City of Elizabeth, N.J., and Community Investment Strategies, Inc. Celebrate Official Opening of Waters Edge Crescent

Top Quote Project's Successful Transition from Homeownership to Affordable Apartment Rentals Results in 100% Occupancy. End Quote
  • Trenton-Ewing, NJ (1888PressRelease) June 17, 2011 - City of Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage and the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth (HACE) recently marked the official opening of Waters Edge Crescent, a 71-unit affordable rental community located in the heart of Elizabethport on Magnolia Avenue. Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., the developer and property manager, in cooperation with R. Stone & Company, the contractor, transitioned the project from a homeownership to an apartment-rental community. The ribbon cutting ceremony can be viewed at:

    "Offering affordable and market-rate housing options for families, Waters Edge Crescent is meeting the diverse needs of our city," said Mayor Bollwage. "Achieved through public, private and community partnerships, this exciting transformation contributes to the beautification of our municipal landscape and creates increased opportunities for our residents."

    Originally planned as a 48-unit for-sale townhome community, Waters Edge Crescent was transitioned to a 71-unit tax credit rental community in the aftermath of the residential housing foreclosure crisis in 2008. Utilizing the completed site work, utility installations and foundations for 12 units at the 2.38-acre property, Lawrenceville, N.J.-based CIS amended its original plan to respond to an anticipated community need.

    "Redevelopment of the former Migliore Manor site has provided a great opportunity for families of modest income to lease modern, spacious housing that is well within their financial means," said William D. Jones, HACE executive director. "On behalf of all the Elizabeth Housing Authority Commissioners, we are very proud of the effort that led to the completion of Waters Edge Crescent."

    Waters Edge Crescent includes 9 one-bedroom, 23 two-bedroom and 38 three-bedroom units, of which three are stand-alone units. Each Energy Star-rated unit includes hardwood floors, ceramic tile in kitchens and bathrooms, Kohler fixtures and energy-efficient GE appliances and maintenance-free exteriors. Many of the units have garages as well as balconies and waterfront views. Residents also benefit from an on-site community center and 24/7 property management services.

    "This transition was a great success, thanks to the efforts of the development team, Mayor Bollwage and members of the Housing Authority," said Christiana Foglio, founder/owner and CEO of CIS. "These units are exceptional because of their high-quality amenities and finishes, which are not typically incorporated into a rental community."

    Rents range from $625 to $1,070, based on unit size and tenant income range. Eleven units are designated for public housing residents who pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, and one unit is reserved for a live-in superintendent.

    Waters Edge Crescent is a beautiful compliment to the other residential housing built in Elizabethport, a neighborhood revitalized as part of the federal HOPE VI grant program. The City of Elizabeth launched its HOPE VI Revitalization Program in 1997.

    The total development cost of Waters Edge Crescent was $21,474,489. Financing for Waters Edge Crescent totaled $13,683,770 in tax credit equity; $2,552,535 in Tax Credit Assistance funds from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA); $2.3 million in Replacement Housing Funds from HACE; and $607,905 from Elizabeth Development Company's Urban Enterprise Zone Program. CapitalOne Bank provided construction loan financing, and NJHMFA is providing a 30-year permanent loan of $1,910,276.

    CIS and its subsidiaries also developed, constructed and now manage Heritage Village at Elizabeth, an affordable senior residential community, and Portside II, an affordable family residential community, both completed in 2006 as part of the HOPE VI Program.

    CIS specializes in multi-family housing, including 55+, senior housing and mixed-use redevelopments. The for-profit, certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) provides in-house development, construction and management services as an extension of its "people first" philosophy. CIS is committed to repositioning unproductive property and land parcels in order to revitalize 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 multiplex apartments and townhomes 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, with a high concentration in New Jersey.

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