FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ability Housing Breaks Ground on Villages of New Augustine
Multifamily development will bring 92 affordable rental homes to St. Augustine
Jan. 10, 2024 — St. Augustine, Fla. — Nearly 100 new affordable apartment homes will be coming soon to St. Augustine. Earlier today, representatives from Ability Housing, St. Johns County, the West Augustine Historical Community Development Corporation (CDC), Bank of America and Churchill Stateside Group broke ground on Villages of New Augustine.
The 92-unit, new-construction apartment community will be located on three parcels totaling approximately 6.5 acres at the intersection of North Volusia Street and Chapin Street in the West Augustine neighborhood. All units will be affordable to households earning up to 60% of the Area Median Income, based on data updated annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Rental prices will vary based on household size, income, and apartment size, and will start at approximately $547 minimum per month for one-bedroom units and $759 minimum per month for three-bedroom units. Actual rent prices will be contingent on current HUD data at the time of the apartment community’s completion.
Ability Housing was approached by the West Augustine CDC in 2018 to collaborate on plans for an apartment community that could fill a critical need for working families in the neighborhood. The development is Ability Housing’s first community in St. Augustine.
“Today’s groundbreaking has been several years in the making. Ability Housing is proud to partner with the neighborhood, helping bring their vision for their community to reality. And we are excited to be part of the solution for affordable housing in St Johns County. We want to thank all the partners that made this possible, especially the County’s Board of Commissioners and staff for ensuring this project came to fruition. We could not have done it without them,” said Shannon Nazworth, President and CEO of Ability Housing.
Site plans feature four three-story residential buildings comprising 20 one-bedroom apartments, 36 two-bedroom apartments and 36 three-bedroom apartments. Additional amenities will include a community center with on-site leasing offices; a computer lab; a library; flexible spaces for workshops, training and events; outdoor recreational features like a pavilion and dedicated walking trail; and 149 parking spaces.
Funding for the $25 million project has been secured through various state, local and private sources. Florida Housing Finance Corporation provided $4,265,345 in affordable housing loan financing and awarded $1.625 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which resulted in a $14,867,263 equity investment from a nonprofit syndicator, National Equity Fund, with Bank of America providing the equity investment. Bank of America is also providing a construction loan in the amount of $13,814,121. Churchill Stateside Group will provide the post-construction permanent financing with a $4,145,000 mortgage.
The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners approved a $460,000 Affordable Housing Grant and a $1,207,134 award of American Rescue Plan Act funds at their June 6, 2023 meeting. Additionally, in 2022 the Board passed an ordinance making it possible to defer impact fees.
“The Villages of New Augustine, like the County’s other affordable housing efforts, is much more than just bricks and mortar to build housing. This is about building a better quality of life for those in need of a place to call their own – a place to call their home. This kind of project builds a stronger community and more connected neighborhoods for all of us,” said Sarah S. Arnold, Chair and District 2 Representative of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners.
Construction for the Villages of New Augustine is anticipated to take 18 months. Group 4 Design, Inc. is the project architect. Bradley Construction Co., Inc. is the general contractor. JBPro is the civil engineering firm.
Leasing details will be available closer to completion in late 2025. For more information about Ability Housing’s other properties throughout Florida, visit AbilityHousing.org/portfolio.
About Ability Housing:
Ability Housing is an industry-leading not-for-profit multifamily rental housing developer dedicated to creating high-quality affordable housing. We invest in communities through properties that enhance their surrounding neighborhoods, improve each community’s quality of life, and connect residents with a network of voluntary support services.