October 2015 E-Newsletter
What's New in the FAA
What's New Around the State
What's New Nationally
What's New in the FAA
FAA Launches Smoke-Free Multifamily Housing Program and Certification, Plans Additional Presentations
The FAA Smoke-Free Multifamily Housing Program launched last week at the organization’s 2015 Annual Conference & Trade Show at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, and additional presentations have been scheduled at several local affiliates around the state.
Representatives of FAA and the Florida Department of Health's Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida will travel around the state early in 2016 to share information about the benefits of smoke-free housing and considerations for converting a community to smoke-free status, as well as FAA's Smoke-Free Certification and how communities can become smoke-free certified.
Presentations will be offered in conjunction with these local apartment associations:
Apartment Association of Greater Orlando (AAGO), Jan. 13 at 11 a.m., AAGO headquarters
South East Florida Apartment Association (SEFAA), Feb. 4, time and place to be determined
Bay Area Apartment Association (BAAA), Feb. 12, 11 a.m. Marriott Westshore
First Coast Apartment Association (FCAA), March 10 at 7 p.m. dinner meeting, Sheraton Jacksonville
At the conference, representatives of FAA and Tobacco Free Florida provided information and resources on smoke-free housing policies to some of the 800-plus conference attendees representing approximately 200 apartment management companies and multifamily communities across the state.
"Many renters are looking for smoke-free communities," Josh Gold, FAA executive vice president said at the conference opening session. More than 83 percent of adults in Florida do not smoke, he added, and four out of five of them want to live in a smoke-free community. In addition to meeting demand, smoke-free policies are good business, Gold said. Readying a smoke-free apartment for the next resident takes considerably less time and money than cleaning an apartment that has been smoked in.
In addition, FAA announced a certification program to recognize communities that have made the commitment to be smoke-free. "We believe that clean air is an amenity worth telling the world about," Gold said.
Communities can become certified at one of three levels: blue, silver, and gold. The levels convey whether smoking is prohibited inside apartments and indoor common areas; in all indoor spaces and within 25 feet of buildings and amenities, including on balconies; or throughout the entire community.
Communities will be required to submit an application along with a copy of their lease or rental agreement that restricts smoking by residents and guests, as well as a handbook or contract that restricts smoking by staff members. For FAA member communities that use the Florida Lease (also known as the FAA Click & Lease powered by Blue Moon Software), a no-smoking addendum is already available as part of the lease package.
Many newer apartment communities are smoke-free from the beginning. For existing communities that would like to become smoke-free, the Florida Department of Health offers assistance through Tobacco Free Florida and through regional representatives known as "grantees." Grantees in 37 Florida counties help apartment communities develop and implement smoke-free policies and connect residents to smoking cessation programs. Tobacco Free Florida is currently aware of more than 1,000 multifamily communities throughout the state that have smoke-free living options and has assisted 127 of those properties in the implementation of their smoke-free polices.
The 2016 Florida legislative session begins in January, and bills are already being filed. The FAA government affairs team has met with several legislators in Tallahassee to discuss FAA legislative priorities and several filed bills that impact our industry.
Among the bills, Rep. Bobby Dubose and Sen. Audrey Gibson have filed bills, HB 237 and SB 342, allowing apartment owners to include an optional lease addendum requiring residents to carry renters' insurance. This bill is important as many residents do not understand that their personal property is not covered by the apartment community where they reside.
Additionally, Rep. Daphne Campbell and Sen. Oscar Braynon have filed bills, HB 53 and 474, which would create criminal penalties for landlords who violate building code or health and safety standards at their communities. The first offense would be a misdemeanor; the second offense would qualify as a felony. Courtney Barnard, FAA’s government affairs director, and lobbyist Kelly Mallette are working hard to combat this legislation.
Another important piece of legislation filed calls for the removal of administrative remedies for housing discrimination claims. The bills HB 339 and SB 7008, filed by Rep. Darryl Rouson and the Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability would allow any resident to file a housing discrimination claim up to two years after the alleged incident, and would allow the resident to file a civil suit against the apartment community without using any state administrative remedies, such as mediation. If passed, this bill could greatly increase the number of civil suits brought against apartment management companies.
If you have any questions regarding FAA legislative priorities, please contact Courtney Barnard, FAA government affairs director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark your calendars: The platform meeting to determine FAA’s legislative priorities for 2016 will take place at AAGO Headquarters on October 28 at 11 a.m. The meeting includes lunch, so you must RSVP by October 23 to Courtney Barnard, email@example.com to be included in the lunch headcount.
What's New Around the State
Experts predict senior housing to be 'best investment opportunity'
In a survey conducted by Capital One Bank in September, 41 percent of professionals said they expect new senior-housing developments to be the best investment opportunity in the coming year. The second-best investment opportunity, they say, is repositioning of older properties. Read more.
Retail, residential, office envisioned for New Port Tampa Bay site on Gandy waterfront
Plans are in the works for a prime stretch of undeveloped waterfront real estate near the intersection of Gandy and Westshore boulevards. The 51-acre site has sat dormant for nearly a decade, since plans for a condominium development crashed along with the real estate market in 2006. BTI Partners, based in Fort Lauderdale, took title to the property almost a year ago. The newest plans include 64 townhouses and 1,427 apartments. Read more.
City to review 464-unit apartment proposal in Miami
The city of Miami’s Urban Development Review Board this week will consider a proposal to build a 32-story apartment building on a one-acre parcel in downtown Miami. Read more.
Uptown Atlantic to break ground by year's end
Construction is expected to start in December on Uptown Atlantic, a mixed-use development in Delray Beach. The three-building project in the 600, 700 and 800 blocks of West Atlantic will feature roughly 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 23,000 square feet of offices, 39 townhomes and 73 apartments. Read more.
South Florida student housing turns luxe
New student housing in South Florida is going upscale as more private developers enter the academic niche of the multifamily real estate market. Consider the resort-style amenities at newly opened University Park in Boca Raton, a purpose-built student housing community near Florida Atlantic University: a two-story clubhouse and student lounge, a 24-hour physical fitness center with a yoga studio, a video gaming room and outdoors, a sprawling swimming pool, barbecue grills and hammocks. The developer of University Park, a joint venture of Rosemurgy Properties, Giles Capital Group and Lewis Rental Properties, opened the rental complex in April. It is a cluster of eight four-story buildings with 598 bedrooms in 159 suite-style units. Read more.
Downtown Miami Condo Prices and Rents Rise as Residential Market Settles into Midpoint
Downtown Miami’s residential real estate market remains near the midpoint of the current development cycle, with prices for existing condos rising and rental rates reaching record-setting highs. Price appreciation is being fueled by rising demand for urban living and relatively stable supply. Read more.
Key West to vote on Old Town affordable housing project
The owners of an ex-Navy housing complex in Key West’s Old Town neighborhood are seeking approval to build 48 deed restricted affordable housing units. The proposal will go before the Key West Planning Board on Thursday evening. The apartments, to be located at the complex known as Peary Court, would augment the 160 units that are already on the 24.5-acre property that is bounded by Palm Avenue, White Street and Angela Street in the northeast portion of Old Town. Read more.
380 apartments planned in downtown Fort Lauderdale
A developer paid $7.2 million for a downtown Fort Lauderdale site with plans to build 380 rentals — though he's not ruling out condos. Read more.
$22M Wagner Creek project in Miami closes on financing
Housing Trust Group has closed on financing for Wagner Creek Apartments, a 73-unit affordable housing project in Miami, The Real Deal has learned. The $22 million development, at 1501 Northwest 13th Court, is near the Miami River and the Health District. Funding sources include $17.14 million from 9 percent low-income housing tax credits; a $3.4 million construction loan; $222,000 from Miami-Dade County’s affordable housing surtax program; $840,100 from a city of Miami HOME loan; and $606,274 of developer equity. Read more.
Broward apartments score $17M for renovations
The owners of an apartment community in Coral Springs just scored $17 million in financing for a renovation program. The apartment community is called Coral Falls, and it’s located at 2801 Northwest 91st Avenue. It houses 190 units and was built in 1987, according to Broward County property records. Read more.
Lauderhill apartments sell at loss: $12M
An apartment complex in Lauderhill was recently sold for $12 million — a significant price cut from its last transaction seven years ago. The Royal Palm at Inverrary community, which houses 208 units, was purchased by a company linked to Alvarez Santiago of Hialeah. He shares an address with Alvarez Santiago Construction, a general contracting company. Read more.
Ram acquires Doral site from Salvadoran billionaire family member
On the heels of selling a newly completed apartment community in downtown Boca Raton, Ram, a real estate development, management and investment company, has closed on a new development site, records show. And the seller is tied to a Salvadoran billionaire family. Read more.
Boca Raton apartments fetch $81.7 million
A Texas-based trust paid $81.7 million for the Mark at Cityscape, a 208-unit apartment complex in Boca Raton, public records show. Monogram Residential Trust bought the property from Ram Realty Services of Palm Beach Gardens. Read more.
Miami firm pays $31.5M for Plantation apartments
A Plantation apartment community was just sold for $31.5 million to a joint venture that includes Pensam Capital, an investment firm based in Brickell. Read more.
Codina sells Signature at Davie apartments for $114.8M
A company led by developer Armando Codina has sold the Signature at Davie Apartments & Townhomes for a combined $114.8 million, Broward County records show. Read more.
Ram sells newly built Boca apartments for $82M — Deal breaks Florida's record for price-per-unit in a multifamily deal
Ram Realty Services, a development company based in Palm Beach Gardens, just closed on the $81.74 million sale of its newly built apartment community in downtown Boca Raton. The community is called the Mark at Cityscape, at 11 Plaza Real South. It’s a 12-story apartment complex with 208 units, 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and an attached parking garage with 686 spaces. Read more.
Multifamily portfolio in Opa-Locka sells for $20.3M
A Palm Beach Gardens-based multifamily firm has sold its Opa-Locka apartment complex for $20.3 million, Miami-Dade County records show. Read more.