Housing Trust Group (HTG) says it has closed on financing and started construction on a new $21 million affordable housing community in Tallahassee. Lafayette Gardens will deliver 96 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $315 to $930 per month. The apartments will be completed in June 2021. This is HTG’s first affordable development in Florida’s capital city, the company says in a statement.
The project team includes general contractor Hennessy Construction Services; architect Fugleberg Koch; engineering firm Inovia Group; interior designer Stiles Interiors; and landscape architect Wood + Partners. Both Inovia and Wood + Partners are based in Tallahassee.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the income divide in this country, and placed extraordinary stress on state and federal government budgets for affordable and public housing,” said HTG president and CEO Matthew A. Rieger. “Tallahassee, like many cities in Florida, has an overwhelming pent-up demand for affordable housing so we’re pleased that we can deliver 96 new high-quality apartments to residents within the next year.”
The project at 1211 East Lafayette St. is on a 5.76-acre site in the Woodland Drives section of the city, approximately 1.5 miles from downtown.
“Representatives of the Indianhead, Myers Park and Woodland Drives neighborhoods, along with Lafayette Street business owners, met with developer HTG last summer to discuss the finer points of the project and how it would affect our area,” said Mary Frederick, president of the Woodland Drives Neighborhood Association.
“Based on that feedback, HTG went back to the drawing board numerous times to ensure this development could be the best it could be, including saving several trees, hiring a local landscape firm, and including a 10-foot multi-use bike/walking trail to encourage multimodal transportation and create a safe walkway for kids going to school. With this apartment development so close to stores and restaurants, we hope it will further solidify the reliance of non-vehicular transportation and its residents can help support nearby businesses. It will also help tremendously regarding Tallahassee’s dire needs for affordable housing for workers.”
The new development will consist of four three-story buildings with apartments ranging from 709 square feet (one bedroom) to 1,159 sq. ft. (three bedroom) and will be reserved for income-qualifying residents who make at or below 33 percent of area median income (AMI) or 60 percent of AMI. Community amenities include a clubhouse, pool, playground, media center, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a bike/walk trail. Residents will also have access to employment assistance, financial management, and literacy services on-site.
Funding sources include an initial $15 million construction loan by Chase Bank, $16.1 million in 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity (LIHTC) provided by Raymond James and a $4.8 million permanent loan through Freddie Mac/Walker & Dunlop.