22 June, 2022

Community & Services

Orange County Government and Wendover Housing Partners, one of the Southeast’s premier multi-family housing developers, announced today, June 22, 2022, the grand opening of Hawthorne Park, a new senior affordable community in Pine Hills.

Located at 5386 Silver Star Road, Hawthorne Park replaces a portion of an underutilized shopping center. The community is designed for residents 55 and older and addresses the need for affordable housing through public-private partnerships with Orange County Government and members of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC’s) 2022 GAP report, the Orlando metro area only has 18 affordable and available homes per 100 extremely low-income renters. A recent study conducted at the request of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners found that rents across Orange County rose roughly 25% last year – a problem stemming from years of inadequate housing production.

“It’s clear that housing availability across Central Florida has not kept pace with the rapid population growth,” said Orange County Mayor, Jerry L. Demings. “The need for affordable housing is a crisis, both locally and nationally, and it remains paramount that we continue to foster private-public partnerships to find alternative solutions. That is why the Housing For All Task Force was established, to dedicate funding and resources to exhaust every alternative to build up our affordable unit inventory. Hawthorne Park is just one example of that collaborative partnership at work.”

“The need for affordable housing across Central Florida is becoming greater, especially now that rents in Orange County are just short of what could be considered a housing emergency,” said Jonathan L. Wolf, founder and CEO of Wendover Housing Partners. “It is Wendover’s mission to continue providing affordable housing throughout Central Florida and beyond. Affordable housing communities are not easy to build, but with a trusted partner like Orange County, it makes the process more seamless. Hawthorne Park is a great example of the improvements being made to the Pine Hills neighborhood and will help set the stage for future developments in the area.”

Hawthorne Park offers both one-bedroom, one-bath and two-bedroom, two-bath units, with rents starting at approximately $876/month for one-bedroom units and $1045/month for two-bedroom units. Apartments feature open floor plans with a full-size washer/dryer, kitchen island, emergency call system and walk-in closets.

The 120-unit development, like other Wendover communities, showcases the commitment to providing quality amenities. Community amenities include a fitness center, theater room, activity room with kitchen, computer room and library, dog walk, community garden, gazebo with seating and outdoor grilling area.

Hawthorne Park will provide local seniors with a safe, comfortable and convenient place to call home. The community also offers a holistic care approach, providing residents with healthcare services such as seminars and health fairs in addition to a food pantry. Residents will also have access to an on-site salon and food trucks to provide an enjoyable living experience while keeping everyone engaged and independent.

The community cost $27.6 million to develop. Financing included a $250,000 grant from Orange County, a $317,500 loan from Orange County and $2.3 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) from Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Slocum Platts Architects designed the complex and Roger B. Kennedy Construction was the general contractor.

Photo Caption: Orange County Government and Wendover Housing Partners celebrates the ribbon cutting for Hawthorne Park, a new senior affordable community in Pine Hills. on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

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