FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 8, 2013) – More than 100 guests attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the revitalization of two existing properties that will provide 212 affordable housing units upon completion.
A public/private partnership between Pinnacle Housing Group and Southwest Florida Affordable Housing Choice Foundation, Inc., a 501(C)(3) nonprofit created by the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers (HACFM), commemorated the groundbreaking of two properties located on Sabal Palm Boulevard in Fort Myers on Wednesday, May 1, at 2:30 p.m. The result is the redevelopment of two HACFM properties formerly known as “Sabal Palm Apartments” and “Palmetto Court.”
Special guest speakers at the event included Senator Bill Nelson and officials from the partnering agencies including the City of Fort Myers, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Pinnacle, the Southwest Florida Affordable Housing Choice Foundation Inc., and HACFM.
Marcus D. Goodson, HACFM Executive Director, acknowledged “while the realization of sequestration, coupled with historically low funding levels from HUD is a painful reminder of how quick funding can decrease for affordable housing programs, we still must find ways to provide housing for those families most at risk of being homeless. With that mission at the forefront of our work, we were able to leverage, local, state and federal funds to bring these two much needed redevelopment projects to fruition.”
“These types of projects show what can happen when public and private sectors are both invested in revitalizing a community,” said Senator Nelson. “Families in the area will have more affordable housing options, and construction of the new units will bring much needed jobs to the region.”
The developments, Landings at East Pointe (formerly Sabal Palm Apartments) and East Pointe Place (formerly Palmetto Court) are existing complexes owned by HACFM. They are located just north of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 82) corridor and west of Interstate 75.
“The overall condition of these properties have deteriorated due to functional obsolescence and are in need of significant rehabilitation,” said Director of Real Estate Development Marcia Davis, with the Housing Authority of the City of Ft. Myers. “The buildings have aged significantly and the operation of the development is inefficient due to the condition of the structures plus the inefficient nature of the complexes themself.”
According to Davis, realizing that both complexes required a long-range plan for the ultimate redevelopment and restoration of both properties, HACFM sought out private development partners. HACFM is an experienced agency in the redevelopment of affordable housing having successfully administered the multi-phase, mixed-use for numerous other similar initiatives in the Fort Myers area. HACFM selected Pinnacle Housing Group as its co-developer, a Florida-based firm that is among the largest and most successful affordable rental housing developers nationally, and with a significant positive track record in PHA redevelopment joint ventures.
“It’s a great day when public/private partnerships work together to better the lives of families who need it most, while revitalizing an entire neighborhood and offering job opportunities throughout the process,” said Timothy P. Wheat, Vice President of Pinnacle Housing Group. “For Pinnacle Housing Group, affordable housing is about more than providing places to live – it’s about bringing communities together and instilling a sense of pride in our residents.”
East Pointe Place will be entirely demolished and replaced with a more efficiently master-planned and designed community, taking advantage of an FHFC preference for PHA redevelopment and revitalization ventures. Virtually all of both developments’ units will receive some form of project-based rental assistance in order to compete in these preferential set-asides.
Through this public/private partnership, HACFM and Pinnacle secured Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and combined it with other sources of public and private support from the City of Fort Myers, other public and quasi-public entities. The partnership utilized the private debt and equity markets for the syndication of LIHTCs, which were purchased by Wells Fargo Bank N.A.
The development plan is unique as it combined both the substantial “gut” rehabilitation of Landings at East Pointe along with demolition and new construction to create East Pointe Place. “The scope of the rehabilitation for Landings at East Pointe will be so significant that the end product will virtually be in ‘new’ condition when complete,” said Davis.
In addition, the redevelopment strategy will result in the following:
- Modern, energy-efficient units, and LEED – certified residential units
- Concrete block construction with durable interior and exterior improvements such as solid-surface floors and countertops
- The latest in hurricane-resistant construction techniques
- Clubhouses and resident common area facilities, both indoor and outdoor, to provide recreation, education and stimulation to the resident population
- Designs which promote a sense of “connection” and “community” for residents, featuring Pinnacle’s signature Art in Public Places program
- Accessibility to transit, employment, retail and social service
The revitalized Landings at East Pointe will consist of 126 units and the new East Pointe Place will offer 86 units, both with an effective mix of floor plans and bedroom sizes. East Pointe Place is currently being demolished in preparation for the new buildings to be constructed. Both developments are expected to be completed and fully leased by mid-2015.
Development participants for the Landings at East Pointe include BSSW Architects, Inc., Chris-Tel Construction Company as general contractor, Quattrone and Associates as civil engineer and landscape architect, and Northbay Energy as green building consultant.
Development participants for the East Pointe Place include Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Brooks and Freund as general contractor, Quattrone and Associates as civil engineer and landscape architect and Northbay Energy as green building consultant.
Bill Nelson & Teresa Watkins Brown
Senator Nelson & Howard Wheeler
Marcus Goodson & Senator Nelson
Marcus Goodson, Mayor Henderson, Senator Nelson & Marcia Davis
Bruce Strayhorn & Marcus Goodson
Marcus Goodson & Michael Marra