Hollywood approved a preliminary plan by Housing Trust Group to lease city-owned land for University Station, a mixed-use downtown development featuring 216 apartments, most with below-market rents.
Commissioners last week authorized city staff to negotiate an agreement with Miami-based HTG to develop University Station along 21st Avenue between Fillmore Street and Polk Street. The development site currently contains a parking lot, a municipal shuffleboard facility, and the Barry University College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
The University Station development will have two eight-story buildings with 108 apartments each and a detached parking garage, according to a 103-page plan HTG submitted in March. Under its preliminary plan, HTG will charge market-rate rents for 16 of the 216 apartments and below-market rents for the other 200 apartments, which would be available to tenants earning 28 percent to 80 percent of the area’s median income, or $23,576 to $67,360. The ground floor of the mixed-use development will include as much as 4,000 square feet of commercial space and 11,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet of new space for Barry University’s nursing college.
HTG plans to lease the 2.5-acre development site from the city for 75 years and would make a capitalized lease payment of at least $4.5 million. Under a tentative timetable, the 13-month construction phase of the project would start in 2022 after HTG secures construction financing, and would conclude in 2023.
HTG plans to finance the first phase of the $41.9 million development with 9 percent federal low-income housing tax credits, which are allocated by the Florida Housing Finance Corp. HTG plans to apply for the federal tax credits by mid-September, and the company expects to receive them by the second quarter of 2021.
“An allocation of affordable housing funds (tax credits) to Phase II is not necessarily required,” according to HTG’s preliminary plan. Phase II can potentially be financed with private equity and conventional lending as a market-rate development after Phase I is developed, the plan stated.
The development also could accommodate future construction of a train station along the FEC railroad. Virgin Trains USA operating as Brightline, had run passenger trains between Miami and Fort Lauderdale along the railroad before suspending service in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HTG has already broken ground on another affordable housing development in Hollywood called Hudson Village, an eight-story, 96-unit project at 1901 South Federal Highway.
The developer is also planning to build more than 1,300 new affordable housing units on a site in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood. In May, the Miami-Dade County Commission granted HTG a ground lease for the 10.4-acre property, which houses two existing public housing projects that HTG would redevelop.