Apartment building for local workers to be built near school in North Miami

North Miami gets 10-story affordable housing and labor development across from North Miami Senior High School.  Here is a rendering of the building which should be built by the end of 2024.

North Miami gets 10-story affordable housing and labor development across from North Miami Senior High School. Here is a rendering of the building which should be built by the end of 2024.

coral rock development; Behar Font & Partners

More housing for essential workers and affordable housing for low-income people is coming to North Miami at a time when the county is facing a severe housing affordability crisis.

A 10-story building with 138 apartments called Kayla at Library Place will replace the headquarters of the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce, across from North Miami Senior High School. The $42 million redevelopment is a public-private partnership between the city and Coral Rock Development of Coral Gables.

This story is a subscriber exclusive

City and Community Redevelopment Agency of North Miami award developer 1.1 acre lot on West Dixie Freeway plus $5 million for construction costs, tax incentives and the right to manage the building apartments – and collect rental income for 70 years. In return, Coral Rock will construct the apartment complex which will include a gym, conference room and outdoor barbecue areas. The building will also have space for retailers and a new headquarters for the city’s chamber of commerce.

Homes will range from 660-square-foot one-bedroom units to 930-square-foot two-bedroom units. Eligible tenants, in 55 of the apartments deemed affordable, will pay monthly rents of $1,097 to $2,000. Tenants in the 83 below-market apartments for local workers will pay $1,800 to $2,200 per month. Affordable rentals will be reserved for people who earn 60% — or less — of the Miami-Dade County median annual income of $68,300. Labor rentals will be for tenants who earn median annual wages.

Since North Miami officials approved the project this summer, construction could begin next June. And the building is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

In general, affordable housing helps people working in the low-wage service sector obtain housing at rents they can afford based on their annual income. Workforce housing caters to teachers, firefighters, police and other essential local workers. With the building planned across from North Miami High School, Coral Rock principal Michael Wohl said he hopes to reserve some of the rentals for teachers and school staff.

“North Miami is a big hub. It comes down to Broward. It’s a good thing, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking it’s enough,” said Ken H. Johnson, a business professor and real estate expert at Florida Atlantic University. “It’s a drop in the ocean. We have to build more and realize that everyone has their skin in the game.”

Indeed, as people flocked to Miami-Dade during the pandemic that began in March 2020, the mass migration sent residential rents and house and condo prices skyrocketing. In the spring, Miami’s average monthly apartment rental costs soared to some of the highest among cities nationwide and remained largely at that level.

Meanwhile, the price tags on single-family homes and condos in South Florida remain out of sight for all but a tiny percentage of local residents.

READ MORE: What annual salary required to buy a median-priced home in South Florida

The Miami Herald reported on Thursday that people looking to buy a home in South Florida need to make $131,714 a year to afford property at the median sale price of $589,000 for homes in Miami counties. -Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, according to a mortgage report. HSH.com site using National Association of Realtors housing data as of June 30.

Although the desperate need for affordable housing prompted Miami-Dade officials in early April to declare an affordability crisis, it was a thorny issue here years before the pandemic began. It has gotten worse over the past two years during the public health emergency and yet North Miami is one of the few cities in the county actively trying to tackle the housing crisis in its backyard by offering generous incentives to promoters.

To that end, in addition to the multi-million dollar incentive program North Miami and North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency committed to the developer, Coral Rock also tapped the county for housing bond money toward the $42 million tab. dollars to build the 138 affordable community housing units and workplace.

“You’re starting to see the transformation of North Miami now,” said Cornelius Shiver, executive director of the community redevelopment agency.

This project is one of many similar apartment complex proposals announced this year in Miami-Dade. The county still needs a lot more, said FAU’s Johnson. With population growth estimated at 122,000 people by 2032, he said the county needs to build 4,900 new affordable and labor rental homes per year to have enough supply to meet existing and projected demand.

For his part, Coral Rock’s Wohl praised North Miami officials and called on the county and other municipalities to combine their resources to “create a more holistic approach to addressing this issue” of limited availability of affordable housing in Miami-Dade. .

“We are seeing escalating land costs, rising interest rates, an inability to execute,” the developer said. “It’s all about subsidies, when it comes to affordable housing and labor.”

Rebecca San Juan writes about the real estate industry, covering news on industrial, commercial, office projects, construction contracts, and the intersection of real estate and law for industry professionals. She studied at Mount Holyoke College and is proud to report on her hometown.
Support my work with a digital subscription

Lora M. Andrew