The Township of Ocean, Community Investments Strategies, and residents celebrate the grand opening of Heritage Village at Oakhurst

Heritage Village at Oakhurst Ribbon Cutting

Heritage Village at Oakhurst addresses the need for affordable senior housing and provides aging-in-place services.

OAKHURST, N.J. (June 16, 2017) – State, county, local officials, and residents joined Community Investment Strategies, Inc. (CIS), a recognized builder of award-winning multi-family housing communities throughout New Jersey, for a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil Heritage Village at Oakhurst, an affordable age-restricted housing community in Ocean Township, Monmouth County

“CIS is pleased to add Heritage at Oakhurst to our growing family of senior communities in Ocean Township and Monmouth County,” said Christiana Foglio, CEO of CIS.  “We are also excited to announce our strategic partnership with RWJBarnabas- Monmouth Medical under Care Strategies, which will offer community health services right here in Oakhurst and at our sister properties in Monmouth County, including Heritage Village at Ocean.”

Addressing the audience, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling spoke about the importance of affordable housing.  He said “our seniors should not have to leave New Jersey because they can’t afford to stay.  Having affordable options such as Heritage Village at Oakhurst means staying close to loved ones and being able to enjoy your golden years.

The four-story, 100,000 square-foot building is comprised of 93 one- and two-bedroom rental apartments and serves seniors age 55+ whose income is at or below 60% of Area Median Income ($39,480 for a one-person household).

The new construction, which replaces affordable senior homes in the area that were destroyed by flooding, incorporate specific resiliency design elements to prevent and address potential weather and disaster related events.  Apartment amenities include central heating and air conditioning, energy efficient appliances, high quality floors, LED lighting, washer/dryer hookups, high speed internet, intercom, and emergency pull cords.

The smoke free, pet friendly community features on-site management, 24-hour emergency maintenance, key fob entry, security cameras, on-site parking, and ample community space including a large community room, outdoor patio, library, lounge, computer room, fitness studio, and a wellness center.

Mayor Siciliano said “The persistence of Christiana Foglio has paid off in spades.  By bringing this project to the Township of Ocean, not only has she provided an affordable option for many of our local residents, she has provided something that has no price tag – the social benefit to many seniors once living alone, now has them thriving in an atmosphere, which is essential to all humans.  On behalf of our seniors and the Township of Ocean, I wish to thank Christiana and the CIS team for their diligence in bringing Heritage Village to our community.”

Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling each presented a framed resolution to CIS recognizing their work in providing affordable senior housing.

CIS has rapidly become a leader in senior independent and assisted senior services in Monmouth County.  Its expanded services now include a sister company ONORA health, providing a memory care residence in Ocean Township, as well as Care Strategies, offering assisted living services in all our senior facilities in Monmouth County.  CIS is a national leader is creating housing and health structures to keep seniors healthy and independent longer.

Financing includes HMFA Construction and Permanent Financing, Community Block Development Grant Disaster Recovery Fund for Multifamily Recovery, NJHMFA Special Need Housing Trust Funds, Monmouth County HOME Funds, and Township Of Ocean. Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity is provided by Enterprise Community Investments.

 Speakers included Ocean Township Mayor Christopher P. Siciliano; Senator Jennifer Beck; Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling; NJHMFA Executive Director Anthony Marchetta; Monmouth County Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone; HUD Field Office Director Maria Maio-Messano.

Christiana Foglio Delivers Keynote Address to Douglass College Class of 2017

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On Saturday, May 13, 2017, the Douglass community gathered in Voorhees Chapel, Hickman Hall, and Trayes Hall to celebrate the achievements of the Douglass Class of 2017.

Alumna Christiana Foglio DC’84 gave the keynote address, asking graduates “what do they believe is possible,” and passing along several life lessons. Chris challenged the graduates to pass on their success to others, and shared how Douglass alumnae have encouraged and supported her throughout her career.

She is a very involved alumna, giving of her time and resources to help not only Douglass, but also Rutgers’ Bloustein School and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She places a priority on helping women who are facing challenges in their lives, from collaborating with single, working mothers on the design of low and middle-income housing developments, to helping breast cancer patients in their recovery.

Throughout her speech Chris encouraged the Class of 2017 to reflect on the Douglass legacy of education, achievement, and success, and reflect on how they will use their success. She left the new graduates with the parting challenge – “Today’s challenge is to never let yourself forget, that the true measure of a life well-lived, is not the number of things that you will leave behind, but by the number of lives that you will touch that will go on to touch the lives of others. So invest in encouraging one another. Dare to be your sister’s keeper…Things don’t make life better, people like you do.”

Reprinted from Douglass Spotlight

Community Gardens at Windsor Crescent

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Spring of 2017 is upon us and plans to revitalize the community gardens at Windsor Crescent, a rental community located in Jackson, NJ are underway. The residents are excited to begin the growing season and prepare the ten raised beds for planting. The program is a collaboration between Community Investment Strategies, BEAM, Building Empowerment Advancing Mobility, a non-profit corporation and Groundwork Elizabeth’s Community Gardening Program. A common vision of “changing places, changing lives” inspires the plan created for Windsor Crescent.

There is much preparation required before planting begins. The residents were eager to begin weeding and cleaning up the beds before spreading new topsoil, compost and fertilizer. It is a labor of love for many of the residents and their children as they learn how to garden, harvest and prepare healthy, nutritious foods that they have grown.

This year, a water saving irrigation system was installed for the drought conditions during the hottest summer months. Once preparations were complete, the fruits and vegetables were planted by the residents. The plant selection chosen with input from the residents include tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, cucumber, basil, beans, mint and strawberries.

The goal of this garden is to engage the residents and provide the educational, environmental and nutritional benefits of gardening. We are so excited to share in this worthwhile initiative that allows the participants to reap the “fruits” of their labor and take pride in maintaining the garden.

Community Investment Stategies Garners Four FAME Awards

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Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., a full service real estate firm, received four Fabulous Achievement in Marketing Excellence (FAME) awards from the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey (SBACNJ). The 14th annual awards banquet, held at South Gate Manor, was attended by more than 200 members and associates of the building industry.

“We’re honored to receive these awards which recognize the hard work and dedication that our development, construction and management staff show all year long,” said Christiana Foglio, founder/owner and chief executive officer of CIS.

Westminster Heights received the first FAME award of the evening for Best Redevelopment of a Residential Project. The affordable, 84 apartment-home community in Elizabeth, N.J. is the second phase of the major Oakwood Plaza Redevelopment. Winning in this category illustrates how CIS has raised the standards when it comes to rehabilitation projects for low income families.

Heritage Village at Bloomfield, an affordable, 82 apartment-home community for active adults 55+ won two FAME awards – Best Architectural Design and Best Interior Merchandising of a Multifamily Community. Located in the Bloomfield historic district, the exceptional design of the community seamlessly blends classic and contemporary styles. The building features a glass entryway, floor-to-ceiling windows, recessed lighting, and a mix of hard-wood and ceramic-tile flooring. Common areas of the building are well-appointed with art, merchandise, and plants to enhance each space including a large community room with catering kitchen and fireplace, fitness center, wellness suite library, computer room, and courtyard.

Additionally, Heritage Village at Ocean won the FAME award for Best Landscaping of a Multifamily Community. The affordable, 96-apartment-home community for active adults 55+ is located in a park-like setting with a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers throughout the property. Residents enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle and are close to some of the best beaches in New Jersey.

“The evening was superb,” said Samantha Hennessey, project coordinator at CIS. “We submit our affordable communities knowing we are up against market-rate properties. Winning these awards show our product is comparable to some of the best housing in the state and we are proud to compete against them.”

CIS Communities Featured in Affordable Housing Finance Article

Bayshore Village AHF Article

Community Investment Strategies is excited and honored to have been recently featured in an article by Affordable Housing Finance.

Affordable Housing Finance (AHF) is a publication devoted to providing editorial pieces serving the low-income housing industry.  Their main focus in on financing options, development strategies, and management techniques to the owners, managers, developers, and agencies involved in affordable housing.

The AHF article highlights one of Community Investment Strategies’ newest 62+ communities, Bayshore Village.  Bayshore Village, located in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown, N.J., replaces a 96-unit development that was partially destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.  CIS developers were able to renew this damaged community and turn it into a brand new 110-unit building for seniors 62 and older.

Superstorm Sandy changed that way that we view building, rehabilitating and operating affordable housing developments.  In fact, CIS took part in a 3 year-long Learning Collaborate for Multifamily Housing Resilience following Superstorm Sandy.  The Learning Collaborate featured a dozen developers from New Jersey and New York.  It provided key support and knowledge in the recovery and rebuilding process that takes place after such natural disasters.

AHF goes on to explain how CIS was affected and inspired by the Learning Collaborate and discusses how our development team utilized critical lessons learned to make Bayshore Village a safer and structurally stronger estate. Bayshore Village is located close to the shoreline, so we knew that we had to have a solid plan of protecting the building and its residents if another storm were to ever strike.

Lastly, AHF and CIS mutually stress how important it is that multifamily and affordable housing organizations have preventative and protective measures in place for natural disasters.

We are so excited to be featured in this article and hope that you give it a read!  To view the article in its entirety, visit: http://www.housingfinance.com/developments/new-senior-development-in-new-jersey-model-of-resiliency_o

 

Community Spotlight: Heritage Village at Lambertville

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Community Investment Strategies is pleased to highlight one of our 55+ communities, Heritage Village in Lambertville.  Our Heritage Village concept is an independent living, affordable housing opportunity serving as a sensible rental alternative to the rising cost of homeownership and maintenance in New Jersey.  Our communities offer value-savvy and active adult residents a well-mannered lifestyle at unbeatable pricing.

Our Lambertville community offers a plethora of top-notch amenities to its residents.  Right on sight you’ll find a great variety of recreational, social, and educational activities.  You’ll have access to our community fitness center, library, and multipurpose meeting rooms to use at your convenience.  There are ongoing lecture series on topics such as arts and crafts, health, and wellness.  We also have a wellness room where residents can receive health and medical consultation.  There is also transportation available, so driving is not an essential means of getting where you need.

Our one and two bedroom apartments are pet friendly, are fully equipped with efficient appliances, and provide wheelchair accessibility.  Each home come with desirable standard features such as wall-to-wall carpeting, no-wax vinyl floors, quality kitchen cabinets, and central air conditioning and heating.  There is full access available to sundecks, elegant lounge areas, and courtyards, so finding a place to relax is a piece of cake.  Best of all, there is on-site maintenance available for whenever you need assistance.

If you wish to venture outside of your living community, you will find yourself in the heart of a charming, historic town.  Lambertville is known for its antique and boutique shopping, cozy coffee shops, delicious restaurants, and historic tour opportunities.  If you enjoy the outdoors, you are close to the beautiful Delaware Canal and scenic nature trails.  Besides the family owned grocery and convenient stores, you’re also just minutes from essentials like Shop Rite, CVS Pharmacy, Walmart, Walgreens, Acme, and more!  Best yet, you are just across the bridge from New Hope, Pennsylvania, which is a mecca for shopping, fashion, and entertainment.  The possibilities for fun, adventure, and relaxation are endless!

Heritage Village at Lambertville offers residents a quality lifestyle at an extremely affordable price.  Live the life you choose, free from the responsibility of maintaining a home. It’s time to relax and enjoy your leisure time and the things you’ve always loved doing. Come visit Heritage Village at Lambertville!

Bayshore Village Hard-Hat Tour Brings to Life Lessons from Superstorm Sandy and the Learning Collaborative for Multifamily Housing Resilience

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State and local officials join Community Investment Strategies, Middletown Senior Citizens Housing Corporation and Enterprise Community Investment at a property that replaces an affordable seniors development destroyed by Sandy and serve as a model for resilience

Federal, state and local officials including Deputy Mayor Anthony P. Fiore; Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr.; Thomas A. Arnone, Director, Monmouth County Freeholder; Anthony Marchetta, Executive Director of NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency; and Maria Maio, Representative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today joined developer and owner Community Investment Strategies, Middletown Senior Citizens Housing Corporation and Enterprise Community Investment for a Hard-Hat Tour of Bayshore Village.

Consisting of 110 affordable apartments for seniors age 62 and older, Bayshore Village is critically needed replacement housing for a 96-apartment affordable senior community which was partially destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in Monmouth County – one of the areas hit hardest during the historic hurricane that damaged or destroyed more than 600,000 homes in New Jersey and New York alone.

Bayshore Village incorporates lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy generated by the Learning Collaborative for Multifamily Housing Resilience, of which Community Investment Strategies was a part. Convened by Enterprise Community Partners, the parent organization of Enterprise Community Investment (collectively known as Enterprise), following Superstorm Sandy as part of their Recovery and Rebuilding Program, the Learning Collaborative provided a forum for a broad community of affordable multifamily housing groups to share experiences and best practices to improve the resiliency of their affordable housing properties and safeguard them from future crises.

“Sandy changed the way we think about building and renovating affordable housing,” said Christiana Foglio, owner and CEO, Community Investment Strategies. “Following the storm and lessons we took from our experience with the Learning Collaborative, we’re extremely diligent in terms of thinking through weather impact and disaster preparedness.”

Building on these lessons, Bayshore Village is located above flood elevation and includes specific design elements to prevent and address weather- and disaster-related events such as durable cement-board exteriors; impact-resilient windows; LED lighting; an emergency generator, bathrooms, showers and elevators that work during extended power loss; and an energy-efficient ventilation system.

When Bayshore Village is completed in spring 2017, displaced residents will have first priority to return to the new three-story, 100,000-square-foot handicap accessible building with 14 two-bedroom units and 96 one-bedroom apartments. Rents will range from $755 to $1,025 including amenities such as a fitness center, community room with fireplace and catering kitchen, library, computer room, wellness center, laundry facilities, key fob entry, security cameras and on-site parking.

Financing for Bayshore Village includes tax-exempt bonds and Sandy Disaster Recovery Community Development Block Grant funds provided by NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and $8.2 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity syndicated by Enterprise Community Investment, whose investor is JPMorgan Capital Corporation.

“Enterprise is proud to work with Community Investment Strategies and all of the partners involved in making Bayshore Village a reality,” said Raoul Moore, SVP of tax credit syndication at Enterprise Community Investment. “It’s a critically needed development that represents the best of what Enterprise and its partners bring to the table to create high quality, resilient affordable housing in New Jersey and nationwide.”

Photo: (Left to Right) Mark Issa, President, CIS Construction; Christiana Foglio, CEO, Community Investment Strategies; Barbara Schoor, Vice President, Community Investment Strategies; Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr.; Thomas Arnone, Monmouth County Freeholder; Maria Maio, HUD Representative; Pamela Moore, PRC Group; Serena DiMaso, Monmouth County Freeholder; Raoul Moore, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Community Partners; Anthony Marchetta, Executive Director, NJHMFA; Anthony P. Fiore, Deputy Mayor of Middletown; Kevin M. Settembrino, Middletown City Council; William Bouw, Treasurer, MSCHC; Catherine Rogers, President, MSCHC; Carmen Peterson, Vice President, MSCHC; Andrew Bane, Director, MSCHC; Ned Hammond, Director, MSCHC.

Since 1994, Community Investment Strategies has been a leading developer of multifamily housing, including 55-plus, senior housing and mixed-use redevelopments, as well as market-rate and affordable housing. The company’s diverse portfolio includes more than 3,000 apartment rental units. CIS has been recognized for its award-winning communities, corporate citizenship and advocacy, as well as its people-first philosophy. A woman-owned business enterprise, the firm is committed to promoting gender and ethnic diversity throughout its own organization as well as the communities in which its projects are located. For more information, visit www.communityinvestmentstrategies.com.

Enterprise works with partners nationwide to build opportunity. We create and advocate for affordable homes in thriving communities linked to good schools, jobs, transit and health care. We lend funds, finance development and manage and build affordable housing, while shaping new strategies, solutions and policy. Over more than 30 years, Enterprise has created nearly 358,000 homes, invested $23.4 billion and touched millions of lives. Join us at www.EnterpriseCommunity.com or www.EnterpriseCommunity.org.