Encore Federal Grant Strategy & Development
Leading the effort between 2009 and 2012, Lambert helped secure $68 million in competitive federal grants for the Encore neighborhood. Today, Encore is nearing completion and has helped spur surrounding development including thousands of units of housing and retail now under construction or approved within Downtown Tampa.
The Tampa Housing Authority and Banc of America Community Development Corporation teamed up to redevelop one of the oldest public housing properties in Tampa located between Downtown Tampa and the City’s entertainment district, Ybor City. While the public housing property had been torn down and residents relocated, as a result of the deep recession beginning in 2007, the THA and Banc were challenged in meeting their commitment to the residents and community to build a new thriving mixed-income/mixed-use neighborhood. Redeveloping large public housing properties into mixed-income/mixed-use neighborhoods is difficult in the best of times, but all but impossible when the market collapses. Working hand-in-hand with its long-term client, the Tampa Housing Authority, Lambert saw another path to raising the capital needed to develop the first phase of the project.
Lambert came up with a strategy to pursue a highly competitive large federal grant to pay for the infrastructure for the 28-acre high-density redevelopment parcel. A challenge faced was that the grant was designed for single-family neighborhood stabilization –not wholesale property redevelopment. Driven by the strategy and the application Lambert structured, Tampa was awarded a $38 million NSP2 grant to allow the neighborhood redevelopment to move forward. Of 48 grants awarded nationwide, only Tampa was allowed to use the funding for the redevelopment of a mixed-use/mixed-income new neighborhood development.
Three years later, Lambert worked with the THA and BofA CDC to repeat the effort. Lambert implemented a strategy to source another $30 million in competitive federal funds through the Choice Neighborhoods program to complete the Encore project and to pay for five years of social services and community investments for the promotion of resident health, education, job training, and urban farming. Tampa was only one of four cities in 2012 to be awarded the grant.