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MIAMI-As the condominium market continues to show softness in recent months, there may be one sector of the market that is showing strength. In the past two weeks, two developers have announced plans for workforce housing projects.

Last week, locally based developers MFM Construction Corp. announced a planned groundbreaking in November on the 16-story, 132-unit River Grand condominium project at NW 14th Street and NW 15th Avenue in the Civic Center area just west of Downtown. The project, which will contain one- and two-bedroom units, is aimed at providing affordable work force housing. The units will be priced from the low $200,000s to high $300,000s. “We feel that no matter how the market shifts, there will always be a demand for work force housing,” says Eli Dreszer, principal of MFM Construction Corp.

Two weeks ago, a development partnership between Miami-based the Miller Group managing partner Roger Miller and Hollywood-based AmeriBuilt Corp. president Ken Gordon announced plans to begin construction in the fall on the 168-unit Pembroke Park Place condominium project at 5400 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd. Prices for one-bedroom units will start from $165,000, for two-bedroom units will start at $199,000 and for three-bedroom units will start from $265,000.

Mantovani Real Estate’s Cara Mantovani is the exclusive broker in charge of sales and marketing for the River Grand project but has also worked with other work force housing projects. “Three years ago, we decided to focus on work force housing in emerging areas,” Mantovani tells GlobeSt.com. “There’s a tremendous demand for this type of housing in South Florida. There’s been such a surge in luxury condominiums over the past five years.”

Mantovani adds that, in addition to work force housing projects, her firm represents other projects that sell for a range of prices. While sales for condominiums in the mid-range prices of $600,000 to $1 million have been slow, sales for high-end condominiums priced at over $1 million and wor kforce housing have been stronger. The soft conditions are attributed, in part, to investors exiting the market.

“Gone are the days of selling out a building in a weekend,” she says. “But there is steady demand for work force housing among students, young professionals and others.”

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