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Planning Commission announces 36th Annual Planning & Design Award Winners

Tampa, FL – The Planning Commission is proud to announce the winners of our 36th Annual Planning & Design Awards presented by TECO with marketing partner, the Tampa Bay Times. This celebration of excellence in planning and design in Hillsborough County was held on October 25 at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre. Our annual awards program now aligns with the many national festivities held during the American Planning Association’s National Community Planning Month (NCPM) and celebration of Great Places in America. Established in 2006, NCPM highlights the role of planners and the importance of good planning in our communities.

Award winners were selected by a panel of distinguished judges from outside of Hillsborough County. Photographs of the event
and award winners can be viewed in an album on the Planning Commission’s facebook page. Brendan McLaughlin, Master of Ceremonies, presented eight Awards of Merit, four Awards of Excellence, and three Awards of Outstanding Contribution to the Community, including the Jan Abell Award for Historic Preservation.

Award of Excellence

Category | Housing
The Graham at Gracepoint
– DDA Development
– Gracepoint
– Place Architecture

The Graham at Gracepoint is a 90-unit apartment community developed under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. Located in the Seminole Heights East neighborhood, the two buildings are three-story elevator structures made of concrete block. The target set-asides are 50% at-risk homeless and 50% senior. The Graham was financed solely with an allocation of housing tax credits and a loan issued through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. The development features a commercial kitchen and dining area that seats 60, a community area, gym, library, coffee bar, indoor bicycle storage area, and a beauty salon. The community has unique features such as apartments adopted by community groups to provide furniture and basics for new homeless residents. Residents can also volunteer to earn “Graham bucks” which can be used to purchase necessities in the community store.

The Graham was formerly occupied by a 30-unit residential treatment program owned and operated by Gracepoint under a trust dating to the 1950s. The old structures were demolished to make way for this new green certified development with a 50-year land use restriction, ensuring the property will continue to serve its tenant population. Many of the residents from the “Old Graham” were able to move into the new Graham, helping bridge the past to the present and creating a bright future for the residents and the community.

The judges applauded The Graham at Gracepoint for planning with integrity and respect, creating affordable housing that doesn’t look or feel like affordable housing. From the green certification to the modern amenities and community engagement, The Graham represents quality redevelopment meeting a critical community need for populations at risk. The judges found it to be a thoughtful and provocative model project with huge community impact and quality of life benefit.

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