ParsCo selected for Blount project

By Samantha Sontag
INWEEKLY

In a Pensacola City Hall meeting regarding the former Blount School property sale and redevelopment Thursday morning, all committee votes were in favor of ParsCo Construction developing the site.

The company laid out a 112-page construction and development plan for the property, complete with 30 detached houses and a community park.

Amir Fooladi, ParsCo president and CEO, told Inweekly he was excited to begin this project and hopes that the contract is awarded quickly.

“Our next step is setting up a really nice event for the neighborhood and giving all the current residents the chance to meet us,” Fooladi said. “And if the city gives us permission, we might even set up a tent onsite and make this an exciting event for everyone.”

The committee members stressed the importance of ParsCo’s idea to create a green space. Fooladi told Inweekly he wants the project, The Cottages at Five Points, to reflect importance of a community lifestyle and bring together neighbors, which is why the neighborhood park was included in the proposal.

“We’re going to hire a talented local landscape architect to help with the green space, as well as get the current communities input on what they want the park to look like in order to meet their needs,” he said.

Another important part of ParsCo’s plan was affordability. Fooladi wants the new units to be reasonably priced for families in the professional work force. He said each unit is projected to cost around $199,000, which would include the land and the 1,200 square-foot cottage.

“We just really want to meet the needs of the residents,” Fooladi said.

The Blount School property had been vacant for over 20 years. The space is run-down with weeds sprouting through the broken cement lining the perimeter of the lot. Fooladi’s goal is for the construction to beautify the city block and help the surrounding neighborhood thrive and come together.

For more on the proposal, read Blount Redevelopment on Fast Track.

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2 thoughts on “ParsCo selected for Blount project

  1. I read the agenda item on Thursday’s agenda. I hope that a City Council member asks city staff how many Pensacola Police Officers and Pensacola Firefighters are paid enough to afford a home that according to the document will be in the $199,000 to $240,000 range. I’m guessing you would have to earn at least $60-70,000 to be eligible for one of those mortgages. Most likely, investors will buy up all the homes and rent them out as weekly rentals. Few city residents know that the city’s taxes and fees on essential utilities being in far more revenue than property taxes. This project will generate almost no property tax revenues for the City of Pensacola. Because of how the CRA’s Tax Increment Financing scheme works, 95% of the new city and county taxes will be diverted to downtown. Lastly, the developer proposes to provide a “green space” and wants the City of Pensacola’s Parks & Recreation Department to be responsible for its maintenance. The so-called “park” is surrounded by 14 of the homes. You can bet that if any of the African-American kids living in the area decide to play ball in the “park” the people living there will call 911 and have the PPD’s bike cops roust them out back onto the street. Keep in mind that the city says it is so broke it cannot properly maintain the parks it has and would like to shut some down. A better idea that comes to mind might be for the city to keep the land, pay for the developer to build 30 homes and then the city can rent them out to city employees with the goal of helping them to then buy their own home inside city limits. In addition to incentivizing people to want to work for the city and live “in” the city, it would reduce the number of cars on the road from Pace, Milton & Navarre carrying city employees to work. Some city employees might be able to ride their bicycle to work at city hall.

  2. More unaffordable housing for police fire teachers and city general employees. You pay pokice $35000, firefighters $32,000 to start, I’m sure general employees are less than this. With the non raises from the city it could be quite a few years before you could come close to affording these. It would be nice if city employees could afford to live where they work. Good plan by Mayor and council to keep employees out of the city, their votes may go to someone else.

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