Lotus House Breaks Ground on Nonprofit Center With $32M in Financing

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Nonprofit Lotus House broke ground Tuesday on an educational center in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood after landing a $32 million in financing, property records show. 

The five-story development, called Children’s Village, will house a preschool and recreational facilities. The new, 71,000-square-foot center is across the street from Lotus House’s 500-bed shelter at 219 NW 14th Terrace.

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“In the Children’s Village, we are taking another step forward, preventing homelessness and uplifting our community, by empowering children and families with enriched educational and therapeutic supports, exciting and diverse programming for kids, and greater access to health and social services and community resources,” Lotus House founder Constance Collins said in a statement. 

At the groundbreaking ceremony, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who resides in Surfside, announced a $1 million donation to the 501c3 nonprofit. 

Lotus House’s financing includes a $27 million construction loan from U.S. Bank as well as $5 million in new market tax credit from The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, Florida Community Loan Fund, and Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.

Created by the U.S. Treasury, the program allows investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax in exchange for making equity investments in projects meant to serve low-income communities.

Construction is expected to last no more than 18 months, according to a representative for Lotus House.  

The Miami-based organization paid $2.2 million for the 0.7-acre site last year, almost tripling the land’s value in less than four months, according to property records. Prior to Lotus House’s acquisition, the parcel sold for $775,000 earlier that year. 

As real estate prices have skyrocketed during the pandemic, so has Miami-Dade County’s homeless population. The number of unsheltered people and those living in emergency shelters rose by 6 percent between 2021 and 2022, according to data from the county. 

In response to the growing crisis, Miami-Dade County is set to receive $21 million from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) over the next three years.

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com.