A mix of affordable housing and market rate rents will be available at the new Pendana at West Lakes, thanks to a $36 million loan made possible through partnerships forged by LIFT Orlando, a nonprofit that helps residents break the cycle of poverty through neighborhood revitalization.
The deal enables the development of a new mixed-income complex with 200 units, 160 of which will be for affordable housing with rents that start at $550 a month. The remaining 40 units will charge market rates that could range from $750 for a one-bedroom to $1,100 for a three-bedroom apartment.
Of the 80 percent of units slated for low-income residents, 10 of those units will house homeless veterans. The state-of-the-art, energy-efficient apartment complex will include a pool, playgrounds, fitness center, a business center and community rooms.
The complex is being built in a low-income area near Camping World Stadium that once was home to financially strapped Orange Manor and Washington Shores apartments. It had a crime rate 21 times higher than the national rate.
The City of Orlando bought the two communities, along with five other foreclosed apartment complexes for $6.8 million on April 15. Lift Orlando Community Land LLC bought the nearly 15-acre parcel from the city of Orlando last summer.
“The west side was the first African American suburb recognized by the housing authority federally in the country,” said Eddy Moratin, executive director of LIFT Orlando. “There was this irony of great legacy but yet great poverty and despair.”
Construction on Pendana at West Lake began in January with completion slated for April 2018. The first 200 apartments will be built on 12.1 acres and will be followed by another 120 senior-living apartments on 2.8 acres.
The complex will also bring much-needed jobs to the area. Contractors will be hiring at the Pendana at West Lakes Job Fair 5 to 8 p.m. March 30 at Orange Center Elementary School, 621 S. Texas Ave. Orlando.
Financing for the project, which fronts Orange Center Boulevard west of Tampa Avenue, included $22.8 million from SunTrust Community Capital and a $7.4 million loan from Valley National Bank. Florida Sail Fund provided a $2 million construction loan. Additional funding was provided by the Orange County Housing Finance Agency, the City of Orlando and investment by the development partners.