ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The City of Orlando believes this time it will be able to build affordable housing in the heart of Parramore, despite losing millions the last time they tried to rehab the property.
The large parcel of land is at the corner of Carter St. and Parramore Ave. and encompasses most of a city block. Nine years ago the city gave the land to NU Beginnings, but nothing ever came out of the ground. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says this time will be different. "We only had one proposer the last time around, and then it was not the right time economically to be doing that project."
The city pumped $3 million into the project, but did get back the land, so not that entire total was lost. Mayor Dyer says the city is willing to contribute again. "Where we will make the contribution is on what the value of the property being conveyed is."
Why would this time be different? According to the mayor, it is because there is now a new park across the street, Z.L. Riley Park, and the economy is much better. Mr. Dyer told us Parramore is in the midst of a turnaround, and developers have noticed. "The enthusiasm, having 6 different proposals for that site speaks volumes, and we will have the opportunity to choose the best one."
Federal grants may be available for affordable housing to be built there. The site is zoned for up to 120 apartment units, but the city could grant a variance for as many as 160 units.