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DLP Capital Expands Multifamily Development Footprint in Florida Submarkets as Cost of Coastal City Rentals Rise

DLP Capital, a private real estate investment and financial services firm, announced that it has broken ground on a new 194-unit multifamily rental community in Palatka, a city in northern Florida that is of growing interest to regional workforces. Palatka is 30 miles inland from the historic city of St. Augustine—the nation’s oldest city—and 60 miles from urban Jacksonville. The new development, called the Cottages at St. Johns, will consist of 97 duplex cottages that offer rents significantly more affordable than in nearby cities. Increasingly, northern Florida residents are turning to housing options inland as rents in coastal cities have grown cost-prohibitive, as have land costs for development. The Cottages at St. Johns is expected to lease-up swiftly upon delivery in late 2024 and will be the first non-rent-restricted multifamily housing introduced to the Palatka area in more than 30 years.

“As Florida continues to see rapid population growth, DLP Capital is committed to developing solutions that address the resulting crisis in affordable housing—including expanding our footprint into attractive submarkets,” said Don Wenner, CEO of DLP Capital. “Palatka is a prime community for rental community development, offering an attractive Florida lifestyle, easy access to the coast, and affordability.”

Palatka sits along the scenic St. Johns River, Florida’s longest river and one that is of importance for commercial and recreational use. The Cottages at St. Johns will be located at 6805 St. Johns Avenue, which is in the newest area of Palatka where restaurant and retail amenities abound, including a Walmart Supercenter, Publix, Home Depot, Lowes, and more. The development site is also close to HCA Florida Putnam Hospital—a major employer—and one mile from St. Johns River State College. Palatka is within two hours of Central Florida theme park attractions. The only other new multifamily developments in the city within the last decade consist of either rent-restricted senior housing or low-income units. All market-rate apartments in Palatka were built approximately 30 to 40 years ago and are currently fully leased.

The Cottages at St. Johns will introduce a unique model under the DLP Capital umbrella of multifamily development, with the single-story duplexes each offering a private home lifestyle that includes outdoor living areas resembling those found among single-family residences. Private fenced-in areas/gardens are featured in the side yards that divide duplex dwellings, with neighbor walls used to enclose each of these private spaces. The design creates spaces for outdoor living, entertainment, gardening, and/or children and pet play areas.

The community of new duplex cottages will also include a recreational clubhouse with loggia and exercise room, a swimming pool, playground area, exercise path, dog park/wash, and pond, among other features. The cottages will feature nine-foot ceilings with fans, designer cabinetry, and one to three bedrooms with oversized closets. Private garden areas will range from 250 square feet for one-bedroom units up to 500 square feet for three-bedroom units. Cottages will be super insulated with state-of-the art energy efficient systems for the lowest possible utility costs.

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