ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Pinellas County School District is issuing a request to develop the historic Tomlinson building into teacher and staff housing, according to a news release.
On Wednesday, the district issued a request inviting proposals "with the intent of pursuing an equitable public-private collaboration to develop the Tomlinson site with the following project goals and guiding principles."
Some of the project goals outlined were to address the shortage of housing for school district teachers and employees, optimized the use of the Tomlinson building and preserve the building.
"Pinellas County is a highly desirable place to live and work with very few areas to develop housing," Superintendent Kevin Hendrick said. "In order to attract the best teachers to our community, we must be proactive in providing housing choices that are attainable and appealing.
"This project sets out to innovatively and collaboratively address housing for our teachers and other district employees. I look forward to working with the successful bidder to create something truly special for our employees and our community."
Associate Superintendent of Schools Clint Herbic described the plan as "an opportunity to take a building that really is underused and to turn it into something that can really benefit our employees."
"It really gives everybody an opportunity to find something affordable in a great area of town to live in," Herbic said.
According to some preliminary estimates, Herbic said as many as 200 units could fill the space, which also includes the back parking lot.
It would be up to the developer to set rent prices, and that will be something the county will consider when selecting a developer through the RFP process.
"So what we really want to do is give affordable places to live and kind of balance those rents out against inflation. So we're not always chasing the market," Herbic said.
Learn more about the proposal here.