The Residence at Roosevelt Park in Edison — Courtesy: Pennrose
By Joshua Burd
Pennrose and Middlesex County have completed the adaptive reuse of a historic hospital complex in Edison, resulting in 84 new units of affordable senior housing.
The nearly $25 million project, reserved for renters over age 62, has restored the former Roosevelt Hospital that was built in 1937 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Public officials gathered this week with the Pennrose development team to mark the opening of the complex, now known as the Residence at Roosevelt Park.
“Today, we usher in a new chapter for this grand building that has been caring for our residents since 1937,” Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said. “This project is part of our continuing commitment to respond to the changing needs of our population by meeting their continuum of care needs, as well as ending homelessness, and helping our veterans.
“The Residence at Roosevelt Park is an example of how we are developing and providing services in new ways. It’s an example of bringing innovation to a key service we can now provide.”
The public-private partnership developed the property with funding from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, which supported it through the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. The competitive 9 percent tax credits are expected to generate nearly $14 million in private equity for the development, HMFA said.
The effort has resulted in modern apartments and amenities such as a community room, fitness room, common laundry rooms, an on-site maintenance superintendent and other features.
“Pennrose invests in the communities we serve,” said Richard K. Barnhart, Pennrose chairman and CEO. “Residence at Roosevelt Park provides seniors not only with quality affordable housing, but an improved quality of life through social services and access to transportation and healthcare in a beautiful historic setting.”
Veterans have preferred status for up to 25 percent of the units, according to a news release. Five units are set aside for formerly homeless individuals and couples, while six serve individuals with disabilities.
Support services are available to all residents, the news release said. On-site professional maintenance is also provided, as well as a Support Services Coordinator for residents of the special needs units.
Wallace Roberts & Todd served as the architect for the project, which rehabilitated the red brick and limestone structure on Roosevelt Drive and Parsonage Road. Built through the Federal Public Works Administration, the complex has been expanded through the years and most recently provided long-term elderly care for low-income residents, but eventually became obsolete as other skilled nursing facilities were built within the county.
“The restoration of this building advances NJHMFA’s mission to make quality affordable housing available to New Jersey seniors and expand supportive housing opportunities,” HMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman said. “Not only has the Residence at Roosevelt Park preserved a landmark building, it is providing stable homes and peace of mind to seniors on fixed-incomes so that they can age in place.”
Officials say the project will provide more than $4.4 million in ongoing economic output, 25 direct and indirect full-time equivalent jobs and more than $249,000 in state and local taxes annually.