Community Investment Strategies Secures Township of Florence Planning Board Approvals for Senior Affordable Housing Community

Top Quote Vacant Marcella Duffy School to be Redeveloped. End Quote
  • Trenton-Ewing, NJ (1888PressRelease) August 25, 2011 - Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., a fully integrated real estate organization, has received final approvals from the Township of Florence Planning Board for a 66-unit age-restricted affordable apartment-rental community. The Lawrenceville, N.J.-based company will replace the distressed Marcella Duffy School building on West Front Street with a 65,000-square-foot, three-story building known as Heritage Village at Duffy Manor.

    "Not only will Heritage Village at Duffy Manor help the township satisfy its affordable housing obligations, this beautiful new community will revitalize this site while meeting existing demand for high-quality, affordable new housing for active adults," said Christiana Foglio, CIS founder/owner and CEO. According to state laws, each town in New Jersey is required to provide a certain number of low- and moderate-housing units for residents.

    When completed, Heritage Village at Duffy Manor will be comprised of 61 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom units and a maintenance-free lifestyle. Each spacious unit will feature Energy Star-rated appliances, individually controlled central air conditioning and washer/dryer hookups. A fitness center, community room, health and wellness center, computer center, library and laundry facilities are among the on-site amenities. Plans also include on-site social programming and a community bus for planned outings and shopping.

    "CIS has taken great care with its architectural and construction plans to restore and/or replicate the existing elements that are unique to this historic school building, while echoing the character of the surrounding neighborhoods and fulfilling the vision of township officials and community leaders," said Barbara K. Schoor, CIS vice president, who noted construction is expected to begin in early 2012.

    CIS also is implementing sustainable elements at Heritage Village at Duffy Manor. Roof-mounted solar panels will harness the sun's energy for common areas and the property management office.

    Planning Board approval is the culmination of several years of planning to bring this project to fruition. "There's been a tremendous cooperative effort between the municipality and CIS to develop a project that was feasible under the current funding program," explained Schoor.

    The Federal Home Loan Bank of NY Affordable Housing Program has awarded $1.17 million for the $15 million project. Additional commitments include more than $1 million from the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund and $500,000 from Burlington County HOME Funds. Funding also is expected to be secured from other federal, state and local sources.

    Since its founding in 1994 as a for-profit woman-owned business enterprise (WBE), CIS has developed a broad spectrum of multi-family properties, ranging from multiplex apartments and townhomes to mid- and hi-rise complexes. The company's diverse portfolio is valued in excess of $350 million and includes more than 2,000 apartment-rental units located throughout New Jersey.

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