Affordable Housing Redevelopment Opens in Orlando

A grand opening ceremony was held in late January to unveil Emerald Villas, formerly known as Seville Place, the first affordable housing redevelopment project to be introduced in the past decade within Orlando’s Pine Hill neighborhood.

Orlando—A grand opening ceremony was held in late January to unveil Emerald Villas, formerly known as Seville Place, the first affordable housing redevelopment project to be introduced in the past decade within Orlando’s Pine Hill neighborhood. The newly redeveloped community was the work of Related Urban Development Group (RUDG) and Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation (ONIC). Redevelopment cost approximately $20 million.

The property was acquired through a joint venture by RUDG and ONIC almost two years ago, and renovation work got underway in January of 2012. As a result of that work, all 264 apartments now benefit from updated flooring, plumbing, appliances and windows. In keeping with the community’s brand new name, the buildings are now energy-efficient and have been given new roofs and landscaping. In addition, the community features a completely new clubhouse, equipped with a business office, classrooms, fitness center and pool.

The project benefitted from $7 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds contributed by Orange County. An additional $1.6 million from a state-funded affordable housing program was also provided. As well, the development received tax-exempt bond funding from the Orange County Housing Finance Authority.

Seville Place Apartment was 70 percent empty when it was acquired by RUDG and ONIC. Today, as Emerald Villas, the community is already 65 percent occupied. Once comprising a blighted neighborhood, the apartments are now a dynamic place to call home. With a considerable assist from the arrival of the new Evans High School and Evans Community School right across the street, Emerald Villas has helped transform the entire community within which it is located.