The Michaels Org. Brings Affordable Senior Housing to Paradise

Sugar Estate is the first senior development built on St. Thomas through a public-private partnership with the Virgin Islands Housing Authority.

Sugar Estate in St. Thomas

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands—Much-needed affordable senior housing has arrived in paradise with the opening of the $37.5 million Sugar Estate community. The development is the result of a public-private partnership between The Michaels Org. and the Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA), which just opened the community on the east side of the Foothills on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas.

The Sugar Estate is the first senior development built with the VIHA as a co-developer in a partnership on St. Thomas. The Michaels Development Co., an independent operating company of The Michaels Org., is the co-developer and the nation’s leading affordable housing owner.

“We are so proud to be able to offer our seniors much-needed affordable housing in a modern state-of-the-art community,” said Noreen Michael, chair of the VIHA Authority Board of Commissioners and President of the V. I. Housing Revitalization Corp.

The community offers 80 apartments for seniors with low to moderate incomes across two buildings that are all accessible for individuals with disabilities. Units feature living, dining and kitchen areas with energy-efficient appliances and storage. Amenities include onsite parking, laundry facilities, a community room with kitchenette, a reading and/or visiting room, computer learning center, and onsite offices for management and social services.

Sugar Estates apartmentsThe social services provided will focus on the needs of the senior residents and emphasize wellness and resident empowerment. These services include case management, medical screenings, nutritional counseling, training programs, financial workshops, and social and recreational activities.

Interstate Realty Management, a sister company of The Michaels Development Co., will serve as the property manager.

Financing for the development included: $30.4 million in equity raised by the sale of 9  percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority; Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority Territory Funds; VIHA disposition proceeds; and a New York Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program award.

Other partners on the project were Prestige Building Co., another independent operating company of The Michaels Org. that served as the general contractor, and Springline Architects, a St. Thomas-based architectural firm.

Photo courtesy of The Michaels Org.