RFP: Here’s your chance to create workforce housing for teachers by reusing and restoring a historic school in Florida

The School Board of Pinellas County (Florida) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to address a local shortage of workforce housing for teachers and staff members by redeveloping the historic, 3-story, 40,942-square-foot former school called the Tomlinson Building.

It’s 1.36-acre site, located at 296 Mirror Lake Drive in St. Petersburg. The goal is to increase much-needed affordable rentals, while simultaneously preserving and restoring the city’s built heritage.

Pinellas County is a highly desirable place to live and work with very few areas to develop housing. In order to attract the best teachers to our community, we must be proactive in providing housing choices that are attainable and appealing,” said Superintendent Kevin Hendrick.

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,” he added.

The district issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development and management of a residential or mixed-use community for teachers and staff.

Project goals are to:

  • Address the shortage of workforce housing for school district teachers and employees in Pinellas County;
  • Optimize the use of the Tomlinson building by transforming it into a housing, business, entertainment or mixed-use facility;
  • Preserve the existing Tomlinson building; and
  • Engage with a team experienced in real estate, workforce housing, finance, construction, operation (including property management) and maintenance with the demonstrated experience and capacity to design, develop, construct, finance, lease, operate and maintain rental housing.

The school’s history traces back to 1924, when it was built and opened as St. Petersburg Junior High School.

The school became a vocational high school in 1931 and was named the Edwin H. Tomlinson Vocational School in 1935.

In 1978, the school became known as the Tomlinson Adult Education Center, the name it held until its closing in 2021.

The growth of two Pinellas Technical College campuses along with the expansion of vocational and career education programs into every high school in the district contributed to a decline in enrollment at Tomlinson over the past decade.

Tomlinson Adult Education Center was closed by the school district in December 2021, and its programs were incorporated into existing adult and career education programs at Pinellas Technical College campuses and evening programs at local high schools.

Proposals due by 4 PM ET, February 1, 2023.

Photo courtesy of School Board of Pinellas County.

See full RFP.

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