LIFT lines up tax credits for senior housing phase of Pendana, seeks contractors

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

Local non-profit organization LIFT Orlando has nailed down key Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) to press forward with Phase 2 of its Pendana at West Lakes affordable senior housing near downtown Orlando, and is trying to line up subcontractors as soon as possible. 

The 200-unit Phase 1 apartments of Pendana at West Lakes, set on Orange Center Boulevard southwest of Camping World Stadium, began opening to residents in early May with roughly 8,000 applications submitted for the affordable apartments. Construction is nearly complete, with late July anticipated for a finish on the swimming pool amenity. 

Also last month, LIFT was formally approved for a $22 million value in LIHTCs from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation for its second phase there of 120 senior housing units, all of which will be reserved for affordable rate tenants.

To get out ahead of the current challenges of subcontractor recruiting for Phase 2, developer Columbia Residential and general contractor Winter Park Construction will hold an open house on June 25 for all subcontractor trades, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Varsity Club at Camping World Stadium. 

Master Plan documents were submitted to the city in mid-June and are under staff review.

"We started six months early on design of Phase 2 in anticipation of getting the tax credits, making sure we'd have the specs ready to pull the trigger right about now," LIFT's Executive Director Eddy Moratin told GrowthSpotter. "Our mission now is to see improved economic development in the neighborhood, with the literal intent of trying to get as many local African-American businesses to participate in the project as possible." 

Estimated construction cost for Phase 2 is currently $23.5 million, he added, with September targeted for a groundbreaking and completion and opening in Summer 2019. 

Overwhelming demand by applicants for the Phase 1 units took LIFT and Columbia Residential a bit by surprise, Moratin said. 

This time around they should be better prepared on the property management side, particularly because Phase 1 was Columbia's first project in Florida, he added. 

LIFT's design team on the Phase 2 senior housing includes Harris Civil EngineersJHP Architecture and Dix.Hite + Partners as landscape architect. 

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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