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Downtown Investment Authority Backing City Money For Mixed-Income Complex

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Bill Bortzfield
/
WJCT News
Construction continues on The Lofts at LaVilla, which is scheduled to open in December.

Updated 11/2/2017 at 10:15 a.m.

The Downtown Investment Authority is recommending the city spend more than $3 million on downtown apartments in the LaVilla area.

The funding would back a proposed 132-unit mixed-income complex. Eighty of the units would be for households at or below 80 percent of the area median income. That means a family of four living in the units couldn’t make more than about $51,000.

Downtown Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace told First Coast Connect’s Melissa Ross, they would be affordable for those working in the service industry.

“We’re trying to make sure that they don’t much more than 30 to 35 percent of their salaries,” he said.

The remaining units would be what’s called workforce housing and a family of four could make up to about $90,000 and live in them.

The apartments would be near the Prime Osborn Convention Center in the same area its developer Vestcor is finishing up another apartment complex called The Lofts at LaVilla.

Wallace says those, opening in December, are already 100 percent occupied.

“They have a waiting list of at least 25 people,” he said.

The about $3.4 million-dollars of city money would in the form of a 400,000 loan and refund up to $2.9 million in property tax increases over the course of 15 years, called a REV grant.

City Council will have to approve the funding next.

Wallace said Vestcor is also building another complex downtown with just under 110 units.

Correction: A previous version said 80 of the units would be for households at or below the area median income. Eighty of the units would be for households at or below 80 percent of the area median income. 

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.