COMMUNITY INVESTMENT STRATEGIES FILLS NEED FOR AFFORDABLE APARTMENT HOMES IN WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP, N.J.
The Oaks at Weatherby Achieves 100-Percent Occupancy
WOOLWICH, N.J., Aug. 29, 2011 – Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., a fully integrated real estate organization, has completely leased its newest affordable apartment-rental community, The Oaks at Weatherbyin Gloucester County’s Woolwich Township. Located on Village Green Drive and Center Square Road, The Oaks is the first of three affordable communities to be completed within Weatherby, a 1,600-acre master-planned community.
The 86-unit community fills a surging need for affordable, maintenance-free living options in the county, according to Christiana Foglio, founder/owner and chief executive officer of CIS. The township’s strategic location and access to mass transit, as well as an extensive highway infrastructure and outstanding school district, have transformed this once-rural farming area to a popular suburban bedroom community favored by commuters.
“Woolwich Township, one of the nation’s fastest growing municipalities, has experienced a historic population surge since 2010. The result was a significant shortfall in local affordable rental housing options. Because of these existing conditions, The Oaks was able to achieve full occupancy levels much faster than initially projected,” said Foglio.
“The Oaks has set the benchmark to which other fixed-income and market-rate communities throughout South Jersey should be held,” said Giuseppe “Joe” Chila, Woolwich Township committeeman and county freeholder. “As the result of a true public/private partnership between township officials and private developers, modern construction and designs, The Oaks fills a distinct community need and reflects the character of the surrounding Weatherby neighborhoods as well as greater Woolwich Township.”
The Oaks at Weatherby features eight newly constructed three-story buildings comprised of 8, 10 or 12 one-, two- and/or three-bedroom units, ranging from approximately 700 square feet to 1,400 square feet. Each well-appointed apartment home incorporates a host of new amenities, including wall-to-wall carpeting, Energy Star-rated appliances, new kitchens, full-sized washers and dryers, spacious closets and central air conditioning.
“To create a single-family home atmosphere at The Oaks, we incorporated direct front-door entry for each unit, similar to that of a townhouse community, so that everyone has their own address, their own front steps,” said Barbara Schoor, CIS vice president. “While this may seem like a simple design element, it has had tremendous impact on our tenants, many of whom associate a private front door and steps with homeownership.”
The club-like complex also offers tenants use of a 1,750-square-foot community center, complete with a full-sized kitchen and rooftop solar panels. Additional amenities include social programs developed to support families, professionally landscaped grounds and a children’s play area. Convenience shopping, NJ Transit bus lines, a bank, church and elementary school all are within walking distance.
Based in Lawrenceville, N.J., CIS is a fully integrated real estate organization specializing in multi-family housing, including 55+, senior housing and mixed-use redevelopments, as well as market-rate and affordable housing. The for-profit woman owned company’s in-house finance, development, construction and management services are an extension of CIS’ “people first philosophy” and commitment to build value-added communities for area residents, children, municipalities and local businesses.
Since its founding in 1994, CIS has developed a broad spectrum of multi-family properties, ranging from garden apartments to mid- and hi-rise complexes, valued in excess of $350 million. The company’s diverse portfolio includes more than 2,000 apartment-rental units in New Jersey.