To renovate the historic Tomlinson building, which has been standing in the Mirror Lake neighborhood of St. Petersburg for 99 years, Pinellas County Schools has chosen Tomlinson Community Partners (TCP). This strategic alliance responds to the demand for affordable worker housing for school personnel and instructors.
According to Kevin Hendrick, superintendent of Pinellas County Schools, “The innovative and collaborative approach of the Tomlinson Community Partners aligns with Pinellas County Schools’ goal to support the housing needs of our dedicated educators and employees. We must actively provide accessible and desirable housing options to attract and retain the best teachers and district employees.”
(The old Tomlinson building in downtown St. Petersburg, to be renovated by Tomlinson Community Partners.)
The proposed project by Tomlinson Community Partners includes 225 residential units with 113 units designated as workforce housing for teachers and district employees. These units will be affordable by catering to people between 90% and 120% of the area median income (AMI). The estimated monthly rent will range between $1,263 and $1,609, offering studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. The remaining 112 units will be available to the public at market value, with rental prices ranging from $2,156 to $2,771 monthly.
TCP is dedicated to giving PCS instructors and staff access to free amenities, including a common room for teachers, a gym and parking, in addition to affordable living apartments. The anticipated date for project completion is July 2026. Pinellas County Schools will retain ownership of the property through a lease agreement.
Pinellas County Schools and Tomlinson Community Partners will work closely to develop a comprehensive plan and timeline, which will be presented to the Pinellas County School Board for approval in the coming months.
TCP is a partnership between Alexander Goshen, Cornerstone Strategic Partners, and Dantes Partners. Miles Alexander III, Principal of Alexander Goshen, is honored to be part of the team entrusted with renovating the historic Tomlinson building. “We are dedicated to providing urgent housing needs and developing a lively, inclusive community that raises up all of its people because we know this obligation’s gravity. In line with our shared aim for quality attainable housing, we are delighted to contribute to St. Petersburg’s growth and success,” Alexander said.
Miles Alexander is a prominent figure in the real estate industry, known for his expertise in developing transformative projects. Alexander has established himself as a visionary leader with a keen awareness of the business and a drive to build flourishing communities.
He has been a key player in several prosperous endeavors as the founder of Alexander Goshen. His involvement in the partnership with Tomlinson Community Partners demonstrates his commitment to restoring old structures and reusing them in ways that preserve their cultural relevance while meeting modern demands.
Leonard Burke is the managing partner of Cornerstone Strategic Partners, a local developer which specializes in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. He stated, “We thought of adding the inclusion of Dante’s Partners in this endeavor to the (TCP) partnership, bringing together deep synergy of knowledge and a shared vision for promoting equitable housing. We are excited to work together towards creating a thriving and inclusive community.”
According to Clint Herbic, Chief Operating Officer for Pinellas County Schools, “Together, Pinellas County Schools and Tomlinson Community Partners are committed to creating a space that also honors the building’s rich history.”
St. Petersburg Junior High first used the Tomlinson building in 1924. A vocational school was then established there in 1931. In 1935, the school was named Edwin H. Tomlinson Vocational School to honor one of St. Petersburg’s well-known donors.
In 1978 the school was renamed the Tomlinson Adult Learning Center, which it remained until its closing in December of 2021. The Adult Learning Center was closed due to various financial reasons, including declining enrollment. The Tomlinson Community Partners are excited to breathe new life into the building.
Pinellas County Schools issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in November 2022, seeking equitable public-private collaborations to develop the Tomlinson site. The district received four submissions. Pinellas County Schools’ project objectives include solving the scarcity of worker housing for teachers and staff, maximizing the use of the Tomlinson building, and maintaining its historical significance. Recruiting partners with real estate, workforce housing, financing, building, operation, and maintenance expertise was another objective for the district. These objectives guide The Tomlinson Community Partners’ efforts and are directly in line with the group’s own principles.
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