(Tuesday, June 16, 2020 – La Fortaleza, San Juan) Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced visited the municipality of Caguas to oversee the construction of housing development José Gautier Benítez, a multifamily and elderly development that will provide 438 housing units for low- and moderate-income households.
“There are several housing developments underway and we are here today to partake in Puerto Rico’s reconstruction process. The José Gautier Benítez development is great news for the municipality of Caguas and its future residents, since it will offer housing facilities and spaces that will promote quality of life,” said the governor.
Vázquez Garced also said that “I would like to acknowledge the presence of federal financial monitor, Robert Couch, who joined us today to oversee how federal funds are put into action on the island.”
With a $135 million investment, the multifamily development will consist of 238 new housing units of one, two, three, and four-bedrooms, in 40 residential three-story buildings. Meanwhile, the Elderly Development will consist of 200 new one-bedroom units in three residential five-story buildings.
It was informed that the Development’s design is resistant to weather events and incorporates energy conservation and resiliency measures, including Energy Star® appliances, photovoltaic panels, emergency power generator, and stormproof windows.
The amenities of the José Gautier Benítez development include a community center, outdoor exercise equipment, exercise facilities, picnic area, computer room, grocery store, swimming pool, playground, and walking track.
Furthermore, Caguas mayor, William Miranda Torres, said that “this project will house 438 families; 238 multifamily units, and 200 units for the elderly. This is a different project that will bring multiple generations and mixed incomes together, it is a quite different dynamic. We were able to continue construction works and we hope that by mid-year next year we will be delivering the units. We are very happy, this project has come at the right time, these housing units are built according to new standards.”
Moreover, the secretary of the Department of Housing, Luis Fernández Trinchet, said that “through this $135 million investment of state and federal funds we can witness the beginning of a project that will be of great benefit for low- or moderate-income households which will benefit from living in an integrated community with easy access to amenities. We are very excited with this project and we hope it will be a great contribution for the urban development of Caguas.”
The project’s financing includes nearly $64 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC); and $46 million in the CDBG-DR Program funds.
The remaining $25 million were provided by the Public Housing Administration (PHA) and through private investment.
Meanwhile, PHA administrator, William Rodríguez Rodríguez, stressed that “the José Gautier Benítez development will have spaces and facilities that will promote peaceful coexistence and provide residents with the assurance of a weatherproof home. This residential development will be an example of the potential of these projects for the benefit of Puerto Ricans.”
The developer of the project is McCormack Baron Salazar Puerto Rico Developer; the general contractor is F&R Construction Group; and the project designer is Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón.