CAMDEN, NJ - The Michaels Organization, a national leader in residential real estate, has begun site work on Phase 2 of 2720 Fire Road, an affordable housing community in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, after successfully achieving a financial closing last week.
"We are very grateful to all our partners, especially to Executive Director Charles A. Richman and his entire team at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) for moving this effort forward during such a challenging time," said Michaels Vice President Jonathan Lubonski, the lead developer on both phases of 2720 Fire Road.
"We were able to accomplish the entire closing with all teams working remotely, moving documents both electronically and by mail, which was a first for NJHMFA."
The $15 million development will provide 60 apartments in a variety of one-, two, and three-bedroom layouts, with rents affordable to families earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
"During these uncharted times, the agency's top priority is to ensure we continue to meet our core mission of providing affordable housing to New Jerseyans," said Richman. "Through the commitment of the NJHMFA staff and Michaels, essential affordable housing opportunities for families in Atlantic County will be built."
Each Energy Star-certified apartment will offer full kitchen, living and dining areas, and a balcony/patio with outdoor storage. Residents will have access to an existing community center with management offices, laundry facility, community room with warming kitchen, and tot lot playground, which were created during the first Phase.
In addition, Michaels will preserve six acres of existing woodlands that will remain a natural green area restricted for future development. As part of the first phase, Michaels actively reforested this area with 2,500 tree and bush saplings. This reforestation effort will continue as part of the second phase.
Site activity has already begun for this second phase and the general contractor, Michaels Construction, expects to begin breaking ground soon. New Jersey has declared affordable housing an essential industry during the pandemic, so construction can move forward as originally scheduled.
Financing for the new construction includes $3.9 million in private equity derived from an investment by Berkadia in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, as well as $8.2 million in bond financing, issued from the NJHMFA. An additional $8.6 million in funding came from the state's disaster recovery fund.
Once construction is complete in early summer of 2021, the community will be managed by Michaels Management, Affordable Living, which will ensure it remains a neighborhood asset for the long-term. Other team members in this development include Kitchen & Associates serving as the master architect.