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Ability Housing Breaks Ground on Villages of New Augustine

January 18th, 2024 · Leave a Comment

Nearly 100 new affordable apartment homes will be coming soon to St. Augustine. Recently, representatives from Ability Housing, St. Johns County, the West Augustine Historical Community Development Corporation (CDC), Bank of America and Churchill Stateside Group broke ground on Villages of New Augustine.

The 92-unit, new-construction apartment community will be located on three parcels totaling approximately 6.5 acres at the intersection of North Volusia Street and Chapin Street in the West Augustine neighborhood. All units will be affordable to households earning up to 60% of the Area Median Income, based on data updated annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Rental prices will vary based on household size, income, and apartment size, and will start at approximately $547 minimum per month for one-bedroom units and $759 minimum per month for three-bedroom units. Actual rent prices will be contingent on current HUD data at the time of the apartment community’s completion.

Ability Housing was approached by the West Augustine CDC in 2018 to collaborate on plans for an apartment community that could fill a critical need for working families in the neighborhood. The development is Ability Housing’s first community in St. Augustine.

Site plans feature four three-story residential buildings comprising 20 one-bedroom apartments, 36 two-bedroom apartments and 36 three-bedroom apartments. Additional amenities will include a community center with on-site leasing offices; a computer lab; a library; flexible spaces for workshops, training and events; outdoor recreational features like a pavilion and dedicated walking trail; and 149 parking spaces.

Funding for the $25 million project has been secured through various state, local and private sources. Florida Housing Finance Corporation provided $4,265,345 in affordable housing loan financing and awarded $1.625 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which resulted in a $14,867,263 equity investment from a nonprofit syndicator, National Equity Fund, with Bank of America providing the equity investment. Bank of America is also providing a construction loan in the amount of $13,814,121. Churchill Stateside Group will provide the post-construction permanent financing with a $4,145,000 mortgage.

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners approved a $460,000 Affordable Housing Grant and a $1,207,134 award of American Rescue Plan Act funds at their June 6, 2023 meeting. Additionally, in 2022 the Board passed an ordinance making it possible to defer impact fees.

Construction for the Villages of New Augustine is anticipated to take 18 months. Group 4 Design, Inc. is the project architect. Bradley Construction Co., Inc. is the general contractor. JBPro is the civil engineering firm.

Leasing details will be available closer to completion in late 2025. For more information about Ability Housing’s other properties throughout Florida, visit AbilityHousing.org/portfolio.

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