By Barbra Murray, Contributing Writer
Coconut Grove, Fla.–With the closing of an aggregate $125 million in financing, Coconut Grove, Fla.-based affordable housing provider Carlisle Development Group has broken ground on Brownsville Transit Village and Beacon Apartments, two affordable housing communities in Miami.
Work has now gotten under way on Phase I and II of the Brownsville Transit Village, which will ultimately encompass 467 units. The LEED-certified transit-oriented affordable housing development will sit at 5200 NW 27th Avenue, just across from the Brownsville Metro-Rail Station. The first phase of the project will yield 96 units for families with earnings in the low-income category, and the second phase will produce 100 units to accommodate low-income seniors. Monthly rents will range from $319 to $660 for a one-bedroom apartment and from $404 to $877 for a three-bedroom unit.
The closing of financing also paved the way for Carlisle to break ground on the 13-story Beacon Apartments project, located at 1000 NW 1st Avenue in Miami’s historic Overtown neighborhood. Beacon, the first major multifamily development in Overtown in many years, will feature 90 residences that will be open to both low income and very low-income households. The property will offer monthly rents ranging from $369 to $779 for one-bedrooms and $401 to $874 for three-bedroom units.
Carlisle’s obtainment of loans for the development of Brownsville and Beacon was quite a coup, given the current lending climate. The credit crunch did not spare the affordable housing industry. For the most part, lenders have not been swayed by the fact that, unlike the office and retail markets, the low income housing market has been experiencing increasing demand. But it’s not just conventional lenders that have pulled back. “While the demand for affordable housing keeps going up, government resources are going down,” Matthew S. Greer, CEO, Carlisle Development Group, tells MHN.
However, there is good news for developers seeking funds to build multifamily communities to help fill the affordable housing void. “There are new sources of funding, such as stimulus monies, and there is also a desire from local government to create new jobs and increase economic activity,” Greer says. “These are positive factors. We are optimistic about these kinds of public private-partnerships.”
For Brownsville, which carries a development price tag of $100 million, Carlisle secured approximately $78.6 million of tax credit equity, a $6.6 million permanent loan from Citibank, a $10.8 million FHFC loan and $4 million from the Miami-Dade County Surtax program. To fund the $25 million Beacon endeavor, Carlisle obtained $20.6 million through Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s Tax Credit Exchange Program, a $2.4 million first mortgage from First Housing Development Corporation of Florida, and $2.1 million from Miami-Dade County’s Surtax program.
The first two phases of Brownsville are on track to reach completion within the next 12 to 18 months, and the doors at Brownsville are scheduled to open within the next 18 months.