Eric Williams

Inverness City Manager Eric Williams 

Inverness City Council members welcomed the return of Green Mills Group as a company representative announced they want to again build more affordable and moderate housing in the city.

In 2020, the Fort Lauderdale company finished a 106-unit apartment campus offering affordable housing on Colonade Street. It filled with new tenants within about a month. It boasts a pool, exercise area and community center.

The developer specializes in affordable housing and also built apartment units in Hernando for seniors.

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Shaun Mosheim, a development manager for the Fort Lauderdale company, said the company selected Inverness because of how cooperative the city had been the last go round. The receptiveness by the city helps to remove one additional layer of bureaucracy from what is already a complex process.

Mosheim came to the city council meeting Tuesday during its regularly scheduled hearing to ask for a loan commitment.

To help Green Mills get state help in the form of tax credits and other incentives, Mosheim is asking for city buy-in to the project.

City Manager Eric Williams asked his council bosses to prepare to approve a $340,000 loan to the developer. The terms of repayment are still being worked out, Williams said, but the developer would get the loan after completion of the project.

The loan will signal to Florida Housing Finance Corporation that Green Mills has local government support and commitment to the project, Williams said.

Although no vote was necessary Tuesday, council members wasted no time in telling Mosheim he had their support and they welcomed the company and a second project inside city limits.

The proposed site for the new development is 6.5 acres between Forest Drive and Longwood Avenue, near the center of the city.

City officials have scheduled a public land use and zoning change meeting Tuesday, Aug. 17, and Tuesday, Sept. 7, to change the comprehensive land use from the current low density to medium density. The city also scheduled a planning and zoning commission meeting on the proposed change for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11. All the meetings will be at city hall, 212 W. Main St., Inverness.

Councilman Cabot McBride told Mosheim that there was “a real need in our community” for affordable housing, and Green Mills has “shown what (it) can do.” He also cited that the apartments would add to the city's tax base.

Councilwoman Linda Bega said that last year’s “Colonnade complex is just beautiful” and that she “very much welcomed (its) next project.”

Williams said ground won’t be broken anytime soon.

The loan and state application process will take 20 months, Mosheim said.

Williams predicts construction will begin in about two years and much needs to be done before that starts.

He said there were “still miles of public process to go.”  

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.