JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new workforce housing complex is coming to San Marco.
The $43 million project will be located along Philips Highway and have 172 apartment units.
The housing project is open to those who make 60 percent or less of the area’s median income. And the cheapest units are well below the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Jacksonville.
The Lofts at San Marco East will be located at the corner of Philips Highway and St. Augustine Road.
It will be made up of a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units that will rent from $830 to $1,200 a month.
Only people who verify an annual income of 60% or less of the area median income — meaning $35,160 for one person and up to $50,160 for a family of four — will qualify.
Ryan Hoover is president of TVC Development Inc. and is behind the Vestcor Companies project.
“People think that we are building HUD housing actually, people are not subsidized. These are people who are working in making in that income bracket and it’s getting really tough out there for people in those income brackets and actually even higher than the 60% to find affordable, good places to live,” Hoover said.
According to a study from Rent.com this month, the average price for a one-bedroom in Jacksonville is about $1,500 ($1,491). That’s down 10% compared to last year. But average 2-bedroom prices have soared in the city, up 20% compared to last year to $1,744.
Hoover and Vescor are behind several workforce housing projects in the downtown area, including the Lofts at LaVilla and the Lofts at Monroe. Another 220-unit project is planned along Duval Street in the Cathedral District in the coming years.
Local Democrat and state representative Angie Nixon said she has seen the need firsthand and wants to see more affordable housing for working residents.
“I have seen and had constituents who have called me saying things like their, their landlords are pushing them out, or they’ve sold their properties, and they can no longer stay there, or their, their rent is increasing to three, four, upwards to three $400 a month,” Nixon said.
Construction of Lofts at San Marco East will start early next year and should be completed by 2024, Hoover said.