Florida Opportunity Zone Development Receives $50 Million Construction Loan via Walker & Dunlop

March 5, 2020 – Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that it structured $50,219,000 in financing for Mirrorton Apartments, a 305-unit multifamily development in the downtown quarter of Lakeland, Florida.

Walker Dunlop Mirrorton Apartments

Because Mirrorton Apartments will provide much-needed workforce housing, it is subject to tax incentives awarded by the City of Lakeland and the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency. The property is also located within the bounds of a designated opportunity zone census tract. Opportunity zones were established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and encourage long-term investments in designated low-income areas by offering incentives in the form of lower or deferred capital gains taxes.

Led by Keith MeltonDavid StrangeLivingston Hessam, and Jeremy Pino, Walker & Dunlop worked closely with the developer, Framework Group. Drawing on their extensive experience with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the team structured the debt through the 221(d)(4) offering and leveraged the agency’s Green mortgage insurance premium (MIP) reduction program to secure a favorable interest rate.

“HUD’s 221(d)(4) loan program is a perfect fit for revitalizing or developing apartments and mixed-use projects within opportunity zones,” commented Mr. Pino. Combining both construction and permanent financing into a single, fixed-rate loan, the 221(d)(4) loan product is best suited for a long-term hold strategy. The streamlined structure and 42-year loan term aligns well with opportunity zone (re)developments, which require a minimum ten-year hold period to fully capitalize on the tax benefits. The 221(d)(4) loan features a declining prepayment schedule for the initial ten years post-construction and is open to prepayment at par for the remaining 30 years.

Located near the historic quarter, the Mirrorton Apartments development is part of the ongoing revitalization of Downtown Lakeland. Framework Group plans to utilize sustainable construction techniques to ensure the project will qualify for the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) designation. The property also includes an affordability component, with 15 units reserved for tenants earning 85 percent or below the Area Median Income (AMI). Situated on 13.6 acres, the garden-style community will feature ample common space, with a clubhouse, fitness and yoga center, spa and sauna, game room, community kitchen, and business center. Additional amenities will include a resort-style pool, covered patio, grilling areas, a garden, and abundant green space.

Walker & Dunlop is one of the largest multifamily lenders in the country and is ranked as the third largest HUD lender based on MAP (Multifamily Accelerated Processing) volume in 2019. The company plays an active role in shaping the future of the multifamily industry and has a deep understanding of the affordable housing crisis in the United States. In collaboration with the City of Miami, the firm has published a proposal aimed at alleviating the current challenges in developing rent-restricted, mixed-income workforce housing. To learn more, read the Opportunity Zone White Paper.

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