|For Immediate Release:||Contact:|
|October 17, 2012||Lisa Ryan
2012 Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Awards Announced
Excellence in Housing Revitalization, Public-Private Economic Development Partnership, Supportive Housing, and Mixed-Use Development Recognized
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Four organizations today were presented with the Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Awards in recognition of their outstanding work in these development arenas. The award ceremony took place at the 2012 Governor's Conference on Housing and Economic Development at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
"This year's award recipients are helping to make New Jersey a home for growth and we congratulate them on their outstanding projects," said New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony Marchetta, who presented the awards. "Because of the efforts of these award winners and others like them, jobs, private investment and vitality are returning to our communities and transforming New Jersey into a place where people and businesses can once again put down roots and thrive."
Representatives of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, HMFA, and New Jersey Economic Development Authority selected the winners. This year s award recipients were honored for excellence in housing revitalization, public-private economic development partnership, supportive housing, and mixed-use development.
Leading Housing Revitalization Award
Recognizes projects directed toward revitalizing or redeveloping distressed or blighted neighborhoods. Projects had to include a substantial affordable or workforce housing component.
Leading Public-Private Economic Development Partnership Award Recognizes partnerships between a New Jersey-based business that has collaborated with the state, a community, or a local economic development organization to support the redevelopment and revitalization of downtowns and enhance residents quality of life. Partnerships had to advance the state's overall vision for building tomorrow's living and working communities.
Leading Supportive Housing Development Through Creative Partnerships Award
Recognizes achievements in the creation of supportive housing designed to serve individuals with special needs such as the formerly homeless; domestic violence survivors; persons with mental, physical, or developmental disabilities; persons with HIV/AIDS; and youth aging out of foster care.
Leading Mixed-Use Development Award
Recognizes innovative mixed-use development projects that provide affordable housing, promote sustainable economic growth, and demonstrate a high level of efficiency and conservation. Projects had to be standalone mixed-use developments and advance the state's overall vision for building tomorrow's living and working communities.
A complete list of the 2012 award recipients is included below.
The NJ Governor's Conference for Housing and Economic Development is hosted by the Department of Community Affairs, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The conference is self-sustaining, funded entirely through sponsorship opportunities and registration fees.
For further information about the conference, please log on to http://www.njhousingconference.com
2012 EXCELLENCE IN HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARDS HONOREES
The Leading Housing Revitalization Award was presented to Diocesan Housing Services Corporation of the Diocese of Camden, Inc. for the Village at St. Peter's, an affordable housing community in Pleasantville, Atlantic County, for senior citizens. Located in the heart of Pleasantville's business district, the community's senior residents are within one mile of more than eighty stores, which makes it easier for the seniors to be active and attracts business for local merchants. The Village at St. Peter's is located next to St. Peter's church, school, and bell tower and is similar in design to the church's Spanish style, maintaining the historic fabric of the neighborhood. The senior community brought new life to the area and helped save the church, which was about to close. Local vendors, residents and contractors were hired to help construct the building, including minority-based and women-based enterprises. An estimated $3 million went into helping the local economy grow. The Village at St. Peter's, working with its community, created a better Pleasantville.
The Leading Public-Private Economic Development Partnership Award was presented to Thorlabs, located in Newton, Sussex County, for its new three-story, 120,000-square-foot facility at 56 Sparta Avenue in Newton. The site was vacant for 20 years until Thorlabs, a leading worldwide manufacturer of photonics equipment, transformed the property into its world headquarters location. Subsequent construction phases are planned for the next 7-10 years and will ultimately expand the company s space to include approximately 300,000 square feet. The new site will serve as the central hub for Thorlabs sales, service, research and development, and manufacturing operations. Redevelopment of this site was an integral piece of the Newton Urban Design Plan and Newton Master Plan, which call for the area surrounding the site to become a neighborhood center. Newton and Sussex County partnered with Thorlabs to provide $10.5 million in public subsidies. Their cooperative effort helped to bring the high-tech facility to Newton where Thorlabs more than 300 employees are within walking distance of shops and eateries in Newton s downtown.
The Leading Supportive Housing Development through Creative Partnerships Award was presented to NewBridge Services, Inc. for Evan's Place, an affordable supportive housing community in Pompton Plains, Morris County, for individuals with special needs. NewBridge is a non-profit, community-based mental health services agency that provides a range of housing and social services to mental health consumers throughout Morris and Passaic counties.
Opening its doors in January 2011, Evan's Place became home to 11 individuals living with mental illness and developmental disabilities and survivors of domestic violence. Because the residents all have low or very low incomes, NewBridge secured state housing vouchers from the Department of Community Affairs, allowing tenants to pay 30 percent of their income toward rent and utilities. To help tenants become as self-sufficient as possible, NewBridge offers case management services, including assistance with medications, transportation, socialization and financial management.
The Leading Mixed-Use Development Award was presented to RPM Development for Franklin Boulevard Commons, a four-story, mixed-used building in Franklin Township, Somerset County. Located in the heart of the Route 27 corridor at Booker Street, the building has 66 rental units and 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, including the Tropicana, a full service supermarket that carries fresh fruits and vegetables as well as a selection of ethnic foods that serve the neighborhood population. The building, which is within walking distance of several bus lines, promotes transit connections and multimodal transportation, while providing ample parking for residents and retail consumers who chose to drive. Through its construction, the project generated 72 on-site construction jobs. Also, the retail establishments at Franklin Boulevard Commons each generate full-time positions on-site, as well as support staff in other locations. Franklin Boulevard Commons received designations from both NJ Energy Star and LEED for its commitment to sustainability demonstrated through the design, construction and materials selected for the building.