THE GARDENS AT BIRMINGHAM EARN FEDERAL LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDITS TO FACILITATE CONSTRUCTION
Affordable Housing Community to be First New Construction of Apartments in Ewing Township in 40 Years
EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J., Sept. 20, 2012 – The Gardens at Birmingham, a planned 48-unit affordable housing community on a portion of the former Naval Air Warfare Center, has been awarded Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) by the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). The funds will generate more than $9 million in equity for the project, which is a joint venture being developed by Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., of Lawrenceville, N.J., with W. Barry Rank, an attorney/developer from Pennington, N.J.
Conceived in collaboration with township officials, who are allocating $250,000 in affordable housing trust funds toward the project, The Gardens at Birmingham will break ground in the final quarter of this year. Completion and occupancy are slated for late summer 2013.
“This is a very exciting project for CIS and Ewing Township, which has not added any new apartment buildings to its housing stock in 40-plus years,” said Christiana Foglio, CIS founder and CEO and a licensed professional planner. “As the first phase of development within the Naval Air Warfare Center, The Gardens will offer local hard-working residents a newly constructed apartment home – the equivalent to the ‘American dream’ – while serving as a catalyst for future, responsible mixed-use redevelopment.”
The former Naval Air Warfare Center on Parkway Avenue, which conceived major aeronautical defense weapons for the U.S. Navy, including the cruise missile, is part of a redevelopment area being targeted by local officials and residents, who are seeking to revitalize this district. Comprised of three land parcels totaling 145 acres, the Parkway Avenue Redevelopment Area is strategically located along one of the township’s major thoroughfares. The Gardens at Birmingham is located adjacent to a shopping center, owned by Mr. Rank, which includes a grocery store, childcare center and restaurants. NJ Transit bus service is also available.
“The Gardens is an example of how a well-planned, well-constructed affordable housing community can add tremendous value to not only one specific neighborhood, but an entire municipality as a whole,” added Barbara Schoor, CIS’ vice president who is spearheading the project.
The Garden’s designs reflect the residential character of the surrounding area. The community incorporates affordable living with a maintenance-free lifestyle and numerous amenities. Each of the one-, two- and three-bedroom units feature energy-efficient appliances, washers and dryers and dishwashers; and many units have pantries and linen closets. Residents will benefit from 24-hour emergency maintenance services and on-site property management, provided by CIS’ affiliate, CIS Management, Inc.
Established in 1994, CIS is a for-profit, certified woman-owned business enterprise (WBE). The company specializes in developing a broad spectrum of multi-family properties, ranging from multiplex apartments and townhomes to garden-style and mid- and high-rise complexes, valued in excess of $350 million. In addition to The Gardens, the company is currently redeveloping 183 new affordable apartment-rental units; on-site management offices and a superintendent’s unit; and a new community clubhouse in North Brunswick, N.J.
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