Flagler Station, located near both the TriRail and Brightline stations, is the first affordable apartment community to be built downtown in 30 years
Housing Trust Group (HTG), an award-winning developer of market-rate and affordable housing, is pleased to announce the completion of Flagler Station, a new $33 million affordable apartment community located in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. It is the first new affordable apartment community to be built in the city’s downtown in 30 years.
A public-private partnership between HTG, the City of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County, Flagler Station features 94 apartments reserved for residents earning no more than 30, 60, 70 or 80 percent of area median income, with rents ranging from $393 to $1,689. The property is ideally located just one block from the Florida TriRail/Amtrak station and five blocks from the Brightline commuter rail station connecting West Palm Beach with the cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando.
The developer hosted a grand-opening ceremony with partners to commemorate the milestone on Monday, August 7. Speakers included Matthew A. Rieger, President and CEO of HTG; City of West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James and District 3 Commissioner Christy Fox, State House Representative Jervonte ‘Tae’ Edmonds; District 88, Executive Director Jonathan Brown from Palm Beach Housing & Economic Development Department, and Board Chairman Mario Facella of Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
“With a thousand people moving into Florida each day, investment in affordable housing has never been more essential,” said Rieger. “Flagler Station will provide much-needed housing for West Palm Beach’s service workers, first responders, teachers, and other lower-wage workers who play vital roles in the city’s economic success, but simply can’t find adequate, well-priced apartments near their jobs.”
According to Marcus and Millichap, the average rent in West Palm Beach jumped by more than 40 percent since the end of 2020, to $2,432 per month in March 2023. Sticking to the 30 percent rule, an individual or family would need to earn close to $100,000 per year to comfortably afford rent in the city.
“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Housing Trust Group for their unwavering commitment to bringing affordable housing to the City of West Palm Beach. This partnership marks a significant milestone in our journey towards a more inclusive and vibrant community. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact this development will have on the City and its residents,” said City of West Palm Beach, Mayor Keith A. James.
Located at 991 Banyan Boulevard, Flagler Station is an eight-story, high-rise property with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Community amenities include a 3,200-square-foot, double-high multi-purpose clubroom, a computer/business center, a rooftop pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and on-site parking.
Named after Henry Flagler, the 19th-century industrialist who built the Florida East Coast Railway (FECR), Flagler Station’s site includes some of the original, now defunct FECR tracks, which have been incorporated into the development as part of a linear park featuring original artwork and murals. The City’s intent is to build out this park along the rest of the rail right of way to make it a true “rails to trails” conversion. This supports a transportation and mobility plan that the City adopted in 2018 featuring an integrated system of bike lanes, busways, train stations, trolley routes, sidewalks, and roads to reduce car traffic and make the city more pedestrian-friendly.
The building’s architectural design echoes the “brutalist” style that characterized the Old West Palm Beach City Hall, now demolished, and the Federal Courthouse buildings. With its partner, Corwil Architects, along with city officials, HTG delivered a design that is both contemporary and historic in its aesthetic. Archways were incorporated into the building facade to showcase structural elements, while giving reference to the Beaux Arts architecture of Grand Central Terminal.
Financing sources for Flagler Station include $23.27 million in 9% low-income housing tax credits through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) that were purchased by CREA; a $20.3 million construction loan from KeyBank; an $8.93 permanent loan through Freddie Mac; a $75,000 City of West Palm Beach loan; a $314,446 Palm Beach County grant; and a $550,000 HOME loan from Palm Beach County.
The project team for Flagler Station is general contractor Rinaldi Construction, engineer and landscape designer WGI, Inc., architecture firm Corwil Architects, and interior designer B. Pila Designs.