Hughes Hubbard, working together with Legal Services of Greater Miami, represented an affiliate of the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), a Florida not-for-profit corporation, in negotiation and documentation of a joint venture with an affiliate of The Related Group, a major developer of luxury condominiums and other commercial properties.

The joint venture’s purpose is the acquisition, construction, development and equipping of an affordable housing development project in Opa-locka, Florida, one of the poorest cities in the country.

The six-story building with 127 units of affordable housing will be strategically located within Opa-locka’s downtown district. This new mid-rise gated building designed for the elderly community is within walking distance to the city’s tri-rail station. It will serve as one of the main drivers in a citywide effort to spark economic development and increase the tax base, while improving the quality of life for residents of Opa-locka.

The units will have insulated hurricane-impact windows and energy-efficient fixtures and appliances, while enjoying state-of-the-art amenities, such as a multi-purpose room, laundry facility, computer and library facility and a park-like landscape setting.

About a third of the families in Opa-locka, mostly African-Americans and Hispanics, live below the poverty line. Opa-locka also has one of the highest crime rates in the country. The OLCDC hopes that the project, called Town Center Apartments, will serve as a redevelopment catalyst for Opa-locka’s downtown district and, in particular, the city’s elderly population.

The OLCDC, Miami-Dade County Housing Finance Authority, Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development and Bank of America contributed over $19.5 million in funds for the project through several financing instruments, including revenue bonds sold to a group of investors led by Raymond James. The investors receive federal tax credits in connection with their investment in the project.

On March 13, 2013, The Related Group, the OLCDC, and city officials celebrated the commencement of construction of Town Center Apartments. The day’s event featured speeches from Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan, among others.

Emilio Saiz, Alex Anderson, Samantha Williams and Michael Youssef represented the clients under the supervision of Federico Goudie, William Weber and Gisela Munoz.