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Denton Cove opens up ‘interest list’

When the Denton Cove affordable housing rental community finally opens on the site of the former Apalachicola High School, more than seven years after the project first came before the city, it won’t have pets and it won’t allow smoking.

Beyond that, not much has been communicated about the project by Wendover Management LLC regarding the construction timetable, the waiting list, and other questions being asked by a community deeply interested in securing one of the 12 one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom or eight three-bedroom units now going up at the former school site on 3.66 acres at 17th Street and Avenue L.

Questions submitted both verbally and in writing to Wendover by the Times over the past two months have gone unanswered. 

One thing is clear, however. Completion of the construction work by Roger B. Kennedy Construction, out of Orlando, did not meet its original target of the end of 2021, and units were not available for lease sometime in the first quarter of 2022, as originally envisioned.

“Coming summer 2022,” reads the development’s website.

The company also has begun distributing information sheets that provide basic details on what will be available.

“Residents of Denton Cove will enjoy an affordable, carefree community featuring well-appointed one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes,” reads the website. “This quaint community will offer its residents an opportunity to a great lifestyle at an affordable price.”

The website https://dentoncove.prospectportal.com says “this distinct community will boast an array of conveniences and amenities suited for a busy lifestyle.” 

As originally planned, the amenities will include a clubhouse with activity and gathering room, fitness room, computer center, splash pad, and tot lot.

The website encourages potential renters to join an interest list. “As construction nears completion, we will reach out to you with all of the fabulous details,” it reads. “It will be worth the wait!”

The website provides basic information on the various units.

The one-bedrooms, about 762 square feet, have one bath and will rent for $711 a month, and will require a deposit of $450.

The two-bedrooms, about 1,039 square feet, have two baths, and will rent for $847 a month, and will require a deposit of $550.

The three-bedrooms, about 1,215 square feet, also have two baths, and will rent for $970 a month, and will require a deposit of $650.

The flyer also notes that Denton Cove will be a non-smoking community, that there will be no pets and that rents include water, sewer, trash and pest control.

Because financing for Denton Cove came through $9.4 million in federal low-income housing tax credits – $940,000 annually for 10 years – awarded Wendover by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, there are maximum income limits for renters.

These tax credits, first granted in 2015, were subsequently extended by FHFC due to Wendover’s involvement in a protracted court battle, first with the city and later the county school board, as well as the effects of Hurricane Michael. The court battle was ultimately resolved in Wendover’s favor, so that now Denton Cove must have the project in service by the end of 2022.

The FHFC requires that 10 percent, or six units, are set aside for residents whose income does not exceed 40 percent of the county’s Area Median Income, which is now in the neighborhood of $58,700. 

The remaining 46 units are to be rented to households whose income is no more than 60 percent of AMI.

This means that based on current numbers, an individual renter could not make more than $29,940 annually to qualify for one of the 46 units, and that a couple could earn no more than $$34,200 between them. A family of three could not earn more than $38,520 per year, and four no greater than $42,780 annually. 

A family of five could have a maximum income of $46,200, and six persons no more than $49,620.

For the six lower-income units, the ceilings for a single-member household would be $20,060; for two residents $22,914; for three $25,628; and for four-person households $28,662.

HUD policy prevents Wendover from limiting applications to people who live in Franklin County, but Ryan von Weller, Wendover’s managing director of real estate development, said last year he does not expect there to be strong demand from outside the county.

“That is a policy we do not control at all,” he said. “We anticipate the vast majority will be coming from local areas.”

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