Site for artist housing under contract

The Redevelopment Agency has entered into a contract for the purchase of the Elizabethtown Gas Building, where affordable housing for artists is planned. About 60 units are planned for the 219 Central Ave. site.

A contract was entered into in December and a redevelopment agreement is being drafted, Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier told the Redevelopment Agency at its meeting last month.  The Redevelopment Agency in May authorized the acquisition for $1 million, with $400,000 held in escrow for remediation.

The final redevelopment agreement will address typical issues plus certain funding and financing issues, according to Redevelopment Agency attorney Frank Regan, who said the sale was executed Dec. 6.

The Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation (AFHDC) last year was replaced on the project by TRF Development Partners, a nonprofit support organization of The Reinvestment Fund. The redevelopment team now includes Crawford Street Partners, Ingerman Development CorpElizabethtown Gas building., and TRF Development Partners.

AFHDC’s parent organization, The Actors Fund, wanted to redirect its financial resources toward the delivery of social services and is “best positioned to champion projects through public promotion and marketing assistance,” according to Steve Burns of Crawford Street Partners.

TRF Development Partners has developed City Arts in Baltimore, Md., a 69-unit tax credit project plus 15 market townhomes for sale and rent, and is currently raising funds for City Arts 2, a 62-unit building with 12 market rate townhomes,  Burns said.

The New Jersey Multiple Housing Financing Agency (NJMHFA) is expected to release draft regulations for the 2014 Low Income Housing Tax Credit programs and once those are published, the development team will “be in a position to form a strategy and timetable for securing financing,” Pelissier said.

Approvals by the NJHMFA for the tax credits and financing could come during the first quarter of this year, and once construction financing is closed, construction could begin several weeks after that.

6 thoughts on “Site for artist housing under contract”

  1. My question is this, who decides who can live there? Do they define “artists” as “actors”? There are many questionable things as to how this will be carried out …

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