Metropolitan Ministries began construction on a major expansion that will roughly double the space for families who need short-term housing.
The new MiraclePlace complex will take up roughly two city blocks on Florida Avenue near downtown, add 50 apartments to 44 existing ones, and include common areas that will let families live together rather than in dorm-like space. It also includes a day care center for 175 children, a counseling center, a kid's play yard and new cafeteria space.
The area is perhaps best known as the staging site for a massive holiday donation drop-off tent. This first phase of construction could cost $13 million, and the non-profit has already raised $9 million from secured financing, gifts from major donors and board members, plus $500,000 from the city of Tampa that will cover the cost of two apartments. The complex could open in a year to 18 months.
A second $10 million phase will include a new school, welcome center, recreational center, assembly hall, distribution center and more renovation of existing facilities. A broader fundraising drive will begin in the fall.