Two residential development projects in underserved North Jersey communities were approved for tax credits under the Aspire Program yesterday by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board. The two projects, both of which are for senior housing, will create a total of 170 residential units in Newark and Union City. To date, the NJEDA Board has approved a total of $182.9 million in Aspire awards for residential projects, creating over 1,000 housing units – 806, or nearly 80 percent, of which will be affordable.
Aspire is a place-based economic development program that supports mixed-use, transit-oriented development with tax credits to commercial and residential real estate development projects in communities across the state that have financing gaps. All residential Aspire projects must include 20% affordable housing. All 170 units that will be supported by these approvals are designated as affordable and are also benefitting from financing provided by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.
“Through the Aspire Program, the NJEDA is investing in communities, uplifting families, and expanding access to affordable, quality housing to meet Governor Murphy’s goal of creating a stronger, fairer New Jersey,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The affordable, mixed-use projects that were approved today will help transform neighborhoods in Newark and Union City, and provide new, prime housing options for each cities’ senior residents.”
The first project the Board approved twas Terrell Homes, which will be located at 91-97 Chapel Street in Newark and will be reserved for seniors ages 55 and older. The project was approved for up to $8.9 million in tax credits, which represents 31.8% of eligible project costs of $28 million. The project is multi-phased redevelopment of the Mildred E. Terrell Homes public housing site and aims to support the ongoing revitalization of the city’s Ironbound neighborhood. The site is owned by the Newark Housing Authority, which has entered a ground lease with Terrell Redevelopment Partners Urban Renewal, LP.
The affordable senior housing building will consist of 69 residential units, including one- and two-bedroom units, and 28 on-site parking spaces. Chapel Street Aspire LLC (CSA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is a co-applicant of the project and will offer on-site services for residents including health and wellness screenings, social engagement activities, and shuttle service for shopping.
“The Terrell Homes project represents our highest aspiration to provide comfort and security to the elders of our community,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “By incorporating the anticipated health, social, and transportation needs of our seniors, this initiative is not just comprehensive and forward-thinking. This five-story building will provide 69 affordable, age-restricted units, 18 of them dedicated to permanent, supportive, housing for persons with physical difficulties. It is steeped in respect and compassion for our parents and grandparents who have raised up all of Newark through their perseverance, sacrifice, energy, and faith. Our city extends its heartfelt gratitude to NJEDA for this wonderful opportunity for our seniors.”
The NJEDA Board approved up to $25 million in tax credits, which represents 53.7% of eligible project costs of $46.8 million, for RPM Development LLC to develop a six-story affordable senior housing building in Union City. The 101-unit building, which will include one- and two-bedroom units, will be located at 720 8th Street between Summit and Central Avenues and replace a surface parking lot. There will be two levels of garage parking and the ground level will consist of two retail spaces.
The co-applicant, Life Management Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit, will offer on-site services for residents. Services offered will help developmentally disabled and formerly homeless residents. Moreover, the project will comply with the federal government’s Energy Star Homes Program, which also satisfies NJEDA’s Green Building Standards.
“The people of Union City and myself are grateful to the NJEDA and welcome the development of affordable senior housing within our community,” said Union City Mayor Brian Stack. “With the current affordability crisis, it is fundamental that we continue to assist and support our senior populations, and this project will not only expand access to affordable housing, but it will also provide our elderly residents with various physical and mental health resources and services.”
The Aspire program application, as well as complete rules, eligibility requirements, award sizes, and other information can be found here.
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