Walker & Dunlop, based in Bethesda, Md., recently announced that the firm has structured $50,219,000 in financing to kick-start the Mirrorton Apartment community, a 305-unit workforce property in Lakeland, Fla. Lakeland is about 35 miles east of Tampa, and the site qualifies as an Opportunity Zone. It’s also entitled to tax incentives awarded by the City of Lakeland and the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency.

Led by Keith Melton, David Strange, Livingston Hessam, and Jeremy Pino, Walker & Dunlop worked closely with developer Framework Group to get the project off the ground. Drawing on their background of working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the team structured the debt through the Section 221(d)(4) offering and leveraged the agency’s Green Mortgage Insurance Premium Reduction program to secure a favorable interest rate.

“HUD’s 221(d)(4) loan program is a perfect fit for revitalizing or developing apartments and mixed-use projects within Opportunity Zones,” said Pino. Combining both construction and permanent financing into a single fixed-rate loan, the 221(d)(4) loan product was a good fit for a long-term hold strategy.

The site of the new project is part of the revitalization going on in the historic quarter of downtown Lakeland. Lakeland is the home of Southern Florida College, which is known for serving as the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

The Framework Group intends to achieve the National Green Building Standard during construction of the project, which will include an affordability component, with 15 units reserved for tenants earning 85% or below the area median income. The 13.6-acre garden-style project will feature common space, a clubhouse, a fitness center, a spa, a sauna, a game room, a community kitchen, and a business center. Additional amenities will include a resort-style pool, a covered patio, grilling areas, and a garden.