An affiliate of Atlantic Housing Partners paid close to $3.74 million on Monday for 3 acres in Creative Village, and can begin site and foundation activity this week for its 256-unit mixed-income housing and commercial project.
Dubbed "Amelia Court at Creative Village," two five-story buildings will cover the northeast corner of Amelia Street and Parramore Avenue.
The Winter Park-based affordable housing developer was already active on the site, thanks to a license agreement with the city to start some pre-construction activity. That included removal of contaminated soil, and the capping of groundwater monitoring cells.
The development is a joint venture with Bank of America Community Development Corp. (BACDC), which is acting on behalf of master developer Creative Village Development, LLC (CVD). The land was sold by the city of Orlando, with the price having been set in early November.
Site and foundation construction plan permits were also approved for issuance Monday by the city, said Atlantic Housing principal Scott Culp. The developer could start that pre-construction activity as soon as this week.
"We'll continue next with demolition of the asphalt parking lot and getting the site ready, then move immediately into foundation work," he told GrowthSpotter on Monday. "We're on track to open in Summer 2019 in advance of the new campus opening."
The developer's estimated construction cost is near $50 million and total project cost at more than $60 million, said Culp, consistent with projections from last fall.
The project's capital stack includes $20 million in equity from the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Florida Housing Finance Corp. (FHFC).
Another $2 million was sourced from FHFC through a State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL), and $1 million as a Development Viability Loan from FHFC.
The rest is being privately financed by Atlantic Housing's affiliate companies, Culp said. While they don't have a third-party lender secured now, Bank of America's CDC is a limited partner that will be looked to for opportunities with bridge or construction financing.
Additional exemptions, credits and reimbursement of impact and connection fees from the city have helped the developer save thousands on the project cost.
"The city has worked very cooperatively with us to identify resources that may be available to help offset the loss in tax credit equity resulting from federal tax reform, and the significant construction cost increases in our industry over the last 24 months," Culp said.
The two phases of apartments will be built simultaneously, along with approximately 9,600 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. Atlantic Housing still views UCF as a preferred tenant to lease that space, said Culp, and hopes to reach an agreement soon.
Atlantic Housing's affiliate WPGC LLC will serve as general contractor, and begin subcontracting all major trades soon through a competitive bid process, Culp said. Site and foundation subcontractors have already been selected, but not formally signed.
The 256 apartments will consist of 64 one-bedroom units, 20 two-beds and 172 three-beds, very much the inverse of what new market-rate multifamily has offered in Downtown Orlando in recent years. The developer's focus is on serving families in the immediate area.
Of the 256 units, 103 will have some level of affordability restriction. About 12 units will be reserved for extremely low income, with monthly rents ranging from $350 to $500, then the remaining 91 will be priced as "affordable/attainable" units with rents from $650 to $900.
The other 153 units will be unrestricted, or "market rate," but those rates will still be lower than the standard market rates found in the downtown submarket.
Editor's Note: This story was updated Tuesday morning to correct the estimated total project cost to $60 million, and put it in context with a construction cost forecast.