A rendering of the proposed project in suburban Tamp. Image: Blue Sky Communities
Blue Sky Communities, a Florida developer, has picked up a $42.3 million debt and equity deal from TD Bank to fund construction of an affordable-housing project in suburban Tampa, the bank announced today.
The investment package includes a $22 million construction loan, as well as the bank’s purchase of $20.3 million of state low-income housing tax credits assigned to Blue Sky for its development work. The project, known as the Preserve at Sable Park, will add 144 new apartments in Seffner, Fla., a town east of Tampa that’s about a dozen miles inland from the state’s gulf coast.
Scott Macdonald, Blue Sky’s CFO, said that though the deal marked the first time his company crossed paths with TD Bank, an easy closing process was auspicious for future deals.
“The bank’s execution was one of the smoothest and most reasonable Blue Sky has ever experienced,” Macdonald said in a statement. “Blue Sky is relationship-driven, and we look forward to this being the first of many transactions with TD Bank.”
Construction on the 23-acre project kicked off in March. It’s being developed in conjunction with a neighboring multifamily property, known as Sable Place, which Blue Sky is working on alongside Metropolitan Ministries, a Tampa charity that helps homeless and impoverished people. Seventy percent of Sable Place’s apartments will be set aside for Metropolitan Ministries clients, a TD Bank spokeswoman said. The remainder of the units will be earmarked for families of three that earn less than $34,550 per year, or families of four that count less than $38,340 in annual income, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“The development of Blue Sky Communities’ newest affordable housing community in the Tampa Bay area addresses the need for quality homes for working-class families,” Kyle Moore, a TD Bank vice president, said in prepared remarks. “TD is proud to fund a project that will provide affordable housing to support hard-working citizens in Florida.”
According to the Tampa-Hillsborough County government’s most recent count in 2017, the area had more than 1,500 homeless people. More than three-quarters said they’d lived in Hillsborough County for at least a year before becoming homeless, and almost 40 percent said that financial problems were the main reason for their homelessness.
The metropolitan area is home to a handful of major corporate headquarters, including those of Raymond James Financial and MacDill Air Force Base, a major military installation. Still, economic opportunity in the city has lagged. The Tampa Bay metropolis ranked last in median income among America’s 25 biggest urban areas, according to 2016 census data.