Centennial Management’s Lewis Swezy along with a rendering of the 190-unit Cordova Estates townhouse rental complex in Florida City (Getty, Centennial Management, Modis Architects)

Centennial Management’s Lewis Swezy along with a rendering of the 190-unit Cordova Estates townhouse rental complex in Florida City (Getty, Centennial Management, Modis Architects)

As South Florida’s ever-rising rents continue to price out apartment dwellers, Centennial Management is betting on affordable housing in Florida City.

The Miami Lakes-based firm plans the 190-unit Cordova Estates townhouse rental complex south of Arthur Vining Davis Parkway and east of the Turnpike, according to Miami-Dade County records and real estate database Vizzda. The seven-building community is planned for a 12.2-acre site that includes properties at 321 and 329 East Davis Parkway.

Construction is expected to start by the end of the month, said Lewis Swezy, president of Centennial.

Cordova Estates will be designated for households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income, with some units reserved for those earning 30 percent of the AMI, Swezy said.

Miami-Dade County’s AMI is currently $68,300. This means a one-person household can’t earn more than $20,490 annually to qualify for the units restricted at 30 percent of AMI, or more than $40,980 to qualify for the units restricted at 60 percent of AMI, according to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, a state agency that provides developers with affordable housing financing options.

Centennial Management, a developer with a strong focus on affordable housing projects, secured low-income housing tax credits from the housing finance corporation, Swezy said. The firm also scored a $30 million construction loan from TD Bank last year.

The firm, through an affiliate, bought the development assemblage consisting of seven lots in 2017 for $1.3 million, records show.

Centennial also has apartment and industrial properties in Hialeah, Miami and Miami Lakes, as well as in Broward and Palm Beach counties, its website shows.

Cordova Estates marks Centennial’s debut in Florida City, Miami-Dade’s southernmost municipality. But the firm has been focused on other south Miami-Dade areas for years.

In the Naranja neighborhood, Centennial’s affordable projects include a pair of La Joya apartment communities at 14261 Southwest 267th Street and 26760 Southwest 142nd Avenue. In Homestead, Centennial owns the Royal Palm Gardens affordable apartment complex at 1110 East Mowry Drive.

South Miami-Dade’s vast supply of buildable land at attainable prices has made the area a magnet for commercial real estate developers. In Princeton, The Canero Group wants to build a 247-unit rental complex at 24735 South Dixie Highway.

The demand for affordable housing is high, as skyrocketing rents made Miami the nation’s most cost-burdened city early last year.

Realtor.com reported that South Florida’s median monthly rent reached $2,638 in November, a 6.3 percent jump, year-over-year.

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