A two-phase affordable housing development is helping to revitalize a blighted site on the edge of downtown Newark, N.J.
Montclair, N.J.–based RPM Development Group started with the adaptive-reuse of an abandoned underground garage formerly used by the U.S. Postal Service and then added four stories of new construction to create the 75-unit 60 Nevada, where residents who earn no more than 60% of the area median income (AMI) are just starting to move in.
The neighboring 999 Broad, which the developer is breaking ground on this week, will include 47 units of affordable housing, 40 market-rate units, and 6,500 square feet of retail on the ground floor.
“It’s hard to find a mixed-use, mixed-income community that helps raise the profile of a neighborhood,” says Joe Portelli, vice president of development for RPM Development Group. “People will find that here at 60 Nevada and 999 Broad.”
The developer hopes that the high-quality housing will help rejuvenate the area at the gateway between downtown and the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
“There’s a tremendous need for quality affordable housing in Newark,” adds Portelli. “To have a place that’s clean and safe and well-managed, there’s a tremendous need and demand for it all income levels.”
60 Nevada, which is expected to receive LEED Platinum certification, also incorporates many green building features, including high-efficiency heating, cooling, and lighting fixtures; stainless steel Energy Star appliances; triple-paned windows; and zero-VOC finishes throughout the entire building. Panelized wood-frame construction provided a dramatic reduction in construction waste, and locally sourced building materials were utilized, including more than 300 windows made in Springfield, N.J. Xeriscaping with plants native to New Jersey also helps to conserve water at the development.
Residents have access to a wealth of amenities and services. The project includes a second-floor garden terrace, laundry facilities, and a community room. Social services, including health and wellness programming, after-school programs for children, and exercise classes, are provided for the five units reserved for homeless members of the community as well as the rest of the households.
The $20.5 million development was financed with 9% low-income housing tax credit equity from The Richman Group via Capital One, which also provided a construction loan. The New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency provided permanent financing as well as an allocation from the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing—part of the state’s Superstorm Sandy disaster recovery—and the city of Newark provided important gap financing through its HOME program.
Portelli says the $21 million 999 Broad, which also will meet LEED Platinum requirements, is expected to be completed by early summer 2016.