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Tampa Heights to Ungentrify

Tampa Heights – Hillsborough County – Saturday 3.23.2019

After an unnecessarily heated meeting, neighborhood and city leaders agreed to ungentrify the neighborhood of Tampa Heights.

“We felt bad for the people who already lived there,” says Tampa Government Gentrification Specialist, Willard Sardone. “All the açaí bowl places and craft beer bars will soon become homes for generationally impoverished families, just like they were meant to be.”

While many of the business owners will relocate to much more affluent parts of the community, one neighborhood member I spoke to had a different plan.

“Check this bad boy out, it’s got brand new washer and dryer,” said Eduardo Federicardo as he lead me around the three bedroom, one bathroom bungalow style-home with brand new appliances and a fresh coat-of-paint which he recently placed on the market.

“It says it’s three bedrooms but we converted the garage into an extra room, let’s check it out!” Federicardo goes to reach for my hand but I throw my hands up in air and we continue on like that didn’t happen.

Once inside the windowless garage, Federicardo showed me how they covered the garage door and completely soundproofed the room with drywall.

“Did you get a permit for this?” I asked him while secretly trying to stay close to the exit.

“Nope, and that’s the problem with these old historic homes,” says Federicardo while cracking his knuckles and rummaging through his pockets. 

I start to notice that the ceiling is not 100% and then point out how hot it is.

“I’ll be the first to tell you that coming into this neighborhood, slapping a fresh coat of paint and trying to trick the buyer into a bad house flip, is wrong,” he says in a very villainous way. “That’s why I can’t let you leave here!”

Federicardo lunges at me, but I have a moment to step back and strike him in the side of the head, causing him to fall and surrender.

“They said you were fast, I should have listened,” he says while gasping for air. 

“Who sent you!” I yelled dramatically, but Federicardo starts foaming from the mouth and dying, so I left his body there.

Starting this April, a new community program will give home owners thinking of moving to a neighborhood currently being a gentrified a one-way ticket to Boston, where they can live out their wildest gentrification dreams, away from the citizens of Tampa.

Josh Santos

About Josh Santos

Writer and award-winning videographer and documentarian. Instagram: @HashtagSantos