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NY developer plans $25M memory care facility in Apopka, mulls bonds to finance

Striped in black in the center of the map is a 6.99-acre site at 1791 Old Dixie Highway (SR 424) in Apopka planned for this development.
Striped in black in the center of the map is a 6.99-acre site at 1791 Old Dixie Highway (SR 424) in Apopka planned for this development. (Haskell)

New York-based MJM Associates, a developer and manager of special needs assisted living facilities, is reentering the Orlando market with plans for a new 125-bed project in Apopka, and expects to issue corporate bonds to partially finance it, the company's president told GrowthSpotter.

Dubbed Canterwood Manor at Apopka, the proposed assisted living facility would be located at 1791 Old Dixie Highway (SR 424), on a 6.99-acre site within the city.

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The developer received approval on its Final Development Plan on Oct. 5 from Apopka's Development Review Committee. The developer had asked to increase its maximum floor area ratio, after having a master plan and preliminary DP approved in April 2014.

It filed for stormwater construction permits this month with the St. John's River Water Management District, and is now designing construction documents to submit to the city.

The property is currently owned by Robert K. Dunn of Apopka, with MJM holding it under contract. The sale should close simultaneously with start of construction after building permits are issued, estimated for February 2017, said MJM's Martin Hamburg.

"We had previously owned and sold a project in Orlando's Dr. Phillips, did well in that market and know a lot of the referral services there," he said. "Apopka is a growing area, we have excellent connections with Florida Hospital, and feel we know the market well after studying it thoroughly."

This will be MJM's re-entry to both the Orlando market and new property development and operations overall. At its height the company had seven facilities in multiple states, but sold those properties in recent years.

It now has three new developments in Florida as its focal state, with the Apopka's Canterwood Manor followed by one in Daytona and Lauderhill (near Fort Lauderdale).

MJM is becoming increasingly focused in what is called special needs assisted living, for which the Apopka facility would be focused.

With more than 89,000 square feet across two floors, the facility's design would have five separate "neighborhoods" that function somewhat independently, but with common services. Instead of a central dining room for example, residents will eat in their own neighborhoods, which is helpful for those with Alzheimer's disease, Hamburg said.

Canterwood Manor at Apopka should demand $25 million in investment through buildout, which includes all the reserve funds to fully staff the facility and sustain it over its first two years of building occupancy.

Unlike multifamily or traditional senior living developments where tenants can be pursued with pre-leasing during construction, memory care patients and their families usually can't wait that long for a housing solution, Hamburg said.

He projects the company will issue corporate bonds to help finance the development, and said MJM is working with Stifel Nicolaus as a bond underwriter.

Jacksonville-based Haskell is serving as the project's civil engineer, architect and general contractor.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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