Dominium Apartments wants to bring 1,000 affordable senior apartments to the Florida market, including 346 units at this 10.6-acre site in east Orlando.
Dominium Apartments wants to bring 1,000 affordable senior apartments to the Florida market, including 346 units at this 10.6-acre site in east Orlando. (Orange County Property Appraiser/staff edit)

One of the nation’s largest owners and developers of for-profit affordable housing has a 10.6-acre site near the University of Central Florida under contract for a proposed senior housing development.

Minneapolis-based Dominium is eyeing the assemblage just off the interchange with the Central Florida Greeneway (S.R. 417) and Colonial Drive (S.R. 50) for the company’s second new-build project in the greater Orlando market. Dominium currently owns a dozen rental properties with over 3,000 units in Central Florida, and it’s planning to build up to 500 units of affordable senior housing in Osceola’s Poinciana community, across from the Solivita retirement community.

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“What we’re looking to do on Constantine is very similar to Poinciana,” development associate Devon Quist told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. He said the company will be applying for a large scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment to allow for multifamily development with up to 346 units.

Dominium eyes Poinciana site for up to 500 affordable senior apartments

The buyer was the third largest developer of affordable housing in the nation last year.

What sets Dominium apart from others in the affordable housing sector is that is doesn’t go after the competitive Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which are typically awarded to just one project per county each calendar year. Instead the developer utilizes the noncompetitive 4-percent credit and other financing sources.

“It’s all non-competitive, which no-one else in the state is doing right now," Quist said.

Dominium’s first new-build community in Florida was in Palmetto, and it’s negotiating for a site in Kissimmee, as well. The four projects, combined, would bring 1,000 units of affordable senior housing to the market in one cycle.

“We’re still new to building in Florida, but it’s something we’re doing across the country – in Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and here in Minnesota,” he said.

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The financial model works for senior housing especially because Dominum can scale down the size of the apartments without skimping on the finishes, and it can avoid paying school impact fees.

“We’re not just a senior housing developer. We do family housing, too,” Quist said. “But at the end of the day, there is such a big need for affordable senior housing in Florida. The demographics support it off the bat resoundingly.”

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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