EAST ORANGE, NJ (May 25, 2021) - Genesis Companies, a community-focused real estate development firm, announced the completion of its rehabilitation of Vista Village at 70 South Burnet Street in East Orange, NJ. The 180-unit, 100 percent affordable residential building is dedicated to seniors and adults with disabilities. The renovations, including system updates, full unit kitchen and bathroom renovations, new windows, flooring, and more were accomplished in partnership with the East Orange Housing Authority (EOHA). Supportive services are available to residents through the Housing Authority’s existing programs, including activities, services to address food insecurity, resource referrals and COVID-19 testing and vaccination services made possible through a partnership between EOHA and the City of East Orange. Several units were also converted to meet the needs of residents with disabilities. The partnership between Genesis Companies and East Orange Housing Authority guarantees long-term affordability to those who are truly in need.
The 9-story former public housing development was approved for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, under which all residential units in the project will be subsidized through the Project-Based Section 8 program. The government-funded program provides rental housing to low-income households in privately-owned and managed rental units. The RAD conversion allows for the apartment complex to take on debt to fund the rehabilitation costs. All units are restricted to households earning 60 percent of area median income (AMI) and half are restricted to households earning 50 percent AMI on a long-term basis.
“Housing affordability is absolutely critical, and Governor Murphy and I are committed to ensuring that seniors and those living with disabilities have a safe and decent place to live in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency board chair. “This renovation project was a tremendous public and private undertaking that will provide people better access to high quality and accessible living accommodations. The entire East Orange community will greatly benefit from this major investment.”
“We applaud Genesis Companies and the East Orange Housing Authority for its commitment to building quality, affordable housing and hope the success of this strategic redevelopment sets an example for future investments,” said Mayor Ted R. Green.
“Across the tri-state region affordability remains a critical issue, particularly with residents who require additional services and support. This public-private partnership provides a framework for future developments,” said Karim Hutson, Founder and Managing Partner at Genesis Companies. “We are proud that this maintains the long-term affordability of the Vista Village Apartments and furthers our mission of keeping urban communities accessible for everyone, including New Jersey’s senior and adults with disabilities populations.”
“This redevelopment, part of our ‘Building Homes, Changing Lives’ program, will greatly enhance the quality of life for the property’s residents and provide services that are too often overlooked,” said Wilbert Gill, Executive Director of the East Orange Housing Authority. “As we continue to create new solutions to maintain affordability for all our residents, partnerships with companies like Genesis Companies are more important than ever.”
ETC Companies partnered with Genesis as the project’s general contractor. DMR Architects served as the architect of record for the project. Financing for the project’s rehabilitation was originated by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity from the sale of 4% tax credits, Replacement House Factor, Public/Housing Capital Funds, seller note from building owner, the East Orange Housing Authority, and construction and permanent financing in the form of a Citibank, N.A. term loan originated through a conduit tax-exempt bond structure with the Agency.
About Genesis Companies
Genesis Companies is a full-service real estate development firm that specializes in financing, developing and operating mixed-income and mixed-use residential projects. Since it’s founding in 2004, Genesis has been committed to strengthening communities across New York and New Jersey through disciplined real estate analysis, investment and innovative approaches.
Genesis’ decades of combined leadership experience in multifamily development includes the development of workforce, affordable and market-rate housing for individuals, families, seniors and other supportive housing. Genesis has developed a reputation for transforming underutilized or under-performing real estate assets into quality, energy-efficient projects that enhance urban centers, while remaining accessible to the residents of these communities.