“While it’s located in the West River neighborhood and West Tampa, and it’s incredibly important to that neighborhood and that area, it really impacts our entire city,” said Post.
After hearing from a packed room of voices from all over Tampa in the Wednesday night session, the city will move forward with the permitting and studies it’s required to complete before breaking ground on Rome Yard in late 2021 or early 2022.
Citro can hardly wait.
“I’m hoping that this is one of the first steps this city council’s going to take to make sure that 40 years from now we all remember that we did the right thing at the right time,” he said.
Many of the voices present at Wednesday’s meeting said the project’s commitment to affordable housing is music to their ears.
That said, those folks also say they’d like to see more of it across the city.
“This project is awesome. I think it’s very critical for that neighborhood, in particular, I think they have the right mindset about it. But why are we not talking about affordable housing in south Tampa? I know it’s crazy to think about but we aren’t talking about it,” said Nathan Hagan, an affordable housing advocate.
The project also boasts a commitment to partner with locally owned black businesses. It was revealed at the meeting that project leaders will reserve a quarter of their contracts for those business owners.
That’s something small business owner Elizabeth Racker likes, though she says there’s room for improvement.
“Tampa has been lacking in connecting small businesses to the community,” said Racker. “I was thinking they were going to have a work-live concept for small businesses. I think it’s still in the works and I’m doing my best trying to plug it in their ears because it’s something that we definitely need.”
The city says the plan is to hold two more of these feedback meetings before breaking ground.