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Jax Daily Record Friday, Mar. 12, 202101:58 PM EST

Work to start this year on Parkview Commons

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Southport Financial Services intends to build 122 affordable rental units at the edge of Springfield.

Tampa-based Southport Financial Services expects to buy the unused parking structure at the edge of Springfield at the end of May for site redevelopment into Parkview Commons.

Southport Financial Senior Vice President Michael Molinari said March 11 that construction of the 122-unit affordable rental community should start by the end of 2021 for completion in a year.

The almost 1.5-acre site is at 901 N. Main St., bordered by Main, State, Ocean and Orange streets, in the Springfield area north of Downtown Jacksonville.

He said Southport will “bring much needed affordable housing to the historically underserved Springfield neighborhood.”

Molinari said the almost $30 million development will have ground-floor parking topped by a four-story building that will have a leasing center, library, gym, community space and more amenities.

“We are still in the design phase,” he said.

The project will comprise 106 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom apartments.

Molinari said 90% of the units, or 105, will be for tenants making 60% of the area median income. The level for a family of four at 60% of median income is $45,000. Monthly rental rates are estimated at $932 for two-bedroom units and $1,080 for three-bedroom apartments.

The remaining 10% of the units, or 17, will be for tenants at 30% of the area median income. That is $22,500 for a family of four. Rental rates for those would be about $426 for two-bedroom units and $495 for three-bedroom units.

 Molinari said Southport will pay $2.9 million for the land and remove the parking structure. The site, owned by Jacksonville Hospitality Holdings LP,  is appraised at $522,594 for tax purposes.

Originally the Heart of Jacksonville Motor Hotel, the property was at one time one of the city’s premier lodging destinations.

It then operated as the Park View Inn until it closed in 2003.

By 2011, most of the site was demolished with the help of a $300,000 Community Development Block grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The parking deck remains.

Molinari said that environmental issues have been resolved and the project is cleared for development environmentally.

NAI Hallmark Vice President Bryan Mickler said March 9 that Southport has had the property under contract for four years as it sought tax credit financing.

“All that hard work is finally paying off,” Mickler said. “It will be a nice residential project Downtown.”

Mickler said Southport is an experienced affordable housing developer.

Southport applied for an allocation of the Florida Housing Finance Corp. 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority financial adviser Mark Hendrickson said Southport was selected in the 2020 round because it was designated by the city as the priority deal for the Florida Housing Finance Corp.’s application cycle. 

Developers apply through the Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority.

“There is a competition each year in Jacksonville and Parkview is the deal that won in 2020 for affordable housing,” Molinari said.

Molinari said Southport will use a $500,000 contribution from the city’s HOME funds and $120,000 from the Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program through which the city receives federal funds for affordable-housing-related initiatives.

Hendrickson said Southport has the initial award of credits from the Florida Housing Finance Corp. 

“So long as they build what was proposed, they will receive the credits … when development is built and occupied,” Hendrickson said. 

No other agency needs to approve the credits, he said.

Molinari said the tax credits are worth $18,675,000. The tax credits will be sold and the proceeds will be used to fund the development, he said.

Hendrickson said Southport must go through the city’s development approval process for construction.

The state organization’s guidelines say the project must be within Duval County; the applicant must provide evidence of ownership, such as a contract or option to purchase; must provide a set-aside of rental units equal to or greater than the standards for low-income Housing Tax Credits or applicable program; and must have evidence of land-use and zoning authorizing the use of the property for multifamily residential uses.

Ina Mezini, Downtown Investment Authority marketing and communications specialist, said Parkview Commons is outside of DIA’s boundaries. “We will not be providing capital or working with them otherwise,” she said.

Molinari said Parkview Commons is Southport’s 13th multifamily deal in Jacksonville.

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