City Park at Merritt Street aims to help address a problem all to prevelant in the area.
City Park at Merritt Street aims to help address a problem all to prevelant in the area.

City Park at Merritt Street will try to address a growing problem in the Orlando area by delivering affordable housing at a time many people are struggling as home prices rise.

Proposed are 102 affordable housing units on 21 acres just north of the Altamonte Springs SunRail station. The location is just east of the intersection of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Merritt Street. City Park will have seven buildings, each three stories high.

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The developer, Picerne Real Estate Group of Altamonte Springs, specializes in affordable and regular housing, and sees City Park as necessary.

"There is just such a lack of affordable housing," said Todd Wind, associate vice president of development at  Picerne. "We will more than likely have everything leased by the time it is complete."

Right now, the project is in its early stages, with the land under contract for $2.9 million and plans being reviewed by Seminole County staff.

The project, in addition to having apartments, will have a playground, a green area for play, bike racks and a clubhouse.

Wind estimates it will cost about $20 million to build City Park. For the project, Picerne gets low income tax credits that it sells to investors, using the proceeds to help pay for construction.

The developer wants to start building in early January and wrap up in March of 2017.

Once ready to open, nine out of every 10 units will be set aside for individuals who make less than 60 percent of the Orlando metro area's average median income. They would be charged roughly $700 a month for a two-bedroom apartment and about $800 for a three-bedroom unit.

The other 10 percent will be leased to individuals who are at or less than 40 percent of average median income. These residents would be charged roughly $425 a month for a-two bedroom unit and $500 for a three-bedroom.

Although Picerne Real Estate Group is a developer by trade, there are rewards for taking on projects like City Park, Wind said. "We're able to support our business, but also support a social good."

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