Manatee County Responds to Housing Needs

  • Manatee County Commissioners have paved the way for the construction of several affordable multi-family housing projects in Bradenton and Palmetto.
  • Together, these projects could soon bring just under 1,000 new units to the region.
  • The projects originate from the Manatee County Housing Finance Authority, which was established in 1979 to provide investment capital to address a shortage of affordable housing.

Manatee County is booming. Thousands of new homes are cleared for construction, and house prices have steadily risen as potential buyers bid against each other over the low availability of listings.

Conditions have made it more difficult for typical employees of the workforce to find affordable housing.

To help alleviate the need, Manatee County Commissioners have paved the way for the construction of several affordable multi-family housing projects in Bradenton and Palmetto. Together, these projects could soon bring just under 1,000 new units to the region.

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“It’s long overdue,” County Administrator Scott Hopes said. “It’s going to make a huge difference as we move forward.”

The projects originate from the Manatee County Housing Finance Authority, which was established in 1979 to provide investment capital to address a shortage of affordable housing. The authority does this by providing tax-exempt bonds for qualifying developers.

Although the authority issues its own bonds, the board requires the approval of the Manatee County commissioners.

“They are issuing their own debt,” Hopes said. “It is not the county commission debt or the Manatee County government debt.”

The authority will vote at a future meeting, likely in early 2022, to give final approval. In doing so, it would fund the construction of two new affordable multi-family housing developments located on the same property at 4505 12th Street Court East in Bradenton, said Angela Abbott, a lawyer and director of the Housing Finance Authority.

Oneco 51 Family Apartments, valued at $ 43.3 million, will include 324 affordable units, while its sister project, Oneco 51 Senior Apartments, valued at $ 31.7 million, will include 246 units. multifamily for the elderly.

Likewise, The Reef at Riviera is a 224 unit project for residents 62 and over on Haben Boulevard in Palmetto. The project received $ 31 million in funding in April 2020 and construction began shortly thereafter.

The Riviera Reef is under construction in Palmetto.  This is one of a number of workforce housing projects heading to the region to address a need for affordable housing.

The developers requested an additional $ 1.5 million from the authority to pay for the construction cost increases to complete the project.

Abbott said the projects would provide much-needed workforce housing for teachers, law enforcement, medical professionals, families and the elderly.

“Rents are almost unaffordable these days if there is even something available,” Abbott said. “This is a segment of the population that is not served at the moment. “

The construction of the Metropolitan is also about to be inaugurated in Bradenton.

The project is not tied to the Housing Finance Authority, but instead receives approximately $ 2.7 million in additional funding from the Bradenton Community Redevelopment Agency through partial property tax refunds, the director said. ARC Executive, Katerina Gerakios-Siren.

The Metropolitan is a $ 20 million project that will provide 199 workforce housing units in Bradenton, near the intersection of 14th Street and 14th Avenue, on 3.3 acres of land across from the Bradenton Police Department.

It is developed by Pearl Homes. The community will use solar panels and battery storage technology on site. The property was purchased by the Bradenton CRA and sold to Pearl Homes in 2020 at a reduced price of around $ 500,000 after the agency demolished the old Manatee Inns.

“We believe this will be a catalyst project for the region,” said Gerakios-Siren. “We’re bringing in about 300 people with extra purchasing power who are going to want more retail, they are going to walk around and spend money in the area. By investing and offering incentives for this project, we are showing other developers and investors that this area has a lot of potential.

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