April 18, 2024

Housing Finance Development

It's Your Housing Finance Development

Largo OKs $1M loan to back new affordable housing project

LARGO — A developer currently building a 96-unit affordable housing complex on Seminole Boulevard is targeting a nearby site for another similar project.

And much like its last development, it is seeking the city of Largo’s help to make it happen.

Pleased with the progress of Seminole Square Apartments, city leaders appear willing to oblige.

On Feb. 20, city commissioners approved awarding a $1 million loan of the city’s federal housing funds to Archway Partners for Cypress Grove Apartments.

The $31.9 million development will be constructed at 555 16th Ave. SE, which is just east of Brittany Bay Apartments. It will include 84 units, which will be a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, and will serve households earning 30% to 80% area median income.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Vice Mayor Eric Gerard said. “I really appreciate to see quality housing going up for folks in those income categories. … It’s so needed.”

The $31.9 million development will be constructed at 555 16th Ave. SE, which is just east of Brittany Bay Apartments.
The $31.9 million development will be constructed at 555 16th Ave. SE, which is just east of Brittany Bay Apartments. [ City of Largo ]

Also similar to its previous project, the Miami-based Archway Partners is tapping multiple funding sources to bring this one to fruition.

Among them are a bond program through Pinellas County Housing Finance Authority, $6.3 million requested from the county for Penny for Pinellas sales tax funds, and $2.75 million from Pinellas County Housing Authority.

Largo’s $1 million portion, which is from its federal Home Investment Partnership funds, is contingent upon Archway also securing the other financing.

“There would be a contingency in the award letter upon final approval of all the underwriting from the other funding sources,” said Arrow Woodard, the city’s housing manager.

According to city documentation, the funding would be provided as a 30-year deferred loan that could be forgiven at the end of the term if the development has maintained compliance during that time.

The property is currently zoned for 7.5 units an acre. To make the project financially feasible, Archway is also utilizing the state of Florida’s graywater density bonus and the city’s affordable housing density bonus to obtain the 84 total units.

The graywater bonus provides a 25% density or intensity bonus to a developer if at least 75% of a proposed development will have a graywater system installed or a 35% bonus if the entire project uses a graywater system.

According to city staff, the project is expected to begin site-plan review soon, then start construction in the first quarter of 2025 and wrap up in 2026.

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