Affordable housing developer eyes site in Kissimmee for new apartment complex

A South Florida multifamily developer that specializes in affordable housing has plans to build 96 apartments next to Kissimmee's Shingle Creek Regional Park.

Kemissa Colin, a development analyst for Housing Trust Group, met Tuesday with Kissimmee's Development Review Committee to finalize the company's Residential Planned Unit Development (R-PUD) submission. She told city staff the company may seek a density bonus that would allow an additional 10 units on the site, which is west of Hoagland Boulevard and north of Vine Street.

Colin also sought DRC approval to raise the maximum building height from 35 feet to 40 feet, as long as HTG maintained a 50-foot buffer between the apartments and the one-story Shingle Creek Estates community immediatly to the north. 

Jake Zunamon, vice president of development for HTG, told GrowthSpotter the firm is still early in its planning process and hasn't decided whether to pursue an affordable, workforce, family or senior housing product type. 

"We are working with the city and community to see what would best fit this location and the community's needs," he said.

The advantage of building senior housing is that it would be exempt from Osceola County's $11,362-per-unit school impact fee, which would total $1 million for 96 units. 

"These impact fees make it much more difficult to make the financing work and build housing, but at HTG we pride ourselves on coming up with creative ways to offset these costs," Zunamon said.

HTG submitted two different site plans for the square-shaped property, both by Fugleberg Koch. One shows a three-story, U-shaped building with 66 one-bedroom units and 24 two-bedrooms.

The other shows four apartment buildings alongside a clubhouse and pool. Each building would have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for a total of 96 units.

Zunamon said the firm was drawn to the Kissimmee submarket because of its high occupancy and strong market within the Florida Housing Finance Corp. portfolio of deals. HTG will be seeking Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the development, as well as other financing options.

The community would have the company's standard amenity package, which includes a WI-FI lounge, gym, clubhouse and pool. HTG also would create outdoor amenities, including walking paths, that connect to the park and trail system.

The property is owned by an investment vehicle managed by Fort Lauderdale-based real estate attorney Michael Denberg

HTG maintains a corporate office in Coconut Grove. The company has completed two affordable housing developments in the region: Chapel Trace Apartments in Greater Orlando that were completed in 2004, and Valencia Grove in Eustis, completed in 2016.

HTG spokeswoman Lauren Peaslee said the company's development portfolio of over 6,000 units includes affordable, student housing, and market-rate for rental and for sale communities. Of the total developed units, 4,374 are affordable units for families and seniors.

Currently, HTG has more than 900 units with firm financing commitments in its pipeline, representing over $160 million of new development within the next 18 months. Peaslee said that's spread among seven affordable communities in various stages of construction in Florida. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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