INNOVATIVE HOUSING PROJECT: MELROSE MERCY, ST. PETERSBURG
This research effort has been shaped in collaboration with local stake holders. Graduate researchers have consulted with local residents, social aid agencies and business owners. Along with individual interviews, the effort conducted workshops to discuss existing attributes and vulnerabilities with the neighborhood.
Researchers were able to identify a number of frequently stated concerns. Criminality, lack of employment, rapid deteriorating buildings, and want of public spaces were recurrent concerns. Also, residents were unease of future developments, as new housing and business projects targeting general market’s needs could gentrify the area.
Innovative housing precedents were discussed during workshops; attendees particularly favor incremental housing projects and cooperative buildings with small retail spaces at the street level. Both building types would offer other benefits apart from housing potential residents, while maintaining an attainable entry price.
Today, the Melrose Mercy neighborhood has many active stake holders, positively impacting the community. These proposals will build upon the existing attributes of the area and address current challenges. 22th Street South is known for his historic richness, but currently remains as the main destination to address daily needs. Currently, the street is home to many restaurants, stores, churches, and education facilities. Also the street hosts several public events that contribute the liveliness of the public realm. This effort has focused on enhancing and connecting the residential core with 22th Street South and 16th Street South. In addition, the proposal of new mid-density residential types to the area could help to create-support local businesses and employment opportunities, as means to contribute to proposed housing and pedestrian thoroughfares.
Research Proposal Goals
A. Improve pedestrian connectivity and liveliness of avenues within a pedestrian corridor to private and public transportation arteries along 22 Street South and 16 Street South to interior residential
B. Reduce vehicular speed by converting 9th, 13th, and 15th Avenue to one way street. Expanding the sidewalks to accommodate for new amenities.
C. Create new public spaces in proximity existing residential and private buildings.
D. Incorporate innovative housing typologies: incremental multi house buildings and cooperatives buildings.
E. Incorporate business incubators with cooperative buildings.
F. Preserve existing structures by using clusters of undeveloped parcels.
G. Utilize existing building scales to shape potential building types and uses.