In the City of Orlando’s ongoing initiative to help the residents of Parramore, they have hired InVictus Development to build new housing units in the area to help families in need and attract new residents, too.

In November, the city put out a Request for Proposals for developers, intending to convert CRA/city-owned land near Parramore Avenue and Conley Street into mixed-income housing. The CRA owned five acres of land and the city owned some adjoining property, and they combined the two together for this project, according to Downtown Orlando CRA Executive Director Thomas Chatmon.

The city agreed at Monday’s council meeting to strike a deal with InVictus Development to develop the property.

Mayor Buddy Dyer said the project was a long time coming.

“Long ago, that property was a Section 8 housing unit that the city acquired back in 2003,” he said. “We tried redevelopment at the height of the recession. It didn’t work, and we got the city property back.”

So now, he said, they were going to redevelop the property for real.

InVictus proposed to build a 211 unit project, with a mix of two- and four-story buildings, blending apartments and townhomes and affordable, market-rate and permanent supportive housing. The project will hopefully bring new residents to Parramore and fulfill a goal of the city and the CRA to make housing available to those struggling to find it in Parramore.

According to Chatmon, the project’s goal is to attract more families and turn Parramore into the bustling hub it once was before the neighborhood was debilitated by negative growth following desegregation in the 1950s and ’60s. Chatmon said the once very vibrant community went from over 20,000 residents at its heyday to around 6,000 now – a massive negative growth he said was the result of African-Americans out-migrating to other areas after desegregation.

Now, with the arrival of new prospective restaurants and microbreweries, and the first new school built there in decades arriving soon, Parramore is coming back into the light, Chatmon said.

“We want to attract more families,” he said. “With churches, schools and entertainment, retail places and residential, Parramore will have all the components of a livable community. The heritage will be strong, and families who left generations ago will come back if we can make a place that is clean and safe.”

The InVictus Development residential homes will bring 117 housing units in its first phase, due to be finished in the fall of 2018, and 94 units in its second phase, which should be finished in the fall of 2019.

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