The 214-unit affordable-housing apartment complex will be built in two phases, with Phase I consisting of 120 two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments in two- and three-story buildings, along with a community building. Known as St. Peter Claver Place, it will be built at 3681 Michigan Avenue. The Diocese of Venice currently owns the 17.44-acre site.
The units will be rented to tenant families and individuals at below-market rents ranging from $310 to $899. The unit mix and rents will be approximately as follows:
Number of Units Type Gross Rent Utility Allowance Net Rent
5 units 2B/2B $498 $(188) $310
45 units 2B/2B $906 $(188) $718
6 units 3B/2B $575 $(229) $346
54 units 3B/2B $1,047 $(229) $818
1 units 4B/2B $642 $(269) $373
9 units 4B/2B $1,168 $(269) $899
Financing is pending from Florida Housing Finance Corporation for SAIL funding and bond financing with tax credits, with potential funding sources of approximately $20,000,000 and costs of $24,000,000. The CRA’s tax increment financing will provide an additional $4,000,000 in project funding which is key to making this project work.
This apartment complex will serve low- and moderate-income residents of Fort Myers and help provide workforce housing as well as amenities for its residents. Through its subsidiary, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., the Diocese will provide a variety of social services to the project residents including but not limited to adult education, clothing, after school care, financial assistance, and housing counseling.
The Diocese owns and operates the African Caribbean American Center (AFCAAM) facility that is currently located on the property, providing a variety of after school programs for local children as well as a teen-mentoring program. AFCAAM has been a fixture in this part of Fort Myers for many years and is a valuable asset to the community. The program was founded by Dominican Sisters Marie McBride and Elaine Robbins in 1988, partnered with several laypersons from the local community to begin apostolic activities in the Dunbar Area of Fort Myers. Financial support for their work came from the Office of Black Ministry at the Diocese of Venice, Inc., as well as from grants and support from local Catholic Churches.
The St. Peter Claver Place Apartments project will receive a $4 million rebate of the taxes generated by the project in yearly installments at a rate of 95% until the $4 million rebate is satisfied.