By Joshua Burd
A mixed-income project that will bring 100 new apartments to Essex County is slated for delivery by year-end, as its developers gathered last week to mark a construction milestone.
A joint venture of The Alpert Group, Ironstate Development Co. and HANDS — or Housing and Neighborhood Development Services Inc. — is building the project known as Valley Road Residential. Located at 22 Central Ave., the development is slated to include 45 market-rate apartments and 55 that are affordable for households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income, seven of which will go to residents earning 30 percent of the AMI or less.
Officials from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, which is subsidizing the project, joined local officials and representatives of The Alpert Group last week to mark the completion of the building’s five-story frame.
“Mixed-income developments increase community and economic diversity and bolster the long-term vitality of the neighborhood,” said Charles A. Richman, the HMFA’s executive director. “Valley Road Residential’s proximity to transportation and access to job opportunities, along with walkability to neighborhood amenities, make it especially appealing.”
The developers have built Valley Road Residential, a $29.7 million project, on a former brownfield industrial site adjacent to the Highland Avenue train station and near the border with Orange. The complex will also sit adjacent to another multifamily project, the Harvard Printing Apartments, which was built by the same team with assistance from the HMFA.
To finance Valley Road Residential, the joint venture received 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the HMFA that are expected to generate $12.5 million in private equity, the agency said. The project, which sits within an up-and-coming arts district, also received funding from West Orange’s affordable housing trust fund.
Rents on the one- to three-bedroom apartments will range from $449 to $1,361 for the affordable units and $1,500 to $1,795 for market-rate units, according to a news release. The development also includes on-site parking, a community room and common laundry facilities.
“The Valley Road apartments are an exciting addition to the West Orange neighborhood and will provide families and young people entering the workforce a high-quality place to live that’s close to public transportation,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who also chairs the HMFA board and serves as commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs. “Governor Murphy and I, along with our partners at NJHMFA and the Alpert Group, are pleased to continue to build affordable living opportunities in New Jersey for working families and young people with projects like this.”