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Wendover preps Sanford affordable housing for homeless & mentally disabled

Partial front elevation of the planned Warley Park apartments in Sanford, proposed as affordable housing with a high number of units reserved for the chronically homeless.
Partial front elevation of the planned Warley Park apartments in Sanford, proposed as affordable housing with a high number of units reserved for the chronically homeless. (Slocum Platts)

Altamonte Springs-based Wendover Housing Partners is nearing approval to build a multifamily community in Sanford that would provide affordable housing for the homeless and those suffering from mental illness.

Dubbed "Warley Park," the 85-unit complex at 1500 W. 25th St. would be built with state and federal financial assistance through the Florida Housing Finance Corp. The housing agency awarded Wendover $1.51 million worth of 9 percent, Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs), a $2.825 million State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL), and a $1.273 million National Housing Trust Fund grant.

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In return for those financial incentives, Wendover has committed that no less than 50 percent of the units will go to chronically homeless people and/or to residents with a disabling condition, such as mental illness.

"Warley Park's primary objective will be to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals and families, with a particular focus on the chronically homeless individuals with a mental disability," the developer said in its application for the tax credits and loan.

Wendover's partner on the project is Step Up on Second Street, a California non-profit with more than three decades experience providing mental health and substance abuse treatment and vocational services to go with permanent housing.

In its application for incentives, Wendover has also committed to set aside 90 percent of the units for individuals and families making 60 percent or less of the area's median income. The remaining 10 percent of units will be rented to tenants at or below 40 percent of the AMI.

Affordable housing for this cohort of the population is desperately needed, said Andrew Thomas, Sanford's community relations and neighborhood engagement director.

"Affordable housing is something that's needed in Sanford and throughout Florida," Thomas told GrowthSpotter. "We have a shortage of affordable housing and we need more."

The development is planned for three vacant parcels totaling 5.54 acres. Wendover contracted to pay $1.03 million for two of the parcels totaling 3.54 acres to property owner Eman Gadalla, according to documents filed with the housing agency.

An adjacent 0.9-acre parcel, owned by Nassim Abdelsayed, will be purchased by Wendover for $270,000, according to housing records. The sales had not been recorded at the Seminole County Clerk of Courts office as of Tuesday.

Wendover executives declined to comment for this article, but provided some facts about the project: Warley Park will have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments across three buildings, along with a clubhouse where residents can participate in fitness classes, meetings and other recreational uses.

Apartments will feature full-size washers and driers, kitchen island with storage, ceiling fans, walk-in and linen closets, breakfast bar and window blinds.

Total project cost is esimated at $17.5 million, according to the developer. Wells Fargo Bank extended an $8 million construction loan to Wendover for the project.

The general contractor for Warley Park will be Roger B. Kennedy Inc. of Altamonte Springs, and the architect Slocum Platts of Maitland.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at newsroom@growthspotter.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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