Carlisle Development, Carrfour Supportive Housing Complete $18.5M Renovation of Historic Hotel

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorMiami–Carlisle Development Group and Carrfour Supportive Housing have completed the $18.5 million renovation of Royalton, a historic Miami hotel that will now serve as affordable housing for formerly homeless individuals.Located at 131 S.E. 1st St. in downtown Miami, the seven-story development, which was designed in the classic revivalist style and built in 1923, features 100 furnished apartment units and offices for supportive services providers.  “In the current economy, we now have many more individuals facing homelessness,” Jose Chavarria, assistant program director for the Royalton, Carrfour Supportive Housing, tells MHN. “Our project fills that the gap for people coming off the streets and getting basic shelter. It’s a new beginning for these people.”The development, which was recognized by the National Park Service for restoring the Royalton to its historic condition, includes 80 units allocated for the “extremely low income” (ELI) demographic, including residents who are formerly homeless, and 20 apartments for “very low income” (VLI) individuals. Each floor includes handicap accessible apartments. “This was a great hotel in 1926 but a substandard one in 2006 with really small rooms,” Ken Naylor, senior developer, Carlisle Development Group, tells MHN. “But someone coming off the streets doesn’t mind the small rooms.”Carrfour Supportive Housing, with ground floor space on-site, offers supportive services aimed at promoting residential stability, self-sufficiency and self-determination for its formerly homeless residents.Residents must be drug-free for a minimum of six months prior to entering the Royalton and must remain drug- and alcohol-free. Monthly rents at the Royalton range from $167 to $622 depending on income level. Each apartment comes fully furnished with amenities including wireless internet, a common room with a television and seating area on the seventh floor, a computer lab, laundry facilities on each floor and meeting space on the first floor for educational seminars. Supportive services include case management, employment and training services, recovery support, life skills training, financial literacy training and recreational/social activities.Financing was arranged for the development from a variety of funding sources including City of Miami HOME, Miami Dade County Surtax, Miami Dade County HOME, Federal Low Income Tax Credit Program, which includes historic tax credits from the National Park Service, and the State of Florida’s Homeless Housing Assistance Grant. Operating funding is provided under a U.S. HUD program administered by Miami Dade Housing Agency. Naylor adds, “Financing was difficult to get, but our company’s mission is to achieve a triple bottom line with community benefit, help to individuals as well as some monetary profit for our company.”