With land costs only rising, projects need to be approved at maximum density, a Manatee County developer of affordable housing said Monday.
“At the end of the day, it comes back to land cost,” said Andy Reasoner, who is on the county’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee. “To really have this thing get traction, we are really going to have get more units per acre in order to get the land cost down.”
For Reasoner, who developed Royal Palm Terrace Apartments, the density in affordable housing projects must increase to 13 or 15 units per acre.
“Land cost is the biggest hurdle to overcome,” he said.
The advisory board, which is tasked with reviewing Manatee County codes for any barriers to develop affordable housing, reviewed the Housing Element section of the county’s Comprehensive Plan. Since the committee didn’t have a quorum Monday, they didn’t take any formal action.
Density really comes into play with redevelopment, Reasoner said.
“The density is the driver even in the urban corridor,” he said.
As the committee looks at possible changes, the county’s surplus property can be taken into consideration, according to Denise Thomas, the county’s housing and community development coordinator.
“There are infill lots throughout the county so that can spur development,” she said, adding that it can also help bring redevelopment into these communities.
Cost effectiveness and feasibility are two factors developers take into account when looking into developing affordable housing, Thomas said.
“They don’t mind building it if the financial part is going to fall into place,” she said.