Affiliated wins Fort Lauderdale tax incentive for 400-unit rental project with 140 workforce units

Developer may increase the number of income-restricted units at its Era project if it gets a tax incentive from Broward County

Affiliated Development Plans Fort Lauderdale Rentals
Affiliated Development's Jeffrey Burns with rendering of Era (Affiliated Development, Getty)

Affiliated Development won a city tax incentive to reserve about a third of its apartments for low- and middle-income tenants at Era, a planned eight-story, 400-unit rental project in Fort Lauderdale.

The number of apartments designated as workforce housing could increase from 140 to 210 if the developer wins a similar tax incentive from Broward County. Deed restrictions on these units will limit their use to workforce housing for 30 years.

“We’re working with the county on a similar incentive structure that would allow us to do 70 more [workforce] units,” Jeffrey Burns, CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based Affiliated Development, told The Real Deal on Wednesday. “Our goal is to have over 50 percent of the building [designated as] workforce.”

Burns expects a groundbreaking for Era sometime next year. “We are still working on our drawings, and we have not submitted for a building permit, but we anticipate doing that before the end of the year,” he said.

Affiliated will receive a 100 percent reimbursement of additional property tax revenue that Era generates over 30 years. The developer will get the reimbursement of property taxes in each of the first 15 years after the apartment complex opens for occupancy.

The incentive is worth about $4 million, based on an estimate by city staff that Era will generate $7.9 million more property tax revenue, over 30 years, than the existing office and industrial properties on the development site.

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission approved the city’s Affordable/Workforce Housing Ad Valorem Tax Reimbursement program Tuesday night, moments before approving an application by Affiliated to apply the new incentive program to its Era multifamily project.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“We work very, very closely with city and county government, and a lot of the time, the things we work on are policy-related, and beyond just one project,” Burns said.

Affiliated has a contract to purchase the Era development site at 2125 South Andrews Avenue, just west of Port Everglades and a short walk from the Broward Health Medical Center. Burns said a non-disclosure agreement precluded him from disclosing the contract price or the seller.

“The owner that we’re purchasing the property from was able to assemble it over numerous years,” the Affiliated CEO said.

The development site in Fort Lauderdale’s Poinciana Park neighborhood is composed of five parcels on Southwest 21st Street and South Andrews Avenue that three entities acquired for a total of about $5 million in purchases recorded in 1999, 2008 to 2021, according to Broward County property records.

“In terms of a workforce housing location, it’s like Main and Main,” Burns said, citing not only the site’s proximity to Broward Health and Port Everglades, but also the county courthouse to the north and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to the south, as well as nearby hotels and boating businesses.

Era apartments designated as income-restricted will be reserved for tenants who earn from 80 percent to 120 percent of the area median income. Census data show that area median income in Fort Lauderdale is about $66,000.

Monthly rents for market-rate apartments at Era will start around $2,000, and monthly rents for income-restricted apartments will be “a $500 to $1,200 discount to market,” depending on the type of unit, Burns said.