BISWIRE/June 20, 2023 – 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 Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Kevin Hendrick, Tomlinson Community Partners' innovative and collaborative approach aligns with Pinellas County Schools' mission to support the housing needs of our dedicated teachers and staff. "We must proactively provide affordable and desirable housing to attract and retain them. the best teachers and district staff."
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 III 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.”
St. Petersburg Junior High first used the Tomlinson tower in 1924. A vocational school was finally established there in 1931. The institution was given the name Edwin H. Tomlinson Vocational School in 1935 in honor of a well-known donor to St. Petersburg. In 1978 the college was renamed the Tomlinson Adult Learning Center, which it remained open until December of 2021. Due to several financial factors, including declining enrollment, the Adult Learning Center was closed. The Tomlinson Community Partners are eager to give the building a new life.
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 dearth of employee housing for teachers and employees, maximizing the use of the Tomlinson building, and maintaining its historic significance. Another goal for the area was to find partners with real estate, workplace housing, financing, building, operation, and maintenance expertise. These objectives guide The Tomlinson Community Partners' efforts and are straight in line with the organizations' personal principles.