Lakeland's Midtown Lofts move city toward affordable housing goals

Lakeland is making a concerted effort to solve its affordable housing crisis with the newly-opened Midtown Lofts, a public-private partnership on North Lake Avenue.

Midtown Lofts has 80 moderately priced one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. The building's first tenants are excited to live in a nice neighborhood for an affordable price.

"It's awesome," commented Austin Oliver, one of the first tenants to move in. "It is the nicest place I have ever lived in, for sure."

Lakeland's Midtown Lofts

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Oliver’s one-bedroom apartment has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The building also has a fitness center, media room, and business center with computers.

Quite a deal, considering that some residents are paying a third of what they would for a similar unit elsewhere.

Midtown Lofts is Lakeland's latest effort to combat the lack of affordable housing in the city.

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Banyan Preserve, another moderate-income community with upscale amenities recently opened. The city also has two other projects in the works, targeted to people on a tight budget.

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Lakeland hopes to add 500 new moderate-income units by 2023.

"We are on line to hit our goal," explained Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz. "Our real desire is to go beyond the goal."