Central Park: Plan C

For those who have been following the sad soap opera that is the crumbling, 28-acre Central Park Village — and its seedy environs — it has come down to this. If all goes well with a Tampa public housing plan, the 484-unit CPV, the nether world between downtown and Ybor City, could become a nicer public housing project — still surrounded by all that seediness. That will have to qualify as progress.

When the Hillsborough County Commission nixed the Civitas proposal, a public-private partnership that planned a mix of subsidized and market-priced housing on 157 acres, it eliminated the only scenario for meaningful success.

Then the Tampa Housing Authority was forced to scramble — unsuccessfully — to land a federal grant to replace the complex.

Now there’s a new plan afoot — cobbled from low-interest, tax-exempt bonds plus HUD tax credits and project-improvement funds — calling for a $56-million, 590-unit “Historic Central Park.”

For the residents and the city, anything is better than the status quo. But that never should have been the standard.

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