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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