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Developers Looking To Buy Commercial Sites Due To New Legislation

Developers are analyzing how to take advantage of Florida’s new legislation, which will set aside over $700 million in funding, create tax breaks, and provide zoning-related incentives for affordable and workforce housing developments.

The law could contribute to a new boom in housing development, from entirely affordable buildings to mixed-income towers on commercial sites that developers are now looking to purchase, experts say.

The Live Local Act, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed aims to help fill financing gaps, making more developments economically feasible. What is still crucial, attorneys and developers said, is combining that with incentives on the local level.

“These incentive programs, in conjunction with working cities and municipalities — that’s the way you’re going to fill a void and a gap and a huge need,” said Brian Sidman, of Miami Beach-based Redwood Dev Co. “The problem isn’t going to be solved by developers buying private land. That ship has sailed due to the cost of private land.” 

Still, Sidman called the legislation “a great start,” and applauded DeSantis and the Florida Legislature.

“If we don’t fix our housing crisis, we’ll have other material programs that will trickle down,” he said.

Redwood is analyzing the SAIL (State Apartment Incentive Loan) program to see which of its projects could secure low-interest loans for workforce housing. Redwood, which has more than 1,500 units in the pipeline in South Florida, aims to build more than 5,000 affordable and/or workforce units over the next five to seven years. It recently broke ground on Mosaic, a 98-unit development in Opa-locka.

The new legislation sets aside $259 million in SAIL funds. It also promises $252 million in SHIP (State Housing Initiatives Program) funding to incentivize local governments to partner with developers preserving or building new housing.

The law goes into effect July 1. Developers are expected to apply for incentives this summer, and receive funds next year.



Source:  The Real Deal

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