Lissette Calderon scores $78M construction loan for second Allapattah multifamily project

Project named Julia, after “Mother of Miami” Julia Tuttle

Lissette Calderon and renderings of The Julia (Neology Life)
Lissette Calderon and renderings of The Julia (Neology Life)

UPDATED, Oct. 15, 10:47 a.m.: Lissette Calderon is building her second Allapattah multifamily project, thanks to a $78.2 million construction loan.

Calderon, through her Neology Life development company, is building The Julia, a 14-story, 323-unit project at 1625 Northwest 20th Street, according to a Neology Life news release.

Construction is underway and is expected to be completed in mid-2023, according to the lender’s press release.

Ben Jacobson of Trez Capital originated the 36-month loan, which allows for one 12-month extension.

Charles Foschini and Chris Apone of Berkadia secured the financing on behalf of Neology Life.

Ben Jacobson

Ben Jacobson

Calderon, through an affiliate, bought the 1.7-acre site for $6.4 million in 2019.

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The mid-rise development will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments, ranging from 600 square feet to 1,000 square feet, according to Neology Life. Amenities will include a ninth-floor Sky Lounge with a pool, a gym and 15,000 square feet of street-level retail.

The Behar Font Architects-designed building will have an Art Deco look with 1950s glam, aiming for a look combining tropical designs and a metropolitan feel according to the release. Common areas will include colorful mosaics and bright, botanical-patterned wall coverings. designBAR is the interior designer.

The project previously was named 16 Allapattah.

The new moniker, The Julia, is an homage to Julia Tuttle, considered “Mother of Miami” and the only woman founder of a major U.S. city. Tuttle, a businesswoman, owned property upon which Miami was built. Urban legend has it that Tuttle sent Henry Flagler an orange blossom to show him the area was spared from the freeze of 1894-1895, prompting him to extend his Florida East Coast Railway south.

Calderon, one of the biggest female names in Miami real estate, said in the release she considers Tuttle a “personal hero,” and hopes the project serves as a beacon to young women with “big dreams.”

Calderon was among the first to develop residential projects along the Miami River before she turned her attention to the nearby Allapattah neighborhood in recent years.

In April, she completed the 13-story No. 17 Residences with 192 units at 1569 Northwest 17th Avenue in Allapattah. Next on tap will be the two-tower 14 Allapattah with 237 apartments and ground-floor retail.

Developers and investors are heavily betting on South Florida’s multifamily market, amid unprecedented rent hikes fueled by pent-up demand. According to the release, CoStar Group expects rents to soar from 8 percent to 9 percent over the next year. Some submarkets have reported hikes as high as 24 percent in a matter of months earlier this year.