JERSEY CITY, N.J. – WinnCompanies, a multifamily property development and management company, joined with Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop and New Jersey housing leaders to formally begin work on a $15.4-million rehabilitation that will preserve 131 units of affordable housing for the next three decades.
Scheduled for completion by the start of 2017, the top-to-bottom renovation effort will completely modernize the apartments, grounds and safety systems at Brunswick Estates, and address substantial deferred maintenance needs, including lingering damage from Hurricane Sandy and ADA compliance issues.
“This high-impact project is evidence of our commitment to partner with Jersey City and the State of New Jersey in their efforts to preserve and create badly needed, quality affordable housing communities,” said Gilbert Winn, CEO of WinnCompanies. “With the support of our public and private partners, WinnDevelopment looks forward not only to an extensive physical upgrade of the Brunswick Estates community but also to new services that will provide our residents new pathways to an improved quality of life.”
The renovation work will modernize the kitchens, bathrooms, and interiors of all apartments, as well the exteriors of the 14 buildings on the property. Heating and plumbing systems will be upgraded. Common areas will be created within an existing central structure, and will include a management office, tenant lounge, and multimedia area.
“This is a great day for Jersey City as we begin the process of revitalizing more than 130 units of affordable housing for Jersey City residents who call the Brunswick Estates home,” said Mayor Fulop. “This is another example of how as Jersey City continues to grow, we’ve been mindful that means increasing affordable housing throughout the city to make sure that all of our residents can share in our progress.”
In conjunction with the extensive renovation effort, Greater Bergen Community Action (GBCA), a part owner of the 32-year-old property, will launch new and enhanced financial literacy services for the benefit of the community’s 400 residents.
“The mission of GBCA is to reduce poverty in our service communities by addressing the causes of it, such as the financial practices that prey on lower-income consumers, like excessively-high interest loan rates and check cashing fees,” said Robert F. Halsch, President and CEO of Greater Bergen Community Action. “Showing the Brunswick Estates residents how to bypass these familiar, but counterproductive, offerings with smarter ways to save, borrow and manage money is a critical first step to empowering them to move up to a stronger future.”
In addition to GBCA, the public-private partners in the project are: The Jersey City Division of Community Development; the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA); the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA); the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development; Citi Community Capital; The Richman Group Affordable Housing Corporation; New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC); and, Boston Community Capital.
“As we continue to replenish the rental housing stock lost to Superstorm Sandy, which included buildings damaged or wiped out through the effects of the natural disaster or others that were immediately occupied by residents evacuating their homes, we are happy to provide the financing for this major revitalization in one of New Jersey’s nine hardest hit counties,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “WinnDevelopment will deliver extensive interior and exterior upgrades to the community while expanding resident access to financial literacy programs and improving Jersey City’s Montgomery Street corridor. The renovation will also create amenities such as community and green spaces. It’s truly a winning scenario for Hudson County and, in particular, Jersey City families in need of affordable housing.”
Brunswick Estates is on the edge of downtown Jersey City, not far from gentrifying neighborhoods where the average price for a single family home exceeds $500,000. Under WinnCompanies’ ownership, the community, which offers rare three, four, and five-bedroom units, will remain 100 percent affordable for the next 30 years. The renovation work also will create approximately 70 construction jobs.
“The demand for attractive, safe, and well-maintained affordable family units in Jersey City is tremendous,” said Bernard Husser, Executive Vice President of The Richman Group Affordable Housing Corporation. “This terrific rehabilitation, led by WinnDevelopment and funded by a committed group of private and public funders, including the state of New Jersey and the federal government’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, will maintain this important affordable housing development in the community.”
WinnDevelopment Senior Project Director David Ginsberg will oversee the project. Construction will occur in phases to minimize disruption. The residents of eight units that need to be made ADA compliant will be temporarily relocated off site nearby for two weeks
“Citi is committed to Jersey City and particularly pleased to have provided the financing for this project” said Bryan Dickson, Director, Citi Community Capital. “We look forward to seeing the rehabilitation of these affordable units that will benefit the families residing in Brunswick Estates.”
New cabinets, countertops, sinks, fixtures, flooring, Energy Star refrigerators and gas stoves/ranges will be installed in kitchens. In bathrooms, new cabinets, shower fixtures, low flow toilets, vanities, vinyl flooring, sinks, exhaust, and caulking will be installed. Exterior work will include stucco masonry, repainting, selective repointing, new child proof double‐pane windows, fiberglass sliders, and roof replacement on the new community building.
WinnResidential, the property management arm of WinnCompanies, will manage resident and maintenance services at Brunswick Estates. WinnResidential manages nearly 2,000 apartment units in New Jersey, including three other properties in Jersey City, as well as others in Glassboro, Newark, Orange and Trenton.
The Architectural Team, of Chelsea, MA, is the architect and DiMarco Constructors, of Rochester, NY, is the general contractor on the project.