A rendering of a 56-unit apartment building at 722 Chancellor Ave. in Irvington — Courtesy: OCA Architects Inc.
By Joshua Burd
A development team has broken ground on a 56-unit apartment building in Irvington that will serve low- and moderate-income renters and residents with special needs.
The partnership, which includes The NRP Group and local developer Adenah Bayoh, joined public officials this week to kick off the project at 722 Chancellor Ave. Slated for completion in fall 2022, the five-story building will house a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units reserved for residents earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income, while helping to revitalize a major intersection in the township.
“This 100 percent affordable apartment community will help address Irvington’s need for more quality affordable housing options, and will keep working families from having to look outside of our town to find accommodations within their income profiles,” Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss said. “I have long championed economic development as an indispensable means to build our local economy and make Irvington safe and clean. Irvington is one of the most beautiful and convenient places to live, and we have fought hard to achieve economic gains. The addition of 722 Chancellor Avenue builds on this momentum.”
The development team includes NRP, a Cleveland, Ohio-based firm with a growing footprint in New Jersey, and Bayoh, a local entrepreneur who has been spearheading the redevelopment of the nearby Irvington General Hospital site. Bayoh’s other real estate holdings include multifamily properties throughout Irvington, Newark and northern New Jersey.
“With NRP’s mission to provide exceptional housing for people regardless of income, we’re looking forward to helping fulfill the significant demand for affordable options within the Irvington community,” said J. David Heller, principal, CEO and president of The NRP Group. “By working in tandem with the township and Adenah, this project will encourage the growth of, and investment in Irvington, while also enabling working families to continue contributing to its strong sense of community and sharing in the fruit of its resurgent economic prosperity.”
Five of the units at 722 Chancellor Ave. will be reserved for residents with special needs, who will receive supportive services from the YMCA of Greater Newark, according to a news release. The Urban League of Essex County will also provide social services to all residents of the community.
Meantime, apartments at the building will feature high-end finishes and appliances, high-speed internet access and intercoms, the news release said. Residents will also have free on-site parking, a community center for programmed activities, a fitness center, a children’s playroom and other amenity spaces.
Additionally, the developers noted that the project will create new construction and property management jobs.
“722 Chancellor Avenue will create ripples far beyond the building’s physical footprint,” said Jonathan Gertman, vice president of development at The NRP Group. “We’re thrilled to be working closely with the township of Irvington and thankful that The NRP Group was selected to be Adenah’s development partner on this project. Adenah is a tireless and visionary entrepreneur dedicated to this community and improving the lives of Irvington residents.”
Residents of 722 Chancellor Ave. will have an NJ Transit bus stop outside the building, along with quick access to the Garden State Parkway.
“This redevelopment initiative was born from my larger vision to revitalize marginalized communities and provide impactful projects to the township of Irvington,” said Bayoh, who leads Adenah Bayoh and Cos. “This project is continuing my passion for providing best-in-class affordable housing to individuals and families at every and all income levels and fulfilling the needs of the community. The NRP Group was a natural choice as a development partner for this project given their unprecedented level of expertise and experience with affordable housing. I look forward to doing more projects like this in the future.”
Financing partners include the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Hudson Housing, the township of Irvington and Greater Newark LISC. In addition, the Irvington Housing Authority is providing five project-based vouchers.
“This development demonstrates an impactful use of underutilized land, creating much-needed affordable housing in a high opportunity, vibrant area,” said Melanie R. Walter, the HMFA’s executive director. “We are honored to provide capital funding that helps working families live, work, go to school, and grow in this community.”
Leasing is slated to begin in June 2022, with final completion scheduled for November 2022.