UPDATED: DECEMBER 28, 2015 10:55 AM — Royal American will start construction in early 2016 on a 112-unit apartment building for seniors on W192 in Osceola County.
The four-story apartment building will be built on property across from Kissimmee's Old Town amusement park. The Panama City-based developer bought the 4.6-acre parcel for $1.6 million last week from Nasim Hotels LLC.
The real estate closing coincided with the county's approval of construction plans for the building, which will be called San Juan Apartments.
Royal American took out a $12.3 million mortgage the same week with Sun Trust Bank. The project qualified for $1.5 million in low income housing tax credits from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, the state agency that awards low-interest loans and tax credits to developers who build affordable housing.
Architect Jeffrey Chue said amenities will be spread throughout the building - a hot tub in the courtyard, a library on the second floor and a fitness room and club room on the third floor.
The main difference in designing housing for seniors, compared to traditional multifamily, is the majority of apartments are one-bedroom units, he said. Drainage and access proved to be the most challenging aspects of the project, since the property doesn't have direct frontage on U.S. 192. The site also included retention ponds for the neighborhing motel, so additional retention will have to be built under the parking lot, he said.
Royal American has built 110 affordable multifamily communities over the last 35 years, of which 94 are located in Florida. Nearly half of the projects utilized low income housing tax credits.
The company has a preconstruction meeting approved with Osceola County in early January, and the company website indicates it is currently seeking bids for the San Juan project and four other apartment or condominium projects in Cocoa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland and Port St. Joe.