St. Johns County, FL – St. Johns County hosted a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the San Marco Heights multi-family affordable housing project. This important project is one of two multi-family, low-to moderate income rental housing communities financed by the more than $30 million Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds awarded to St. Johns County. San Marco Heights will encompass 132 units on 15 acres of land, and will include an 8,000 square foot clubhouse and community service facility. The large community space will house a commercial kitchen, co-working space, a tech lab, a library and children’s game room, and fitness area. Special to this development, the community service facility will also serve as a shelter for residents in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by St. Johns County Commissioner and vice-chair Henry Dean, the chair for the Housing Finance Authority of St. Johns County Mike O’Donnell, principal and owner of development firm Smith & Henzy Advisory Group Darren Smith, as well as other staff, dignitaries, and community representatives active in efforts to bring affordable housing to St. Johns County. “It is the beginning of what I hope, and I think I can speak for my fellow commissioners, several affordable housing projects that we desperately need for St. Johns County,” said Commissioner Dean. San Marco Heights will be a special community with a major goal of providing the residents access to key social services such as housing retention, medical and mental health, literacy education, employment assistance, life skills classes, and after-school care.

“This is very life changing. It doesn’t put people on the streets. It gives them a place to live, especially people with families, with children,” said Mike O’Donnell. “They’ll have places to live. I mean, that’s so important.

We need this.” For more information on San Marco Heights, please call the St. Johns County Housing and Community Development Division at 904.209.6890.

 For additional information, please contact:   

Lorena Inclan, Director of the Office of Public Affairs          –              904.209.0542


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