An apartment complex that will become Palm Beach County’s largest workforce housing community is set to open in January, injecting a new supply of mid-range rental options into the region’s increasingly costly real estate market.
Resia Pine Ridge, off Southern Boulevard west of West Palm Beach, will feature 288 apartments, all of them participants in the county government’s workforce housing program.
Being in the county program means rents are capped at a percentage of the region’s median family income. Depending on a tenant’s income level, rents in most of the complex’s one-bedroom apartments will be limited this year to between $1,725 and $2,415 a month, while maximum rents in two-bedroom units could range from $2,070 to $2,898.
The county’s 16-year-old workforce housing program aims to provide affordable living options for middle-class residents by requiring that new housing developments either set aside a certain number of homes as workforce units or pay an opt-out fee.
For years the number of participating units was small, but the program has grown in recent years to a little more than 1,000 apartments countywide. The opening of Resia Pine Ridge, which will be by far the largest site, offers a significant boost to the number of apartments at a time of rising concern about housing affordability.
“It’s great that it’s coming to fruition at this time and is going to be available, because we’re certainly going to need it,” said Palm Beach County Commissioner Gregg Weiss, whose district includes the new complex.
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Resia Pine Ridge, located off Southern Boulevard east of Jog Road, features four buildings of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. The community's amenities include a clubhouse, pool, playground, fitness center, basketball court and dog park.
The property is owned and managed by Resia, a Miami-based company that says it gears its rental communities toward middle-class families and young professionals.
“Our goal is to help residents balance their immediate need for quality rental housing with their long-term goals for financial health and stability,” Ernesto Lopez, the company president, said in a statement. “We believe both are possible.”
An opening date has not yet been set, but Resia’s marketing director said tenants can began signing leases in early January. The company is accepting pre-lease reservations now and says it has seen considerable interest.
“Resia is 100% workforce housing, even if we don’t have the requirement,” marketing director Denise Cruz said. “That’s by choice. We are catering to the audience that would be qualified. This is the mission of the company.”
Resia Pine Ridge will be the company’s fourth community in Palm Beach County, according to its website. The others are Resia Mangonia Lake in West Palm Beach, and Resia Banyan Ridge near Haverhill and Resia Lake Worth in suburban Lake Worth Beach. Resia also has two apartment communities in the Treasure Coast.
To qualify for workforce housing, prospective tenants have to demonstrate that their income meets eligibility requirements. The maximum family income to qualify is $126,420, though it is much lower for some units required to offer lower rents.
It is rare for an apartment complex to consist only of workforce housing units, but Resia agreed to do so in exchange for county commissioners rezoning the property to allow nearly double the number of apartments to be built.
In October 2020, commissioners voted to rezone the land, raising the maximum number of units permitted from 149 to 288, county records show.
Weiss said that Resia Pine Ridge is one of several projects approved by county commissioners before the recent spike in rents that is now bearing fruit. He said he is hearing fewer complaints of skyrocketing rents from constituents in his district now than a year ago, but he added that rents do not appear to be dropping either.
“At the time we didn’t realize what was coming," he said, "but we knew it was important that we have workforce housing in the county."
Andrew Marra is an investigative reporter for The Palm Beach Post. He can be reached via email at AMarra@pbpost.com, or on Twitter: @AMarranara.