Development to Include 230 Affordable Apartments on Former Industrial Site in Jersey City
JERSEY CITY, NJ – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) executive staff, city officials and representatives of RPM Development Group today celebrated the restart of construction at the once-stalled Whitlock Mills project. Under the new ownership of RPM Development Group (RPM), the project will transform a former industrial site into a 330-unit, mixed-income rental complex.
“This new apartment complex in Jersey City is a continuation of meeting our goal of creating more mixed-income housing for New Jersey’s working-class residents,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
Whitlock Mills is located on the site of the one-time Whitlock Cordage Company, a rope manufacturer that encompassed several buildings along the former Morris Canal. The redevelopment of Whitlock Mills will include a combination of adaptive reuses for the original company buildings along with the construction of new apartment buildings all consistent with the design theme of the original complex.
When complete, the approximately $94.5 million development will consist of five historic buildings and 29 new structures containing 330 apartments, including 230 units that are affordable for low- and moderate-income residents earning up to 60% of Area Median Income. The project will be completed in phases over the course of 24 months with the first buildings, featuring approximately 80 units, set to open next summer, and another 193 market-rate and affordable units scheduled to open by the end of 2019.
“We are very pleased work has begun again to get this long-stalled project back on track. Restoring the buildings has the dual benefit of creating affordable housing in a city that needs it and incorporating the property’s history and character into the neighborhood,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. “Whitlock Mills will also contribute to the ongoing redevelopment of the area and expand mixed-income housing opportunities, providing a range of options for the benefit of all residents.”
Whitlock Mills is located within the Morris Canal Redevelopment Area in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood, which is rapidly changing with new housing and an increasing number of amenities, including the 17-acre Berry Lane Park and various neighborhood restaurants. Whitlock Mills is also near Liberty Science Center, which has plans to expand with its SciTech Scity project; Liberty State Park, which has open space that serves as the “front yard” of the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood; and a light rail station, which provides access to the Exchange Place PATH station.
Other neighborhood residential development includes single- and multi-family homes, low-rise and mid-rise apartment buildings, and industrial buildings converted to residential use. In addition, mixed-use properties are found along the neighborhood’s commercial corridors, which include Communipaw Avenue and, to a lesser extent, Grand and Pacific avenues.
Whitlock Mills is also close to the award-winning Glennview Townhouses, part of the redevelopment of the former Lafayette Gardens site, which received financing from NJHMFA.
Rents on the affordable units are expected to range from $719-$1,240 per month, while the market rate units are anticipated to rent starting from $1,560.
NJHMFA provided the development with $53.8 million in financing and awarded 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which have generated $20 million in private equity. The City of Jersey City also provided funding through its HOME and Affordable Housing Trust Fund programs.
RPM Development Group, based in Montclair, is one of the leading developers of affordable housing in New Jersey with a goal to provide quality housing while aiming to improve neighborhoods.
For more information on NJHMFA and its programs, visit njhousing.gov.