Framework Group Secures Financing for Florida OZ Project

Walker & Dunlop arranged the loan for Mirrorton Apartments in downtown Lakeland, Fla.

Mirrorton Apartments. Image courtesy of Walker & Dunlop

Framework Group has secured $50.2 million in financing for Mirrorton Apartments, a new 305-unit apartment community on 13.6 acres planned for the edge of downtown Lakeland, Fla.

Mirrorton Apartments will provide much-needed workforce housing to Lakeland, a city about halfway between Tampa and Orlando. It will also reserve 15 units for residents earning 85 percent at or below the Area Median Income (AMI).

Situated near the city’s historic quarter it will be part of downtown Lakeland’s ongoing revitalization. As a result, it can leverage tax incentives awarded by the city and the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency. Because it is also situated within a designated Opportunity Zone census tract, it is eligible for incentives in the form of deferred capital gains taxes.

Walker & Dunlop Inc. drew on its experience with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to structure debt through the 221(d)(4) offering. It leveraged the agency’s Green Mortgage insurance premium (MIP) reduction program to secure a favorable interest rate. Last week, Walker & Dunlop provided $43.9 million in financing to the buyer of another central Florida property.

Requiring coordination

This was quite a complex assignment,” Walker & Dunlop Senior Managing Director Keith Melton, told Multi-Housing News.

In addition to navigating the nuances of Opportunity Zone financing, we had to work closely with our partners at HUD to ensure they understood the unique structure of the QOZ partnership. In addition to this, we were tasked with underwriting and implementing a private party partnership, which included a TIF, development incentives and other stakeholders. This required coordination among several different parties and great attention to detail. The current market environment also presented challenges in the form of rapidly rising construction costs and market rate volatility.”  

Framework Group’s plans call for using sustainable construction techniques to make sure the garden-style community on the shoreline of Lake Mirror will qualify for the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) designation. A fitness and yoga center will be among the leading common-area amenities of the community.

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