Lincoln Avenue Capital, a Santa Monica-based developer specializing in affordable housing, is looking to expand its Orlando portfolio with a new 300-unit community just west of downtown Orlando.
Lincoln filed plans in late March with the City of Orlando to build a new garden-style apartment community called Parkwood at 3321 W. Colonial Drive. The 13-acre site abuts the Parkwood Plaza shopping center, which is anchored by Lotte Market. The property is currently owned by Highyon Shopping Center, who sold the developed portion of the plaza last July for $13.24 million and retained the undeveloped lot.
The Lincoln proposal calls for 10 3-story walk-up apartment buildings with a large clubhouse building, pool, playground and separate dog park. Kimley-Horn designed the site plan, which retains an existing cell tower on the property. The development matrix includes 38 one-bedroom units, 134 two-bedroom units, 104 three-bedroom units and 24 four-bedroom units.
The developer is seeking a parking reduction from the required 548 spaces to 515 and is offering to provide designated parking for 96 bicycles. The project is located within the Wekiva Overlay and meets the required 20% minimum of open space.
The project architect is Bessolo Design Group.
Lincoln currently operates in 18 states and has a portfolio in excess of 19,000 units. In Orlando, the company owns the 80-unit Timber Sound apartment community at 4903 Raleigh St., where it recently launched a baseball-themed after-school program in partnership with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Morgan Stanley. The company recently applied to rezone 7.27 acres near Lake Buena Vista in order to construct 200 age-restricted affordable dwelling units. The wooded property lies directly south from the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores and would need to be rezoned from Agricultural Rural (A-2) to Planned Development (PD).
In late 2021, the company acquired a majority stake in Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET), a social purpose fund that invests in affordable housing across the United States.
“Building and preserving affordable housing is one of the most important social causes of our time,” said CEO Jeremy Bronfman said in a Nov. 2 announcement. “HPET has pioneered and proven a powerful model for bringing together private and nonprofit partners to develop and sustain affordable and workforce housing that strengthens communities. Lincoln Avenue Capital is well equipped to build on this success. We are delighted to be partnering with leading nonprofit and philanthropic organizations that share our mission to increase HPET’s impact across the country.”
Lincoln plans to partner with HPET nonprofits to buy at least $150 million annually in workforce and affordable housing. The company will continue HPET’s traditional focus on largely unsubsidized affordable housing (what is also referred to as “naturally occurring affordable housing” or “NOAH”). Their rents are lower than those of the area’s housing market.
“At Lincoln Avenue Capital, we’re focused on advancing solutions in affordable housing and creating impact for generations to come,” Bronfman added. “More than ever, the need for quality, sustainable, affordable homes is clear. This new chapter for HPET represents what is possible when mission-driven businesses, nonprofit organizations, and foundations come together to tackle the pressing need for affordable and workforce housing.”
The West Colonial corridor has drawn interest from other developers in the affordable housing space. Banyan Development Group is seeking Low Housing Income Tax Credits for Barnett Villas, a five-building,156-unit rent-restricted community just west of the Central Florida Fairgrounds. Banyan also has approved plans for a 138-unit affordable senior housing community called Fern Grove, which is just north of the Parkwood property.