“We believe that these types of focused public/private collaboration efforts are one critical way we can help resolve this fast-growing crisis here in Orlando and we believe it is a model that could be replicated in other areas throughout the state and country.” - Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer
ORLANDO, Fla. (PRWEB) December 14, 2022
One Stop Housing, a developer of quality, affordable workforce housing in Florida and Tennessee, announced that it has closed on a $7.15 million sale of the Ambassador Hotel in West Orlando. The closing marked a key step in a $15 million workforce housing conversion project that will add 150 affordable multifamily rentals to the local market. The City of Orlando and others involved believe the initiative is an example of a public/private partnership that could be replicated throughout Florida and nationally to address the affordable housing crisis. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, only 36 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 low-income renter households.
“We are thrilled with the vision and leadership that the City of Orlando has demonstrated in helping facilitate and advance this project. They, along with key partners Cushman & Wakefield and Synovus Bank, have shown what using a smart public/private collaborative approach to address the affordable housing shortage can achieve,” said Mark Vengroff, Managing Partner of One Stop Housing.
One Stop Housing uses an innovative business model focused on renovating hotels and other vacant properties and converting them into affordable rentals. Unlike other developers, One Stop Housing believes in “buy and hold” and has not flipped a large multifamily property in 38 years. The company serves as developers and operators and uses these savings to offer lower rents, keeping rates within 60-80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) range. Rents at The Ambassador are expected to average $750 a month versus the $1,583 average for the West Orlando submarket. Rents will also be all-inclusive, covering all utilities (water, electricity, waste, and trash). A waitlist has already begun.
The project was initiated by Glen Jaffee, a Director for Cushman & Wakefield, who brokered the deal by connecting One-Stop Housing with Albert Segev, the investor-owner of the Ambassador Hotel. The blighted property, which sits in an otherwise good location, was not for sale at the time. However, Jaffee attended a workshop on the housing shortage at the invitation of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Senior Advisor for Homelessness and Social Services, Lisa Portelli, and inspired, sought to assist. Already familiar with One Stop Housing, Jaffee approached Segev about selling the property for conversion.
The City of Orlando was able to further support the proposal and renovation costs for this project using its “Accelerate Orlando” program, which leverages American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funds to further efforts in tackling homelessness and affordable housing. Additionally, City staff worked hand-in-hand with the development team to work through legal, zoning and permitting for this new kind of concept. Synovus Bank also came aboard, agreeing to finance the deal.
“We are committed to helping all who are finding it increasingly difficult to secure safe, high-quality, affordable housing,” said Orlando Mayor, Dyer. “This is a first-of-its-kind, new approach for us, but we were pleased to partner with One Stop Housing based on their proven track record and specialized expertise in this space. We believe that these types of focused public/private collaboration efforts are one critical way we can help resolve this fast-growing crisis here in Orlando and we believe it is a model that could be replicated in other areas throughout the state and country.”
Sean Flannery, a Commercial Banker with Synovus who has worked with One Stop Housing on previous development deals, added that “Affordable housing not only increases workforce stability and spurs additional development, but it also creates stronger communities, which aligns with our purpose to help people reach their full potential.”
Michael Fettig, President of the College Park Community Association, a non-profit to protect and improve the area, part of that being where the Ambassador Hotel is located, echoed this sentiment. “Just since the announcement, the criminal activity associated with this property has decreased greatly and appears to be a positive influence for this wonderful neighborhood. We look forward to the enhancements that will take place and the transformation of what was once a detriment to the community, into a real asset. Once completed, we expect that this will serve as a cornerstone to continued improvement in the immediate area.”
“This kind of deal is a win-win for all involved,” said Jaffe. “The City, the seller, the buyer, and all community stakeholders all benefit. We appreciate the City’s leadership and were honored to have worked with all parties to help make it happen.”
About One Stop Housing
One-Stop Housing is a developer of quality affordable workforce housing in Sarasota, FL, and Memphis, TN. For more information, please visit onestophousing.com or call (941) 586-4947.