B’nai B’rith wins approval to expand rental complex for low-income seniors in Deerfield Beach

City commission approved a 62-unit expansion of apartments to 333 units from 271

B’nai B’rith’s Daniel Mariaschin with aerial of new development site
B’nai B’rith’s Daniel Mariaschin with aerial of new development site (B’nai B’rith, City of Deerfeild Beach)

Jewish service organization B’nai B’rith won approval to add a fourth apartment building to its rental complex for low-income senior citizens in Deerfield Beach.

The Deerfield Beach City Commission on Tuesday approved a site development plan to add 62 apartments to B’nai B’rith I, II, and III Deerfield Apartments, expanding the complex to 333 apartments from 271.

The new apartment building will rise on what is now a dry retention pond and parking lot on the 3.5-acre rental property at 255 Southwest 3 Avenue in Deerfield Beach, southeast of the West Hillsboro Boulevard interchange with I-95.

The new four-story, 62-unit building will have 47 one-bedroom units and 15 two-bedroom units, or a total of 77 bedrooms.

That is 35 more bedrooms than the 42 allowed by the site’s zoning designation, “multi-family residence (RM-15).” So, B’nai B’rith Apartments of Deerfield Beach applied for bonus density in the form of 35 bedrooms, or “flex units,” which the city commission also approved Tuesday, along with variances from setback requirements and the minimum percentage of landscaped area.

The commission approved B’nai B’rith Apartments’ plan to allocate 26.6 percent of the site to landscaping, instead of the minimum of 35 percent required by code; and to have a 16.5-foot setback, instead of the 25-foot minimum. The commission also allowed the building’s density to be below the minimum of 2,900 square feet per unit. The fourth apartment building at the rental complex will have 67,825 square feet of space, or about 1,100 square feet per unit.

Units at B’nai B’rith I, II, and III Deerfield Apartments are available to tenants who are 62 or older and who meet certain income restrictions, including earning no more than 80 percent of area median income.

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B’nai B’rith built all the apartments with funding from the Section 202 program run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the rental property’s website. Through its Section 202 program, HUD finances construction of housing for low-income seniors and provides rent subsidies to make such housing more affordable for tenants.

The development of the B’nai B’rith rental complex began in 1985 with the construction of a six-story, 99-bedroom apartment building, followed by construction of two four-story apartment buildings, which opened in 1995 and 2005 and have a combined total of 171 bedrooms.

Construction firm Hensel Phelps also plans to build income-restricted apartments in Deerfield Beach. Voters will decide in a referendum on March 14 if Deerfield Beach can sell 3.8 acres of city land near I-95 to Hensel Phelps for a mixed-use development that blends income-restricted apartments with offices, hotel rooms, retail stores and restaurants.

Several sizable income-producing properties in Deerfield Beach attracted investors last year.

In September, Wurzak Hotel Group paid $27 million for the 221-room DoubleTree by Hilton hotel at 100 Fairway Drive in Deerfield Beach.

In August, Boca Raton-based commercial real estate investor James Batmasian bought the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 1101-1149 South Military Trail for $17 million.

And earlier last year, Bridge Investment Group of Salt Lake City paid $15.2 million for a warehouse at 1471 West Hillsboro Boulevard that includes a showroom leased by Doral-based Dolphin Carpet & Tile.

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