Orlando-based Banyan Development Group will be seeking Low Income Housing Tax Credits to help finance 192 units of affordable workforce housing in Kissimmee.
Banyan is under contract for 11.6 acres on Yates Road across from Shingle Creek Regional Park. The community will be called Rosewood Pointe and access will be from Yates Road. Banyan President Alexander Kiss and his team met with Kissimmee’s Development Review Committee on Tuesday to review the proposed site plan, which was submitted by DRMP. He told GrowthSpotter Banyan has been been working the project for over a year.
“The proximity to Shingle Creek Park is going to be fantastic for the residents, with all the walking and biking and interconnectivity,” Kiss said.
FK Architecture designed the Rosewood Pointe community, which consists of 3-story walk-up garden-style apartments with a separate clubhouse and pool amenity near the entrance. The development matrix would break down to 120 two-bedroom units and 36 units each of one-bedroom units and three-bedroom units. The apartments do not have balconies, according to elevations submitted by the architect, but there is no shortage of outdoor space.
“Balconies are usually the first thing to deteriorate, so we prefer to incorporate that into the interior space as a sunroom,” Kiss said.
One of the most distinctive features is the 1.46-acre courtyard of the largest building, which retains large canopies of mature oak trees. Landscape architect Manley Design conducted a tree survey of the heavily wooded site and recommends retaining 93 trees and adding 108 new trees after construction.
“We made that the priority over doing more hardscape or recreational amenities,” Kiss said. “The idea was to save trees.”
Banyan is also trying to incorporate rooftop solar into all of its new projects to power the common areas.
Kiss said it’s important for Banyan to keep the project moving forward so they can close their financing with Florida Housing Finance Corp. within the next few months. The firm will be utilizing non-competitive 4% LIHTC combined with SAIL funding and National Housing Trust. The firm already has 95% construction drawings done and out for bids for general contractors.
The site is one of two remaining lots owned by Talisman Partners, which had the property rezoned to Multi-family Medium Density Residential. Banyan has an option on the final 10-acre lot immediately to the north. Talisman previously sold the 18.3 acres immediately south to Dominium Partners, which recently started building the 331-unit Heron Ridge affordable senior housing community.
Minneapolis-based Dominium is one of the nation’s largest owners and developers of for-profit affordable housing and will open Heron Ridge this year. Both sites were subdivided from a 40-acre parent parcel between Old Vineland and Yates roads. Talisman received entitlements in 2017 for a PUD with up to 800 age-restricted multifamily units but opted to subdivide and sell the property instead.
Both projects are bordered on the west by Vineland Landings, 377-unit mixed-income rental community by Atlantic Housing Partners that was completed in 2018.
Just across Old Vineland Road, Agador Spartacus Development just received $35 million in construction financing for a new rental townhouse community called Solamar.
Banyan has been active in the affordable housing space for over a decade. The firm has co-developed affordable communities in Osceola with Birdsong Housing Partners. In Orlando, Banyan has approved plans to build Fern Grove senior housing on W.D. Judge Road and Mariposa Grove, a mixed-income highrise in downtown Orlando. Just recently, Banyan was awarded $5 million from Orange County to go toward its 156-unit Barnett Villas affordable apartment community, near the Central Florida Fairgrounds. The developer expects to start construction before the end of 2022.