Township of North Brunswick, N.J., and Community Investment Strategies, Inc. Partner to Redevelop Former Oak Leaf Village Apartments

Top Quote Plans include Replacing Distressed Units with 183 New Affordable Apartment Rental Units. End Quote
  • New York, NY (1888PressRelease) March 31, 2012 - The Township of North Brunswick, N.J., and Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., announced that they are collaborating to redevelop the distressed Oak Leaf Village Apartments, market-rate garden apartments located on Oak Tree Road in the municipality. Once completed, the new apartment-home complex will be renamed North Brunswick Crescent and will feature a total of 183 new affordable apartment-rental units; on-site management offices and a superintendent's unit; and a new community clubhouse.

    The Township is contributing $5.25 million from the North Brunswick Affordable Housing Trust Fund and will receive Fair Housing Act obligation credits. CIS, a leading developer of multi-family housing, including 55+, senior housing and mixed-use redevelopments, as well as market-rate and affordable housing, acquired the property through receivership. The Lawrenceville, N.J.-based company will convert the existing units to affordable housing units for low-to-moderate income residents.

    "This comprehensive rehabilitation will greatly improve the quality of housing in North Brunswick and provide safe, attractive, well-managed and much needed affordable housing for families at North Brunswick Crescent," said Mayor Francis "Mac" Womack III. "CIS' willingness to work with Township officials and local residents and their outstanding reputation throughout New Jersey for improving overall neighborhood stability are exemplary."

    Plans include a $13 million gut rehabilitation of the existing 16 two-story buildings in phases. In addition to remedying existing issues, such as replacing electrical, heating and plumbing systems, the redevelopment will incorporate improved walkways and landscaping, energy-efficient systems, updated interior finishes and fixtures, a tot lot and repair/replacement of water and sewer service lines.

    North Brunswick Crescent will incorporate affordable living with a maintenance-free lifestyle and numerous amenities. Each modern energy-efficient apartment home will include washers and dryers and central air conditioning. Residents also will benefit from 24-hour emergency maintenance and on-site 24/7 property management services provided by CIS' affiliate, CIS Management, Inc.

    "In keeping with our business philosophy to empower people through physical space, we are proud to be partnering with the Township of North Brunswick to restore this neighborhood with a creative housing solution that supports the lifestyle and economic needs of local residents," said CIS Founder and CEO Christiana Foglio.

    In addition to the Township's Affordable Housing Trust Fund contribution, CIS secured interim financing through North Jersey Community Bank. The company will work with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) and a permanent lender to secure additional funding for the revitalization initiative. CIS also will employ federal LIHTC to raise equity for the improvements.

    "North Jersey Community Bank is pleased to partner with Community Investment Strategies in order to deploy capital that facilitates the redevelopment of North Brunswick Crescent - a high-caliber project that will surely benefit one and all in the Township of North Brunswick," said Frank Sorrentino III, the bank's chairman & CEO.

    The North Brunswick Crescent redevelopment is consistent with the Township Master Plan and marks a new era in revitalization efforts to attract businesses, residences and cultural and recreational opportunities. The apartment-home community is located in a Metropolitan Planning Area and designated Smart Growth Area, just one-quarter of a mile from Route 27. This local commercial corridor offers residents access to shopping, recreation, healthcare, employment hubs and mass transit links.

    CIS has successfully repositioned numerous properties in Elizabeth, Glassboro, Bordentown and Rahway, N.J. The for-profit, certified woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) 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.

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