The Planning Board, last week gave final site plan approval to a 58-unit affordable artist housing complex.
The former Elizabethtown Gas property at 219 Central Ave. (Block 167, Lot 1) eventually will be acquired by the Redevelopment Agency and then flipped to the developer. Representatives of Ingerman Development Group testified for about 30 minutes during a special meeting of the Planning Board Tuesday night.
In addition to the final site plan, applicants requested an extension of up to one year to “perfect” the minor subdivision. Under the law, the applicant had 190 days (which would have been until Jan. 6), attorney Jennifer Mazaway said, but was unable to “perfect” the subdivision by then because the developer didn’t receive Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) approval until November, and also still required county approval.
Developers have come to terms with the Parking Authority to provide 36 spaces off-site in exchange for a payment of $90,000 – roughly $2,500 per space. The project will have 37 spaces on site. As a condition of approval, the project will enter into the agreement and the 36 spaces would be provided either at the Hamilton Stage lot across the river or at the YMCA lot, said Bruce Morgan, president of BCM Affordable Housing.
The name of the building, Rahway Residences for the Arts, may change if city officials are inclined to name it after someone. Morgan told the Planning Board that discussions with the city indicated that was a possibility and the developer would be flexible until such time a decision is necessary or made.
The project secured $15 million in equity with tax credits last fall, among $32 million announced in November to create some 1,700 rental units statewide. The 58 units would break down into: 24 one-bedrooms, 28 two-bedrooms, and 6 three-bedroom units.
Ingerman manages more than 6,000 units in four states, according to development associate Kevin Dowd. The community will have preference for those working in the visual and performing arts. The preference policy will be part of the site plan. Eligible residents would be required to submit a cover letter, resume, three reference and portfolio of work, in addition to credit and background checks, he said.
A survey of more than 1,000 responses supported as many as 242 units, said Dowd, and they have met with the Actors Fund, Rahway Arts District, and Union County Performing Arts Center to market the development, he said.