GROUNDBREAKING FOR OASIS AT AVENTURA: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, left, Former Miami Heat star and founder of AM Affordable Housing Alonzo Mourning, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, Miami-Dade Commissioner Micky Steinberg and Housing Trust Group Matthew A. Rieger. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Aventura, Fla. – Former Miami Heat star and NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning is teaming up with the Housing Trust Group and Miami-Dade County to bring affordable housing for senior citizens to the City of Aventura.

Mourning, the founder of AM Affordable Housing company, HTG, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wison, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Micky Steinberg were all on hand to break ground on the Oasis at Aventura, an eight-story, 95-unit residential affordable housing complex for older adults.

The project is going up at 18700 N.E. 2nd Avenue.

According to the blueprints, the facility includes amenities like a multipurpose community room, state-of-the-art fitness center, business center, library, and lounge area with a large open outdoor terrace.

Construction is slated to be finished in the Spring of 2025.

"Today, we’re celebrating the development of another affordable housing project located in Aventura, Florida, “Mourning said. "The Oasis apartments will be a blessing for our senior community. It will feature an array of amenities."

Mourning said the apartment units are reserved for seniors 62 years old and older whose income must be at or below 25 percent, 33 percent and 60 percent of the area median income.

Rental rates range between $400 to $1,161, and among the 95 apartments, eight units will be reserved for the Section 8 project-based voucher program. "And it’s a safe and clean environment," Mourning said.

Mourning said the affordable housing issue is impacting the nation but South Florida has been hit the hardest.

"We have a shortage of 7 million affordable homes across the country," he said. "South Florida has a large statistic of children and families displaced."

The total price tag for the project is estimated at $56 million including $21 million in low-income housing tax credits through the state’s Raymond James fund, a $19.3 million loan from JP Morgan Chase Bank, $4.3 million loan from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and $2.4 million from Miami-Dade County’s surtax program.

In addition, Berkadia, a Brickell finance company which focuses on commercial real estate and multifamily housing projects, helped the developers secure $7.5 million in permanent financing from Freddie Mac once the project is finished.

Miami-based Ballast Construction is the general contractor and Coral Gables based Realization Architects designed the project.

“There’s a significant need for affordable housing as the North Miami and Aventura area undergo a residential building boom and a wave of infrastructure improvements to meet the community’s needs for its growing population,” said HTG CEO Matthew A. Rieger.

Wilson, whose district includes Aventura, said the project is just what Miami-Dade needs to help address the affordable housing crunch for the most vulnerable population.

"I’m so proud to celebrate the groundbreaking of Oasis in Aventura," Wilson said. "This groundbreaking is a promise of a brighter tomorrow for the countless folks and families who will call this building home in Aventura."

Levine Cava, who is championing efforts to build more affordable housing in the county, said her administration has been fully committed to increasing access to affordable housing for residents.

"And this [Oasis at Aventura] is a critical opportunity for those who need it the most in our community," she said. "Our improved application process ensures greater accessibility, reflecting our dedication to inclusivity and streamlined services for our residents."

The Oasis at Aventura project is among several senior affordable housing projects by Mourning and HTG.

Previously, they broke ground on Naranja Grant, a $44 million, eight-story affordable senior community with 120 units at the southwest corner of 280 Street and S.W. 147 Avenue in Leisure City.

Like Oasis at Aventura, Naranja Grant, the 117,000 square residential building comes with amenities including a spacious multipurpose community room that includes a theatre room, game area, and catering kitchen, a state-of-the-art fitness center, outdoor recreational areas, dog park, and modern, chic finishes throughout.

Apartments at Naranja Grand will be reserved for income-qualifying residents aged 55 and older who earn at or below 30, 60, and 70 percent of the area median income.

Monthly rents will range from $580 to Construction commenced in January 2024, and the property is expected to be completed by Spring 2025.

Mourning is the second former Miami Heat player who is doing his part to tackle the affordable housing crisis in South Florida.

Former Heat forward Udonis Haslem and urban developer Magellan Housing partnered to build Catherine Flon Estates, a 174 affordable rentals and 26 workforce townhomes in North Miami.

Construction is slated to start sometime this year on the complex for people living in households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income, which is $74,700 a year, which qualifies residents for the rental apartments and workforce townhomes.

The maximum income for one person in the household is $43,380, $49,560 for a two-person household and $55,740 for three people living in one home.

Monthly rents at Catherine Flon Estates will be $1,161 for one-bedroom units; $1,393 for two-bedroom units; and $1,610 for three-bedroom units, according to Magellan Housing.