The opening of Greens at Avenel, a 100-unit affordable and supportive housing complex at 1426 Rahway Ave. in Woodbridge, marks the completion of a redevelopment by Pennrose and local officials. — Courtesy: Pennrose
By Joshua Burd
Pennrose has opened the doors to a new 100-unit affordable and supportive housing complex in Woodbridge, following a four-year redevelopment effort in partnership with the township.
The developer joined local officials last week to mark the completion of Greens at Avenel, a four-story property at 1426 Rahway Ave. The project has transformed a formerly vacant and underutilized site opposite East Jersey State Prison, resulting in new living options for families and individuals with special needs.
The revitalized site also includes a new 1.25-acre youth sports field for the township.
“Today’s grand opening of the Greens at Avenel represents yet another milestone toward achieving our goal of ensuring that Woodbridge Township special needs residents have access to quality residential options that allow them to affordably continue to live in the Woodbridge community,” Mayor John E. McCormac said. “Our partnership with Pennrose resulted in the construction of the first new fully accessible residential community specially designed for Woodbridge Township’s developmentally disabled residents.”
Courtesy: Pennrose/Woodbridge Township
Pennrose completed the project in conjunction with the township and the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency. The development features layouts ranging from one to three bedrooms, which will be reserved for renters making 30 to 60 percent of the area median income for Middlesex County.
Of the 100 units, 25 will be set aside as supportive housing with rental and service support provided by the Department of Development Disabilities and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, according to a news release said. Fifteen of those 25 apartments will be reserved for physically and developmentally disabled individuals, while 10 will be for residents with mental health challenges referred through DDD and DMHAS, respectively.
Residents will have access to amenities such as a library, game room, fitness center, on-site superintendent and a partially enclosed green courtyard with seating overlooking a tranquil wetland reserve, the news release said. That project also includes a 1,300-square-foot community room for socializing and programming.
“Greens at Avenel is a great example of the positive economic impact public/private partnerships can have on a community,” said Timothy I. Henkel, principal and senior vice president at Pennrose. “We worked closely with the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency and the township to directly address the need for affordable, special needs housing in central New Jersey and we look forward to residents moving in.”
The grand opening comes about four years after Woodbridge Township took title to the site from the state, having identified it as a prime location for affordable, special needs housing. The town picked Pennrose as the master redeveloper in 2016 and worked closely with the firm to secure funding for demolition and development activities.
Financing for the project was provided by the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency, the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency, Woodbridge Township, Citi, Hudson Housing Capital and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, with critical operational support from the New Jersey Department of Human Services.