FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta joined elected state and local officials and community leaders to celebrate the grand opening of Voorhees Station, a 76-unit newly constructed apartment community with approximately 9,000 square feet of commercial space in Franklin Township, Somerset County. The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), awarded the project federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that generated approximately $12.9 million in private equity.
“We are pleased that Voorhees Station will provide housing opportunities for New Jersey’s hard-working families,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. “The HMFA’s LIHTC Program is yet another tool that developers can take advantage of to increase the supply of affordable housing around the state.”
Voorhees Station, which cost approximately $19 million to develop, will not only provide affordable housing opportunities for New Jersey families, but will continue to have a positive economic impact on the Somerset County community. HMFA estimates that the project generated approximately $30.2 million in one-time economic output and created approximately 181 full-time jobs during construction. Now completed, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing more than $3.3 million in ongoing economic output and approximately 19 full-time jobs annually. Additional funding sources for the Voorhees Station development included a permanent and construction loan from PNC and construction and permanent funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and Township of Franklin Affordable Housing Trust Funds.
As the designated redeveloper of Franklin Township's Churchill Millstone Redevelopment area, the opening of Voorhees Station will signify RPM Development Group’s third development in this redevelopment zone. Voorhees Station consists of two newly-constructed, four-story contemporary buildings with 74 rental apartments, a duplex home, totaling 76 units, approximately 9,000 square feet of retail space along the busy thoroughfare of Route 27, and a 1,600 square foot community room. Inside the neomodern exterior, the buildings feature 12 one-bedroom units, 45 two-bedroom units, and 19 three-bedroom units. The apartments feature spacious layouts, high-efficiency stainless steel appliances, and parking for tenants is creatively tucked under the buildings and is available on the surface level. Voorhees Station has achieved LEED-Platinum certification, the highest level of green building awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, in addition to being in compliance with the EPA Energy-Star 3.0 Program.
Residents of the complex also have access to various social services, activities, and classes, including book clubs, fitness and yoga classes, financial counseling, computer training, and other services that cater to the needs and interests of the residents, including those with special needs in the community room.
“This mixed-use residential and retail space truly represents HMFA’s mission of providing safe, decent, and affordable housing with great access to quality schools, public transportation, jobs and shops in Somerset County,” said HMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “Projects like this not only address the changing economy and land use patterns, but also serve as a catalyst for advancing economic development and encouraging further redevelopment in our New Jersey municipalities.”
Eighty percent of the project units are affordable, with eight units available to households with incomes at or below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Five of these units are reserved for individuals with special needs with a preference for formerly homeless or disabled veterans. Of the remaining units, 37 units are at or below 50% AMI, 15 units at or below 60% AMI, and one unit is reserved for the superintendent. Twenty percent of the project units are market-rate, at or below 80% AMI.
Annually, states are allocated Low Income Housing Tax Credits by the federal government on a per-capita basis. HMFA, as the administrator of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program in New Jersey, allocates approximately $20 million in 9% credits annually, which generates over $180 million in equity for the development of affordable housing in the state. RPM Development was awarded the very competitive 9% tax credits from the 2012 family cycle. The tax credits provided more than 67% of the funding for the development of Voorhees Station.
For more information on HMFA programs, please visit www.njhousing.gov.