The Seventh Avenue Transit Village, which has been plagued by delays, has received nearly $17 million in county commitments, $3 million from the FTA and $1.4 million from the city of Miami. The 161-unit project would rise on county land leased to Carlisle at Northwest 62nd Street and Seventh Avenue.
The transit villages have been envisioned as public-transportation hubs, with the Seventh Avenue project including a bus terminal. Carlisle was expected to provide some amount of private financing for both developments.
A third project, Lincoln Gardens, would modernize an existing housing site by adding 95 “garden-style” units on county property at 4771 NW 24th Ct. to be leased to Carlisle. The county anticipates the project will be funded using $12.3 million in bonds, plus private financing and $7.8 million in possible federal tax credits.
The newest project, Island Living Apartments, calls for building 70 units on county land at 1201 NW 3rd Ave. With plans still in early stages, the only funding committed so far is $1.4 million in the real-estate surtax.
What prompted Carlisle to unload the four affordable-housing projects to Atlantic|Pacific? A federal grand jury has been investigating allegations that Carlisle and its chief executive officer, Matthew S. Greer, the scion of a prominent Miami-Dade family, and others associated with the company bilked the U.S. government’s tax-credit program designed to promote affordable-housing development.
The grand jury is focusing on Greer, retired Carlisle CEO and founder Lloyd J. Boggio, and a general contractor, Michael K. Runyan, president of BJ&K Construction Services, according to a subpoena obtained by the Miami Herald.
Prosecutors also are examining Carlisle’s joint venture with another developer, Biscayne Housing Group.
Until the investigation was reported by the Herald in May, Carlisle was known as the state’s biggest and the nation’s third-largest affordable-housing developer, with more than 80 completed projects valued at $1.4 billion.
The federal investigation into Carlisle started in late 2011 when two senior executives quit and went to the U.S. attorney’s office with their allegations of fraud. The executives, who worked under Greer, are cooperating with the U.S. attorney’s office.
Carlisle is suspected of padding construction costs of rental apartments to generate higher government-issued tax credits — then splitting the resulting unlawful profits with Fort Lauderdale contractor BJ&K and possibly others, according to sources familiar with the probe being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and FBI. Those credits are sold to investors, who receive deductions on their tax returns, to help pay for the construction costs of low-income housing.
Carlisle issued a statement Saturday, saying, “it is cooperating fully with the investigation and working diligently to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.
“All of the facts are not in as we believe that the government’s investigation was prompted by incomplete and inaccurate information provided by two disgruntled former Carlisle employees,” said the developer’s attorney, Jeff Marcus, a former federal prosecutor.
“As the investigation unfolds, we are confident that we will be vindicated.”