On Tuesday, Feb. 14, the Downtown Community Redevelopment Commission (DRC) voted to support a project seeking a $7 million loan to build a 300 unit complex dedicated to workforce housing on a vacant lot at the corner of Bronough and West Tennessee streets.
The support of the DRC moves consideration of the project to the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The CRA is made up of all five Tallahassee city commissioners.
The complex will include 100 studio units, which are expected to average around 400 square feet, 100 one-bedroom units, which are expected to average around 700 square feet and 100 2-bedroom units which will average around 1,200 square feet. In addition to the residential units, the development will include 10,000 square feet of retail space and a parking garage.
Global City states that the property will be designed to an environmental sustainability standard of at least LEED Silver.
Global City has proposed that if the loan is approved, it would place a covenant on the land to include rent restrictions that could only be changed with the City’s approval. Rents will be capped at 35% of household income and could only increase as fast as household income increases.
The developer also indicated that marketing efforts will focus on public employees such firefighters, police officers and teachers as well as any other groups that the City wishes to benefit from downtown workforce housing. However, rentals would be limited to households making between 80% and 140% of the area median income for Leon County.
Global City is partnering with Bethel Missionary Church, the owner of the property, for the proposed development. Bethel is asking for $7.5 million for the vacant lot and the developer stated the land would be purchased before continuing with permitting and construction.
Once the proposed development is complete and bond financing is available to payoff construction debt and equity, including the CRA loan, Bethel will own the finished development. This is anticipated to take place when the property stabilizes in late 2027 or early 2028.
The estimated construction start date of the project is October 2024, with substantial completion by the first half of 2026.
Global City states that no money will be drawn from the CRA loan until the project is fully financed based on a guaranteed maximum price contract with a reputable general contractor.
The proposed development would address two issues listed in the Downtown Redevelopment Plan, the need for affordable housing and the existence of vacant lots.