An affiliate of Memphis-based Housing Preservation Inc. paid $11.5 million on Dec. 16 for the Calvary Towers assisted living community in Winter Park, its first purchase in the Orlando market, and is actively looking to buy more locally, a lead executive with the company told GrowthSpotter.

Located at 1099 Clay St., on the southwest corner of Clay and Minnesota Avenue, the 14-story, 156-unit apartment building was built in 1981 by an affiliate of Calvary Orlando Church, and has been managed by the church for more than 30 years since.

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Calvary Towers is designated as Section 8 housing by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and will remain in the affordable program with its new owner.

Section 8 is a niche area of focus for Housing Preservation and its related property management company, Silvertree Residential. Together, they own and operate 35 senior housing communities across the country totaling 5,500 units, with a combined market value of $460 million.

"Calvary Church was a great group to deal with, they were the original developer and have taken excellent care of this community for the past 30 years," said James Carmichael, co-owner of Housing Preservation and Silvertree.

"This is our first deal in Orlando, but it's the sixth property we've bought in Florida, all of which are senior mid- and high-rise structures," he continued. "The Winter Park location is fantastic, an affluent neighborhood in the rapidly growing Orlando MSA."

Ninety percent of Housing Preservation and Silvertree's acquisitions have been financed by Fannie Mae, Carmichael said.

For this purchase, the buyer acquired a $10.53 million loan from Pillar Multifamily LLC, an affiliate of Fannie Mae that finances affordable apartment communities.

Carmichael projected $1 million in renovation and upgrade work to be done on the property over the next nine months. The company has an established architect and interior designer from previous projects it will work with. Silvertree Residential will serve as the project manager for renovations in Winter Park, hiring trade contractors directly.

Looking ahead, Housing Preservation will be actively seeking more affordable senior housing properties to purchase in what Carmichael considers one of the most reliable growth markets in the country.

"We'd love to buy more assets there, specifically in Winter Park, as we believe in the Greater Orlando market long term," he said. "Orlando is a great MSA, and will do very well in this housing segment in the coming years."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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