Orange Avenue Apartments Redevelopment
The Tallahassee Housing Authority (THA) selected Columbia Residential as its developer partner to develop a master redevelopment plan for the Orange Avenue Apartments in 2017. Columbia Residential is an integrated real estate development and management company comprising master planning, development, project management, construction management and property management.
In 2018 THA with its developer partner and JHP Architects held charrettes, public meetings and workshops over an eight month period and produced a master plan for redeveloping the site. The Plan called for increased density and the development of up to 500 mixed income units in four phases of the 29-acre site.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (USHUD) approved the demolition and disposition of the property in June of 2021. By August, 2022, all of the residents were relocated from the property to other public housing properties or to private units utilizing a housing choice voucher. The housing authority paid for relocation expenses, deposits and transfer of utility costs.
Mad Dog Construction and Design was selected as the contractor. THA used its capital funds to abate and demolish the existing units on the western half of the property (phases 1 & 2). THA with Columbia Residential our developer partner, secured over $82 million in financing to construct 290 units of affordable housing in the first two phases of redevelopment of former public housing site.
Redevelopment in Phases:
Columbia Gardens at South City Phase 1 (The Jasmine) consists of:
- 33 one-bedroom units
- 72 two-bedroom units
- and 25 three-bedroom units
Lease up began February 2024. All of the apartments has solid surface countertops, spacious living areas, closets and storage. Bedrooms are carpeted, and luxury vinyl flooring is installed throughout the remainder of the units. Each unit also has its own washer/dryer laundry hookups as well. The property has security cameras throughout the site. It will also be a gated community with great amenities that include a fitness center, laundry room, business center, walking fitness trail around the property, playground, dog park, swimming pool and lounging area. Each of the properties will be
gated with separate vehicle and pedestrian entrances for residents.
Phase 2 (The Azelea)
The second phase is well under construction. The first two (of six) buildings are expected to be available beginning in May 2024. All of the units in the second phase should be completed in summer 2024. The second phase will consist of 160 one, two, and three-bedroom units.
The second phase (The Azalea) will consist of:
- 32 one-bedroom units
- 96 two-bedroom units
- and 32 three-bedroom units
In addition to the leasing office, laundry facility and business center, there will also be five classrooms/ meeting spaces for residents to use.
Phases 3 (The Marigold) and Phase 4 (The Lily)
The last two phases (Sebring Court and Bates Drive) will be demolished in 2024. Abatement of the buildings has already begun. Once the abatement has been completed, the buildings will be demolished down to the building slab.
The housing authority will be applying for funding with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to begin redevelopment of these properties as phase three (elderly development on Sebring) and four (multifamily on Bates).
As with many affordable housing developments, it takes partnerships and multiple sources of financing to go from conception to community. The major partners in the redevelopment of the Orange Avenue property are listed below.
- Tallahassee Housing Authority (Co-Developer)
- Columbia Residential (Co-Developer)
- JHP Architecture/Urban Design (Architect)
- MooreBass Consulting (Civil Engineer)
- PHA Consulting Engineers (Civil Engineers)
- Mad Dog Construction (Contractor)
- Florida Housing Finance Corporation
- City of Tallahassee
- Leon County
- Leon County Housing Finance Authority
- Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency
- Affordable Housing Solutions (Consultant)
- KeyBank National Association
- Bank of Mellon
- RBC Capital Markets