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New Urban Communities plans houses in Sunrise for middle-income buyers

Tuesday, November 15, 2022   /   by Dave Magua

New Urban Communities plans houses in Sunrise for middle-income buyers

New Urban Communities Corporation plans to acquire city-owned land in Sunrise Florida for a 28-house development reserved mainly for middle-income buyers.

The Delray Beach-based developer probably will sell the single-family homes at prices “in the $400,000s, which, in this day and age, is pretty reasonably priced,” Tim Hernandez, co-founder of New Urban Communities, told The Real Deal.

“It’s less affordable now than when we started, with interest rates going up,” Hernandez said. “By the time we get it approved, hopefully the mortgage rates will have come down.”

Most of the 28 new houses would have deeds with income-based restrictions on their ownership under a pending development agreement between New Urban and the city of Sunrise.

New Urban agreed to the income-based deed restrictions largely because the city has agreed to sell the development site at 1577 Sunset Strip to New Urban for $410,000 less than it paid seven years ago.

“The city feels like they’re selling it to us for a fair price, but with that price comes some restrictions,” Hernandez said. “They’re trying to remake that part of the city, and we’re going along with it. We’re trying to do a collaborative effort here.”

The Sunrise City Commission in September of last year approved a sale and purchase agreement under which the city would sell the Sunset Strip site to New Urban.

The commission on Tuesday approved an extension of New Urban’s deadline to obtain various city and county approvals for the 28-house development, as the sale and purchase agreement originally required them by Dec. 22.

New Urban now has until Dec. 13, 2023, to obtain approvals of its pending development agreement with the city, a site plan for the Sunset Strip project, a rezoning, a plat proposal, and a “flexible units” application that would increase the allowable density of the project.

Under 30-year deed restrictions, New Urban would set aside seven of the 28 planned houses for buyers who collect 80 percent to 100 percent of area median income (AMI), and another seven houses for buyers with 100 percent to 140 percent of AMI.

Buyers with 100 percent to 140 percent of AMI also would be eligible to acquire 11 houses with 15-year deed restrictions, and three houses without income-based deed restrictions. The median household income in Sunrise from 2016 to 2020 was $51,701 a year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The development agreement specifies that each house would be two stories with three upstairs bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and a one- or two-car garage. The planned houses range in size from 1,470 square feet to 1,870 square feet. They would encircle a common-area courtyard with a swimming pool and a playground.

New Urban has agreed to pay the city $500,000 for the vacant, 3-acre development site in an area known as East Sunrise. The city bought the site for $910,000 in 2015 from Living Faith Lutheran Church, according to Broward property records.

Sunrise subsequently issued a formal request for proposals (RFP) to develop the site, and New Urban submitted the winning proposal.
“The city has put a lot of money into this area in terms of public improvements … They wanted something new [at 1577 Sunset Strip] to catalyze more investment there,” Hernandez told TRD. “They’ve also bought a couple of pieces [of property] north on Sunset Strip that they’re looking to redevelop as well. So, this is kind of the first one.”

Article By Mike Seemuth

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