KEANSBURG – Cove on the Bay, a new mixed-income apartment and retail complex built on a vacant waterfront lot celebrated its grand opening today joined by New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) Executive Director Charles A. Richman, local officials and representatives of RPM Development Group.
Expanding the range of housing opportunities and waterfront development are important components of the borough’s redevelopment plan. The development, located at the corner of Beachway and Raritan avenues, is across from the public beach and diagonal to the amusement park.
Cove on the Bay provides 186 rental apartments, including 111 affordable units, along with nearly 7,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on two levels. A second-level community open space plaza overlooks Raritan Bay with views of Manhattan, Staten Island and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. A community courtyard also provides green space. Other amenities include a fitness center with yoga room, waterfront sun deck and rooftop patio. The project has a range of features that will allow the building to achieve certification under the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR program and the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
“When Superstorm Sandy ravaged our state it displaced people of all income levels from their homes. This project helps to fulfill the State’s promise to rebuild for all residents after the storm,” said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and Chair of the NJHMFA board. “Cove on the Bay answers the call for affordable housing at the shore while providing the retail space needed for neighborhood revitalization.”
To help meet the need for affordable housing exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy, Cove on the Bay received $18.9 million in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery assistance financing through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM). The FRM program, created following Superstorm Sandy, provides for-profit and nonprofit housing developers an opportunity to secure zero-interest and low-interest loans to finance the development of affordable housing in the nine counties most impacted by the storm. Since 2012, 17 projects with over 1,400 affordable apartments have been created in Monmouth County.
“This outstanding project symbolizes the successful rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy and will be key to the continued redevelopment of Keansburg,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. “Mixed-income developments increase community and economic diversity, and strengthen the long-term vitality of the community. With its prime location, Cove on the Bay will also expand the local tax base and drive economic growth in the area.”
In addition to the FRM funding, NJHMFA also awarded the development 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which are expected to generate $11.2 million in private equity, and also provided $39 million in construction and permanent financing, including $35.7 million from its Conduit Bond Program. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) provided $17 million in state Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program tax credits.
“Modern, affordable residential and mixed-use development is a critical component of Governor (Phil) Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “The NJEDA is committed to supporting investment where its impact will lead to a more viable future for families, including those faced with ongoing challenges created by Superstorm Sandy.”
Sandy recovery funding
To date, 76 projects have included FRM funding to create nearly 6,050 rental housing opportunities, 90 percent of which are affordable to low- and moderate-income households.
During the first 90 days of lease up in any project that has received FRM funding, priority for residency will be given to individuals who were displaced by or experienced major storm damage from Sandy. Storm-impacted residents can learn more about affordable housing projects funded with Sandy recovery dollars by visiting the New Jersey Housing Resource Center at www.njhrc.gov and clicking on "Priority Housing for Sandy-Impacted Residents," which will take you to a website listing flyers on available housing by county.
Rents on one-bedroom apartments will range from $513 to $1,302 for affordable units and start at $1,500 for market-rate units; $613 to $1,561 for affordable two-bedroom units and start at $1,800 for market-rate units; and $715 to $1,811 for three-bedroom affordable units. Affordable units will serve households earning between 30% and 80% of Area Median Income. The first residents are expected to begin moving in to Cove on the Bay in January.
Cove on the Bay is close to shopping, dining and recreational destinations, as well as ferry, bus and rail service. The complex is close to routes 35 and 36, Garden State Parkway and recreational areas such as Sandy Hook Beach and Recreation Area, Cheesequake State Park, Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids Waterpark.
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 programs, visit www.njhousing.gov.