St. Pete Celebrates Grand Opening of SkyWay Lofts Affordable Housing Community

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St. Petersburg, FL — Mayor Ken Welch, members of City Council, City staff and County partners celebrated Tuesday the grand opening of a new affordable apartment community housing 65 hardworking individuals and families. 

SkyWay Lofts is an affordable housing community serving households earning less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), with the majority of units priced at $762 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $901 per month for a two-bedroom apartment for households earning at or below 60% AMI.

SkyWay Lofts

One-bedroom units were also made available for as low as $346 per month and $402 per month for two-bedroom units for those earning at or below 30% AMI.

Units were also made available for households earning up to 80% AMI for $1,039 and $1,234 per month for one- and two-bedroom units, respectively.

To put that into perspective, rent across the street at the market-rate Addison apartment complex runs about $1,900 per month for a one-bedroom unit and up to about $3,300 per month for a two-bedroom.

At SkyWay Lofts, all apartments are equipped with multiple energy-efficient features. Amenities include a clubroom, a fitness center, on-site laundry and free parking. The apartments are already fully leased. 

“Where are the 50% of folks who make less than that $23.50 an hour going to live? It’s places like this. And what I love about it is, it kills the stereotype of affordable housing. This is great housing. It is well-built and it will be well-managed and it’s a place where folks can be proud to live,” St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch said.

SkyWay Lofts marks the first new construction community completed in St. Petersburg by Blue Sky Communities. Blue Sky Communities is based in Tampa and develops affordable housing throughout the State of Florida. 

“The growth and rejuvenation that our city has experienced over the last 10-12 years is one that communities across our state and country are trying to duplicate. But success comes with its own challenges. The greatest one that we face is to make sure that everyone that wants to live in our city without having to spend a disproportionate portion of their income to do so,” said Blue Sky Communities Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Scott Macdonald. “I believe SkyWay Lofts is a microcosm of just how difficult that has become. We have 65 units here. We had over 1,800 inquiries that were generated from little more than word of mouth.”

Financing for the development was provided by the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, TIAA Bank, Raymond James Bank and Raymond James Tax Credit Funds.

The new apartment community located in St. Petersburg’s Skyway Marina District is the first of many new affordable housing developments supported by a new countywide partnership aimed at adding thousands of units to the area over the next decade. 

The County and City have approved nearly 900 affordable homes for funding support with the Penny for Pinellas in the past two years alone, with many currently under construction by local developers. The voter-approved one-cent sales tax helps cover the land and other authorized costs for residential developments where some or all units are reserved at affordable rates. 

The County and City have also joined Forward Pinellas and the cities of Clearwater, Largo and Pinellas Park in the Advantage Pinellas Countywide Housing Compact, an agreement to develop and implement long-term solutions to housing affordability.

“We cannot solve the housing crisis alone. It’s because of strong partnerships that 65 individuals and families now have a safe, affordable place to lay their heads at night,” said Pinellas County Commission Chairman Charlie Justice.

Pinellas County has committed $700,000 for land acquisition from the Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program while the City of St. Petersburg is committing an additional $90,000 from its Pinellas County Housing Trust Fund Assistance. 

Annual income guidelines at SkyWay Lofts are as follows:

30% AMI — $15,510 for a single-member household; $17,730 for a two-person household; $19,950 for a three-person household; $22,140 for a four-person household; and $23,940 for a five-person household.

60% AMI — $31,020 for a single-member household; $35,460 for a two-person household; $39,900 for a three-person household; $44,280 for a four-person household; and $47,880 for a five-member household.

80% AMI — $41,360 for a single-member household; $47,280 for a two-person household; $53,200 for a three-member household; $59,040 for a four-member household; and $63,840 for a five-member household.

For more information on City affordable housing initiatives, please visit: