PHOTO COURTESY OF HOUSING TRUST GROUP
MIAMI — NBA Hall of Fame member and Miami Heat basketball legend Alonzo Mourning, through his AM Affordable Housing (AM) and Housing Trust Group (HTG) have closed on the financing of Courtside Family Apartments, a new 84-unit affordable housing development in Miami’s historic Overtown neighborhood.
Courtside Family Apartments is the first of a three-phased master planned community; each phase of the revitalization initiative will provide much needed affordable housing for local residents.
“I’m extremely pleased that all our hard work has finally paid off,” said Mourning, director of AM Affordable Housing, Inc. “Since we were first awarded the project in 2008, we have had to overcome many obstacles to get to this point, but we persevered and ultimately succeed for this community. Our teamwork, dedication, high energy and hard work mirror the same qualities it takes to build a champion.”
Mourning first conceptualized the development as a way to continue his charitable work in the City of Miami. In 2008, Miami-Dade County granted an affiliate of AM Affordable Housing. a 65-year ground lease on approximately four acres of land at the Culmer Center.
Housing Trust Group is a leading real estate developer in Florida, the Southeastern U.S. and Arizona. Earlier this year the company opened Village Place Apartments, a $15 million, 112-unit affordable housing community for ages 55 and up in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Developers say construction on the first phase of the project will begin in 30 to 45 days, and is expected to take 14 months.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Alonzo Mourning’s AM Affordable Housing to build safe and secure affordable housing for the residents of Overtown,” said Matthew Rieger, CEO of Housing Trust Group, who was chosen as AM Affordable Housing’s joint venture partner following a competitive bidding process in 2008.
“Since this is our first venture into affordable housing, we chose HTG as our partner because of their successful track record in South Florida, well known expertise in affordable housing and strong relationships in the community,” said Mourning.
Once completed, Courtside Family Apartments will have 84 units, including four live/work lofts on NW Fourth Avenue, set-aside at various income levels at or below 60 percent of the area median income. Phase II will serve a senior population and includes an estimated 120 units. Phase III’s demographics are still to be determined, but the development will include approximately 80 residential units.
Developers say the new master-planned community aims to create a more pedestrian friendly environment on the grounds of the Culmer Neighborhood Center with access to governmental services, small business opportunities, and neighborhood-oriented shopping. The Courtside community will serve as a catalyst for the continued revitalization of the Overtown neighborhood. The
families and residents of Courtside Family Apartments will enjoy an array of community
amenities, including a multi-purpose community room with gaming tables, theater/media room, computer lab, fitness center, and secure outdoor amenity area with basketball court, covered picnic areas, and gardens.
Construction will start shortly on Courtside Family Apartments, located at 1700 NW 4th Avenue in Overtown. Beyond adding to the much-needed inventory of safe, quality, affordable rental housing, this new development will create approximately 150 jobs during the 14-month construction phase with another approximate 35 permanent jobs when Courtside Family Apartments officially opens its doors. Phase II and III will follow thereafter as soon as financing is obtained.
Development costs are estimated at $22.8 million. Project funding sources include: RBC Tax Credit equity estimated at $9 million raised from the purchase of Florida Housing Finance Corporation low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC), construction and permanent debt financed by Citi Community Capital in the amount of $3.31 million,
funding in the amount of $7.5 million from the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, Miami Dade County Surtax loan for $1.75 million, with developer equity making up the balance.
Courtside Family Apartments will incorporate green design and building techniques in the construction of Courtside Family Apartments, in line with National Green Building Standards (NGBS). Residential units offer eco-friendly features such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, low-VOC paint Energy Star qualified appliances and energy efficient HVAC systems.