Rogers Garden was 180 units of severely distressed public housing project located in a neighborhood plagued with severe annual flooding and 50 years of disinvestment and neglect. Mr. Whitman was the senior developer at Telesis Corporation responsible for securing $30 million in HOPE VI grant funding for the Bradenton Housing Authority beginning in 1998 and for negotiating the public-private partnership that would implement the master plan for this $80 million, 450 unit, neighborhood revitalization. The multi-phased project includes 130 units of public housing mixed with market rate and low income housing tax credit rental, homeownership units, and community facilities.
Mr. Whitman was principally responsible for development of the $32 million, mixed-income, mixed-finance, 160-unit, first phase of the project, pictured here, including overseeing and coordination of the site planning, engineering and permitting, environmental remediation and demolition, elevation of the entire site by three to four feet and construction of major new storm water management facilities to eliminate the previous flooding conditions and all new utility services, as well as the beautiful new townhome community designed by Cooper Johnson Smith Architects, Tampa, Florida. He was also responsible for all scattered-site acquisition activities in the adjoining neighborhood which comprised phase 2 of the project. The new community center houses a variety of resident programs and provides a safe and beautiful place for the community to gather year round.
Financing for the first phase included HOPE VI funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, mortgage debt from the Community Development Trust, Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity provided by MMA Financial, a loan from the City of Bradenton, and impact fee waivers. The buildings were built to modern hurricane and energy efficiency standards.