Report on Meeting of SCOPA Task Group on Tampa Development
of Friday, March 05, 2004, at Latam in El Centro Asturiano, Tampa.
Present were Glenn Brown, Ron Habin, Dawn Hayes, and Alvin Wolfe,
with Alayne Unterberger stopping by momentarily.
The Group took as its agenda essentially the tasks that had been
outlined at the previous meeting, that of January 23, and that were
summarized in Wolfe's Feb 17 message on the SCOPA YahooGroup. This
report is organized according to that list even though the
discussion at this meeting did not necessarily follow that order.
(1) Thinking of the need for comparisons, as in "look at HOPE VI
nationally," Ron Habin reviewed what he could find out about
Orlando's redevelopment of Carver City in Orlando, around
Westmoreland and Kaley. He found that the buildings have been torn
down but he did not find evidence as to where the residents had
moved. Apparently no social impact assessment was done prior, and no
evaluation was reported after the fact. Perhaps the redevelopment is
not yet considered complete.
(2) On the question of recommending that a social impact assessment
(SIA), a prospective assessment of the potential consequences,
positive and negative, should be done of any redevelopment in this
Central Tampa Area, whether the Civitas proposal or another, the task
group had nothing further to add at the moment of the meeting, except
to note that the Florida Institute for Community Studies, of which
Alayne Unterberger is Executive Director and Alvin Wolfe is a member
of the Board of Directors, might well be interested in collaborating
on any such project. The Task Group had no further information from
Susan Greenbaum about her efforts to interest other USF departments
and faculty members in a collaborative project. Since none of us, so
far as the members present knew, has followed up on Brian McEwen's
offer to broker a connection with Deanne Roberts of the Greater Tampa
Chamber of Commerce, Alvin Wolfe was asked to check that out.
(3) On the item about basic facts, we recognized that we still were
not sure of the exact boundaries of the original Civitas Project, or
of this Central Park area or "neighborhood." The best we had was a
little map that had been published in a newspaper, a map that we
believe Civitas had made available. Alvin Wolfe will pursue this both
with Michele Ogilvie, who excused herself from this meeting because
of a family obligation and with Thom Snelling, who may be able to
shed some light on the subject from his position in the City of Tampa
(4) The Task Group has not been able to fill out the
historical/archaeological background that Dawn Hayes had brought to
our attention at the January meeting. We recognize, however that
these data would certainly be necessary for a social impact
(5 & 6) Items 5 and 6, "Who are the allies within the community?"
and "What about the businesses in the area" were combined in our
discussion, but, unfortunately we had no really new information along
(7) A new item was added to the list of items of interest to the
SCOPA Task Group. Noting that the City had set aside several
properties to become a part of this development, and that the City
was privy to the fact that Civitas was buying up properties under
various aliases and that the City helped Civitas keep those purchases
or liens from becoming public knowledge, Task Group members wonder at
the implications of such preferences being given to private
developers vis a vis other potential investors, etc. We are sure it
is regularly done, but has anybody discussed openly whether that is
the best public policy?
Three members of the Task Group, Ron Habin, Dawn Hayes, and Alvin
Wolfe, before adjourning decided to take a brief "windshield survey"
of the area as it appeared to be defined by the Civitas map. Two
things seemed clear from the survey, in addition to the public
housing units in Central Park Village, there are some residential
buildings in the area, and there are quite a few churches that appear
to be still active, and there are a number of small businesses that
are also active.
Respectfully submitted, March 7, 2004. Alvin Wolfe.