Greystone and The Hallmark Companies Celebrate Grand Reopening of Affordable Housing Communities with Ribbon-Cutting Event in St. Cloud, Florida
May 2, 2018
Local, State, and National Officials Celebrate Preservation of Crucial Low-Income Housing and Importance of LIHTC Program
Greystone Affordable Development and The Hallmark Companies, Inc. celebrated the grand reopening of 24 affordable housing communities across 12 Florida counties with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted at Woodland Terrace Apartments in St. Cloud, Florida. The $132.6 million tax-exempt bond transaction substantially renovated 24 USDA Rural Development Section 515 properties, comprising 1,058 aging and at-risk affordable multifamily housing units.
During the event, attendees toured the renovated property and its units, which recently underwent a transformative rehabilitation. The construction process for all 24 properties was completed in an impressive 13 months, during which no resident was permanently displaced. The efforts focused on bringing the properties up to modern standards, and addressing accessibility, functional obsolescence and deterioration concerns. Each unit underwent approximately $32,000 in renovations, including new HVAC systems, kitchen appliances, plumbing, and aesthetic updates to both the interiors and exteriors. Additionally, residents will now have access to community amenities, including new laundry rooms, outdoor pavilions, and playgrounds.
Distinguished speakers at the Grand Reopening event included:
- Tanya Eastwood, President and CEO, Greystone Affordable Development
- Pete Petersen, President, The Hallmark Companies, Inc.
- Representative Darren Soto, U.S. Congressman, Florida’s 9th Congressional District
- Debra Boots, legislative aide to Senator Victor M. Torres, Jr., FL Senator, Senate District 15
- CB Alonso, Multi-Family Housing Direct Loan Division Director, USDA Rural Housing Service
- Thomas Paramore, Senior Vice President, Boston Financial Investment Management
- Eliezer Santiago, Resident, Kissimmee Homes
In the statewide-pooled transaction, Greystone’s affordable housing preservation team worked closely with USDA’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) National Office and Florida State Offices, as well as the Osceola County Housing Finance Authority and Florida Housing Finance Corporation to secure the financing needed to acquire and rehabilitate this much-needed housing. All properties in the portfolio, ranging from 28 to 104 units, also leveraged the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization Program through USDA. The MPR Program is a loan restructuring tool that provided debt with favorable financing, contributing to an overall rent decrease of $23 per unit across the portfolio.
“I can think of no better motivation than knowing hundreds of residents will ultimately benefit from the rehabilitation of their homes,” said Tanya Eastwood, President and CEO of Greystone Affordable Development. “The preservation and financing of affordable housing in rural communities is critical for these communities to thrive. We are proud to be a part of this dedicated team which values the importance of preserving affordable housing across rural America and continues to be an advocate for these residents.”
“We are thrilled with the renewed properties and the opportunity to make a positive impact in our residents’ lives,” said Pete Petersen, President ofThe Hallmark Companies, Inc. “Greystone has proven to be a knowledgeable, expeditious, and resourceful partner in this process as we preserve thousands of rural affordable housing units across the Southeast.”
”I am grateful for the positive impact made for the residents who rely heavily on this affordable housing for their livelihood both here in the 9th District and across Florida. I applaud Hallmark for proactively taking charge on preserving their investment in St. Cloud and beyond and thank Greystone for their ingenuity in making the financing and renovations come together with such an impressive result,” said Representative Darren Soto, U.S. Congressman, Florida’s 9th Congressional District.
“We are happy to have played a leading role in the preservation of the precious stock of affordable rural housing in Florida,” saidDuane Owen, Chairman of the Board, Osceola County Housing Finance Authority. “We hope to see more of this creative and effective financing model executed across the state.”