Banyan Cove, a 100-unit affordable community for income-restricted residents age 55 and older, has finally opened its doors to residents.
The first tenants began moving in Aug. 12.
The first building completed has 48 one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as administrative offices and other specialized facilities. The second building will have 52 apartments, also a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, said Debbie Willis, regional manager for AGPM, the company that owns and operates the community.
“Building 2 should be opening the first or second week of September,” Willis told a visitor. “We were shooting for earlier, but rain slowed down construction.”
The project broke ground a little more than a year ago and was supposed to be finished by October, Willis said. So even with a September opening for the second building, the complex is coming online earlier than planned.
A grand opening and ribbon-cutting are tentatively scheduled for Sept. 27 with the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance.
AGPM stands for A Green Property Manager, and the company lives up to that with Banyan Cove. All the units are energy-efficient, with Energy Star appliances and water-saving features in kitchens and bathrooms that reduce usage and help residents lower their monthly water and sewer expenses, according to a company website page.
Residents must provide their own furniture and wall décor. Every apartment has a washer and dryer, but if a resident already has those appliances, they can be removed.
Other amenities include walk-in closets in all bedrooms, cable-TV hookups, a dishwasher and garbage disposal, window coverings, and regular pest control and termite prevention treatments.
The community will also have a full slate of activities for its residents, Willis said. Residents will be able to take part in literacy or other programs, card games, computer classes, a fitness center and a pool table in the community room. There will also be quarterly meetings for determining what activities are desired and addressing issues residents may be concerned about.
Still to come, according to Willis, are a pet-walk area (dogs and cats up to 20 pounds are welcomed), a community garden, and a designated outdoor smoking area (all the units are smoke- and vape-free).
While it was under construction, AGPM was taking lease applications for new residents. As a result, Willis said, Banyan Cove was 80% leased when it opened.
Banyan Cove was built under a tax-credit program that allows rents to be below market value to those with incomes low enough to qualify. A roughly 675-square-foot, one-bedroom/one-bath unit rents for $653, and a roughly 914-square-foot, two-bedroom/two-bath apartment rents for $785.
Banyan Cove’s complex at 250 W. International Speedway Blvd. in DeLand consists of two four-story buildings on a nearly 8-acre site near where North Street and North Clara Avenue meet and just west of Gateway Village shopping center. The complex is set back from ISB and across from a city fire station.
There are two entrances to the community — one from ISB accessed via a tree-lined drive, and a second from North Street with closer access to the buildings.