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Fairstead Expands Florida Footprint With New Senior Development Acquisition in Downtown Orlando

Press Release / October 3, 2022

Fairstead Will Preserve Affordable Housing for Low-Income Senior Residents with Services Provided by the Kinneret Council on Aging

Orlando, FL – Fairstead, a purpose-driven, vertically-integrated real estate company committed to sustainable development and the creation and preservation of high-quality housing, announced today that it acquired the Kinneret Apartments, a 280-apartment, two-towered property that provides affordable housing to seniors. Fairstead will preserve the affordability of the property, located in Orlando’s Lake Cherokee neighborhood, and embark on a substantial renovation to modernize the seniors’ homes.

Additionally, the Kinneret Council on Aging will continue to provide services to residents, including the food pantry and exercise programs, and for Jewish residents, the distribution of Kosher holiday meals and hosting celebrations for Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Kinneret Council on Aging also remains committed to serving the broader Orlando community and will continue to provide and expand services throughout the city.

Fairstead plans to invest $18 million to renovate the buildings, which were completed in 1969 and 1979. The rehabilitation will include façade and roof repairs, common area improvements, modern kitchens and bathrooms, new flooring, senior-friendly accessibility improvements, and upgraded building systems. Fairstead will also install energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and plumbing fixtures in every unit, supporting Florida’s climate goals. Affordable rents will be preserved at the buildings, with residents continuing to pay no more than 30% of their income towards rent.

“Fairstead is excited to continue expanding in Florida and we look forward to preserving this critical, high-quality housing for seniors in Orlando,” said Fairstead CEO Jeffrey Goldberg. “The Kinneret Council on Aging has created a wonderful community for seniors to age in place with access to health care services and fun, engaging events. Fairstead is honored to be selected as the steward for this important property, and to continue our work with the Kinneret Council to serve our seniors. In partnership with Regions Bank, we will invest in upgrading these homes, continue its important focus on community, and improve quality of life.”

“We are thrilled to have found a buyer that shares our vision for the future of Kinneret Apartments and the Kinneret Council on Aging (KCOA), and are even happier that we will continue to be involved in the day-to-day lives of the residents and a thriving part of the Orlando community,” said Alison Polejes, KCOA Board President. “As the Kinneret Council on Aging looks forward to our future of serving seniors, we see so much opportunity and also so much need. We have plans in place to grow our offerings and will continue to work hand-in-hand with the support of our community, volunteers, and donors to provide affordable services long into the future.”

“When we decided to sell Kinneret Apartments, our first priority was to find a buyer that would commit to extending rent affordability and revitalize the physical buildings – continuing to provide affordable housing to the residents was critical. It was also a priority that we find a buyer that understood what this vibrant community means to the residents, their families and the Orlando community,” said Rhonda Pearlman, Kinneret Inc. Board President. “Not only have we owned and managed Kinneret Apartments, but we’ve visited our own family and friends here, been a part of the residents’ lives, spent holidays together, and celebrated milestones. When we found Fairstead we knew we found a buyer with a similar vision. Now we are passing the torch to a company that will continue to enhance these residents’ lives, and we will continue to be a part of that legacy as we provide services that are so important to leading an active, healthy life.”

Regions Bank and Escambia County Housing Finance Authority provided financing for the acquisition.

“We, at Regions Affordable Housing, are thrilled to be a part of this impactful project, Kinneret Apartments, and are honored to work with our longtime partner again, Fairstead,” said Mary O’Connor, Senior Vice President, Affordable Housing at Regions Bank. “Through this collaboration, we can ensure that Kinneret Apartments continues to serve this dynamic senior community with affordability in downtown Orlando. We look forward to seeing the lives of the tenants be improved upon by Fairstead’s vision. And here at Regions, we remain committed to affordable housing, helping meet one of the fundamental needs of our society. We congratulate and thank all our partners involved in this innovative project.”

“The mission of the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority is to alleviate the shortage of affordable homes available to low- and middle-income families by making capital available for the purchase, construction, and rehabilitation of high-quality housing,” said Shirley Henderson, Chair of the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority. “We are proud to serve 21 counties across Florida and to be a partner with the Orange County Housing Finance Authority and Fairstead at the Kinneret Apartments. Our team has enjoyed touring the Kinneret homes, meeting residents, and visiting the beautiful community. We are delighted to be a part of this exciting rehabilitation and revitalization journey.”

The 280 homes serve seniors with a maximum yearly income of $32,100 (between 40-60% of the area median income). The preservation of existing affordable housing at the Kinneret community and providing services supports the City of Orlando’s goals as an AARP Age-Friendly Community. The City’s Age-Friendly Initiative Action Plan named addressing housing as a goal: providing appropriately designed, affordable housing options for older adults along with services to help them age in place. The property aims to help the senior population avoid cost burden or displacement throughout rising housing costs throughout the city.

The Orlando Housing Authority administers the Project Based Voucher program at Kinneret I, and Kinneret II is governed under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 Housing Assistance program.

The property is within walking distance to the Beardall Senior Center, a recreation facility and community center for seniors in the Orlando area, offering a variety of activities and classes such as bingo, bridge, sewing, studio art, Tai Chi, embroidery, and more.

Amenities at the properties include a community room with an accessible kitchen, computer lab, beauty salon, library, boutique, laundry facilities, emergency mobile call button pendant system, controlled-access entry, elevators, storage, and a service coordinator.

From Gainesville to Miami, Fairstead owns and operates high-quality senior and family housing across the state of Florida. With this acquisition, Fairstead now owns and operates 11 properties totaling more than 1,700 units across the state. Earlier this year, Fairstead celebrated the completion of renovations at Sweetwater Square in partnership with Alachua County. The rehabilitation of the fully affordable development preserves 200 homes. In December 2021, Fairstead announced the acquisition of the Sable Palms Apartments in Jacksonville.

About Fairstead
Fairstead is a purpose-driven, vertically integrated real estate developer specializing in creating sustainable, high-quality housing. The firm’s national footprint includes more than $6 billion in assets and identified pipeline. With offices in New York, Maryland, and South Carolina, Fairstead’s team manages 90+ communities across the country and runs its comprehensive real estate platform, which includes acquisitions and development, venture capital investments in prop tech, design and construction, energy and sustainability, property management, marketing, and leasing. The firm also administers one of the industry’s most proactive community impact programs to provide on-site support services to residents. For more information, visit www.fairstead.com.

About Kinneret Council on Aging
The Kinneret Council on Aging (KCOA) currently provides services and programs for the residents of the Kinneret Apartments. For the past 37 years, the Kinneret Council on Aging (KCOA) has lived by its commitment to serve the older adult community. As part of our strategic planning process, we are pursuing innovative ways to continue to serve older adults in our community. KCOA’s enduring mission is to offer seniors in need with life-enriching programs that embrace spiritual, educational, and social components to create a warm and loving atmosphere. To learn more about KCOA’s mission and its impact, visit the KCOA website at www.kinneretliving.org.

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