The Real Deal Miami

Carlisle breaks ground on $25 million Overtown tower, with more affordable housing developments to come

By Alexander Britell | June 02, 2010 08:00AM

Company has nine other affordable housing projects in the works throughout the county

The Beacon will be an eco-friendly affordable housing complex

Developer Carlisle Group broke ground today on a $25 million, 13-story high-rise affordable housing development in the historic but downtrodden Overtown neighborhood of downtown Miami.

The project, at 1000 N.W. First Avenue, named the Beacon, will be an eco-friendly affordable housing complex.

Carlisle is the largest developer of affordable housing in Florida, and the sixth largest in the United States.

“We feel great about this project. I think it’s going to be an icon for this area,” said Alberto Cordoves of Corwil Architects, who designed the building. “We’re just fortunate to have the kind of client that I have, putting in a product that is equivalent to market rate. You’ll see that demonstrated by our drawings and the product that we’re putting in here, that’s it’s truly going to be the beacon for this neighborhood.”

The project is targeted at very low- and low-income households, and will include amenities like a library, computer lab and exercise room. All units will feature Energy Star appliances, shower heads, and water-saving toilets.

“Just a few years ago, finding an affordable home in Miami-Dade County seemed almost impossible,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

Alvarez said that over the past 10 years the county had dedicated over $170 million in surtax money for affordable housing developments, resulting in 11,000 apartments and homes for low- and moderate-income families in the county.
 
Carlisle CEO Matthew Greer said the project would involve up to $30 million in construction spending, and the terms of its agreement with the city and county meant it would stay affordable for 50 years.

“We have made a big commitment to Overtown,” Greer said. “We’re underway with an effort to create multiple new developments here, and we think it’s an unbelievable resource that the community hasn’t been able to take advantage of.”

Rents for two-bedroom units will range from $369 TO $779 per month and three-bedrooms will range from $401 to $874 per month.

Carlisle founder Lloyd Boggio said the project was one of several the company had begun that had been saved because of receipt of money from the federal stimulus bill. According to Greer, there were around $12 of federal money for every dollar of county funds put into the project.

“This is one of the first of the affordable housing developments closed with the federal stimulus money,” Boggio said. He said that with the help of the stimulus, Carlisle had been able to save 10 of its affordable housing transactions.

“This is one of the first ones that closed. The money came in over two years, and we’re closing two more in [the] Brownsville [Transportation Village, northeast of the Miami airport].

Given the race between states to receive their share of stimulus funds, Boggio urged county commissioners and the mayor to speed up the construction permit process.