Related Group pursues tax-exempt bonds for $14M elderly apts project in Orlando

GrowthSpotter contributor

Miami-based developer The Related Group, along with the Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation, is pursuing $12.65 million in tax-exempt bonds to fund new construction of the second phase of an affordable housing complex in west Orlando.

Located at 3124 N. Pine Hills Road, the existing 35-acre, 264-unit initial phase of Emerald Villas Apartments features 30 one- and two-story building dating to 1970 through 1975.

The low-income housing property is in the Pine Hills Target Area of Orange County. Affiliate Related Urban paid just under $5.5 million in 2011 for the asset, and when acquired had nearly 60 percent of the units vacant and deteriorated. 

A thorough renovation plan at the time involved demolition of 180 units, which helped deconcentrate the number of very low-income families in the neighborhood, and made way for the Phase 2 project.

The owner now wants to invest an estimated $14.06 million to build a 96-unit Phase 2, focused as low-income apartments for the elderly, though not positioned as an Assisted Living Facility.

A hearing with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation will be held Dec. 19 to review the application. Albert Milo Jr., vice president of The Related Group and project lead, did not respond to requests for comment this week.    

New low-income housing in the area is of particular interest to the city due to its location two blocks from the brand new Evans High School, a $75 million community investment.

This Phase 2 development will be committed to dedicating approximately 38 units to renters who meet the qualification of making 60 percent of the area median income, or lower.

The developers have also committed to meet the requirement of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Florida Green Building Coalition, or ICC 700 National Green Building Standard.

Programs for the elderly residents will include computer training, daily activities, and assistance with light housekeeping, grocery shopping and/or laundry. 

“As long as they meet all the requirements of the bond application, they get the bond,” said Melissa Levy, assistant director of the multifamily program for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, with whom the bond request is filed.

No construction or development plans have been submitted to Orange County for the project, as of Tuesday.

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