ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (November 17, 2021) – – On Tuesday the St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP), creating safe, clean, affordable housing in North Florida since 1996, took part in a dedication and flag-raising ceremony at Patriot Place, a new housing option for at-risk veterans in St. Johns County.
The six-unit apartment community under construction at 79 Masters Dr. in St. Augustine, Fla. will be administered by Flagler Health+’s social health program, Care Connect+, which links area residents with resources like safe housing, food pantries, counseling services, workplace readiness and transportation.
Patriot Place has been more than three years in the making, including finding and purchasing an appropriate lot; securing financing for construction; and permitting and zoning regulations.
“For years, our local veterans’ office has struggled to help local veterans who need a one-bedroom apartment to remain living in St. Johns County,” said St. Johns Housing Partnership Executive Director Bill Lazar. “Our hope is that this unique partnership with Flagler Health+ will provide a level of case management and stability for our residents to get back on their feet. This is an effort to thank them for their service and stand by them while they integrate back into the community.”
Lazar said getting homeless vets on the path to affordable housing is just one of the goals of the St. Johns Housing Partnership in its collaboration with the Flagler Health+ and MountainStar Capital.
“As the country’s only hospital to serve as the lead agency for the continuum of care, our team at Flagler Health+ deeply understands the significant impact housing security has on an individual’s overall health and wellbeing. It is extremely rewarding to see Patriot Place come to life, specifically supporting veterans in our community who have given so much,” said Jason Barrett, President & CEO of Flagler Health+. “We are grateful for our alliance with the St. Johns Housing Partnership, all those involved with the Continuum of Care, and many others as we collaborate to end homelessness in St. Johns County.”
The total cost of the Patriot Place project, including the purchase of land, lot preparation, design and construction is estimated at $900,000. Ponte Vedra Beach-based MountainStar Capital purchased the land for $100,000 and donated it to the project.
“Our commitment to projects like Patriot Place goes well beyond development and investment. We have collaborated tirelessly with partners like Flagler Health+, St. Johns Housing Partnership and St. Johns County to make this affordable housing a reality for the most in need. Today is another step in our pledge to provide affordable housing and support of charitable causes,” said Chris Lazzara, co-founder and CEO of MountainStar Capital.
The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), the state’s leading certifier of green residential and commercial construction, land developments and local governments, announced that Patriot Place will be certified FGBC “Florida Green.”
FGBC President Bill Kachman and FGBC President-Elect Ralph Locke were on hand at Tuesday’s ceremony.
“We are excited to be part of this important project. Six one-bedroom residences for transitional veterans, built on a beautiful infill lot with an incredible live oak for them to sit and relax under,” noted Kachman. “To be involved with this project means so much knowing that Patriot Place will be able to house an at-risk or homeless veteran and possibly a few family members after everything they have done for our country.”
According to Lazar the one-bedroom apartments will measure 630 square feet and each veteran will pay about 30% of market rate with the balance subsidized through SJHP fundraising efforts.
Members of the community have donated their time and materials including Bo Strange and Lovely Loo and Snodgrass Family Foundation for three sets of appliances. Financial partner Ameris Bank arranged construction loans.
To donate to Patriot Place contact Bill Lazar at (904) 824-0902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) President-Elect Ralph Locke (left), President Bill Kachman, MountainStar Capital’s Director of Real Estate Sales Mike Johnsen and St. Johns Housing Partnership Executive Director Bill Lazar.
Bill Lazar, executive director of the St. Johns Housing Partnership, speaks at a dedication of Patrio Place, a six-unit apartment complex under construction on Masters Drive in St. Augustine, Fla. The apartments will be used to house homeless veterans when the project is completed next year. (Peter Willott)
An architectural drawing shows a six-unit apartment complex under construction on Masters Drive in St. Augustine, Fla. Patriot Place will be used to house homeless veterans when the project is completed in February 2022.