The transformation of Puerto Rico’s affordable housing has taken a major step forward with the closing of $41.3 million in public and private funding.
The Puerto Rico Department of Housing and developer McCormack Baron Salazar announced the investment of $41.3 million in their effort to revitalize an affordable housing site near the old San Juan Historic District.
The development will result in the construction of 174 new apartment homes, including walk-up flats, townhouses, and an elevator-served building. About 78% of the homes will be restricted to households earning at or below 60% of the area median income (including some public housing subsidized units) with the remaining 22% available to market-rate residents.
The development also includes 6,000 square feet of commercial space, a 3,300-square-foot management office and community space, which includes a fitness room, a business center, and a community gathering area. The site is within walking distance of the Bahía Urbana revitalization initiative along the San Juan Bay waterfront.
“The Bahía Urbana master plan, as it gets implemented through the next decade, will bring significant investment to this area of San Juan,” said Daniel Acosta, senior vice president and project manager with McCormack Baron Salazar. “This development will help catalyze those investments while at the same time ensuring that lower-income families get to benefit from and enjoy the planned improvements.”
Plans for the site include amenities and site improvements associated with market-rate developments, including walking trails, tot lots, community gardens, landscaping, site lighting, and controlled parking and building access. The site also enjoys access to transit through the high-speed bus line on Calle del Tren and is within walking distance to schools.
This development is the second in setting a new standard for future affordable housing revitalization initiatives on the island. The first, in the heart of the San Juan business district, began construction in August 2016.
These projects incorporate a public/private financial structure that leverages private dollars with public investment. The $41.3 million project includes $27.8 million in private equity provided by Alden Capital Partners and Citi Community Capital through the low-income housing tax credit program administered by the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority and $13.5 million from the Puerto Rico Department of Housing through funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Citi Community Capital is also providing a construction loan.
The housing department has been assisted by CVR Associates, a national affordable housing consulting firm. Planning and architectural services are provided by Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón. The general contractor for the redevelopment effort is F&R Construction Group. Construction has begun, and completion is anticipated in fall 2018.