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South Florida Business Journal - September 30, 2002

$29.3M in affordable housing construction begins

A joint venture among Miami real estate companies to develop affordable housing in Miami-Dade County has begun construction on two developments.

Partners the Carlisle Group, the Related Group of Florida and Strategic Santa Clara, all Miami-based, as well as Chattanooga, Tenn.-based United Homes, said they have have broken ground on Santa Clara Apartments at 2000 N.W. 12 Ave. The apartments are at the Santa Clara Metrorail station in Miami. Developers - who are working with the Miami-Dade Transit Authority - said the complex will include 208 apartment units, a community center, library, exercise room and car care area. Developers estimate the project will cost $18.48 million, with construction completion projected for winter 2003.

Miami-based partners New Century Development Corp. and the Carlisle Group have broken ground on Allapattah Garden Apartments between Northwest 11th Place and Northwest 11th Court and Northwest 33rd and Northwest 36 streets, directly across from the Allapattah Metrorail Station. Developers said the garden-style apartment development will include 128 apartment units, a clubhouse/community center, day care facility, playground, swimming pool, volleyball court and car care area. Developers estimate the project will cost $10.82 million, with construction completion projected for winter 2003.

"These two developments will have an extremely positive impact on the quality of life of low and moderate-income residents in the area," said Lloyd J. Boggio, founder, principal and chief executive officer of the Carlisle Group and spokesperson for both projects.

The Carlisle Group cited a 2001 survey prepared for the Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade County that said forecasters estimated Miami-Dade County will need 21,472 lower income affordable multifamily apartments during the 2000-2005 forecast period, or 4,294 units a year.

"There is an acute shortage of affordable housing in the Allapattah area," said City of Miami Commissioner Angel Gonzalez. "These developments respond to the need for affordable housing, will help to improve ridership on the Metrorail system, offer a strong incentive for city workers to move to the development and attract needed commercial development to the area."

The City of Miami's plan for fiscal years 1999-2004 calls for an increase of affordable permanent housing, retention of affordable housing stock and reduced isolation of income groups within low-income areas by increasing housing opportunities and revitalizing deteriorating neighborhoods. According to the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, both developments are located within the city's Allapattah community development target area, which means the residents include very low, low and moderate-income families.