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| Columns |

Carlisle Development Group Serves Audrey Edmonson With a Bundle of Cash

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The Carlisle Development Group sure knows how to show gratitude to Audrey

Edmonson. The Miami-based affordable housing developer ponied up

$15,000 in contributions to the Miami-Dade County commissioner's

reelection campaign, according to her recently filed campaign finance

report. Edmonson has been instrumental in helping Carlisle land a

couple of key transit-related mixed use projects in her district.

On

February 17, 30 different corporations controlled by executives of

Carlisle, including chief executive Matthew Greer, each gave a

maximum $500 donation to Edmonson, who collected $62,200 between

January and March. Her lone opponent Keon Hardemon has not yet filed

his report.

Following Edmonson's lead, county commissioners awarded Carlisle a 55-year development lease for 6 acres of county owned land surrounding the Northside Metrorail Station on NW 79th Street and 27th Avenue last year. The company is promising to build four apartment buildings for low income families, 20,000 square feet of retail space, and an 848 car parking garage at a cost of $88 million, which will be primarily financed with state low income housing tax credits. Carlisle will also receive a $2.5 million grant from the county's Building Better Communities bond program.

The county commission also selected Carlisle to build the NW Seventh Avenue Transit Village, Edmonson's legacy project. The firm, which is the third largest affordable housing developer in the country, submitted a plan to turn two-and-half acres of county owned land on NW 62nd Street and Seventh Avenue into a transit hub with four covered bus bays and a station; 161 apartments for low income families; 27,000 square feet of retail and commercial space; a 120-seat theater; and a parking garage.

Carlisle estimates the project will cost $55 million, which will also be largely financed through low income tax credits and $10.5 million from the bond program.

Carlisle's $15,000 to Edmonson represents the largest amount bundled by a single company to one commissioner this year. The Related Group of Florida comes in second with $6,500 in bundled contributions to Bruno Barreiro. Doral-based real estate developer Masoud Shojaee gave $3,000 each to Barreiro and Barbara Jordan.

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