By Joshua Burd
A development team has broken ground on a residential project that will bring 86 affordable apartments to families in Somerset County.
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, which is helping to finance the project, announced this week that construction is underway on what will be known as The Apartments at Montgomery Crossing. PIRHL Developers LLC and HELP USA are building the project at 9 Hartwick Drive in Montgomery Township, which will consist of a four-story building with layouts ranging from one to three bedrooms.
The units will serve families earning up to 60 percent of the area median income and will also include five apartments set aside for homeless residents and four for individuals leaving development centers or transitioning from nursing facilities, the HMFA said. Plans also call for a fitness center and community room, along with an activity room, bike storage, on-site management and social service offices, outdoor playground area and dog run.
The agency is supporting the project with an award of 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which are expected to generate $12.2 million in private equity, according to a news release. The HMFA also provided $7.9 million in financing, as well as $300,000 through its Money Follows the Person Housing Partnership Program for four apartments.
“Low Income Housing Tax Credits have played an essential role in the creation of affordable housing across the state, with priority given to developments located in high opportunity areas close to good schools and transportation,” said Charles A. Richman, the agency’s executive director. “At the same time, The Apartments at Montgomery Crossing will help to fulfill our mission to provide affordable and supportive homes in the community for residents with special needs.”
Completion is slated for spring 2021, HMFA said. Monthly rents are expected to range from $1,055 for a one-bedroom unit, which will be marketed to individuals earning at or below 50 percent of the area median income to $1,768 for a three-bedroom unit for families earning at or below 60 percent of the AMI.
“With financial resources for affordable housing being so limited, PIRHL is grateful to our exceptional financial and development partners for making this day possible,” said Lara Schwager, vice president of development at PIRHL. “We look forward to celebrating the grand opening next year and look forward to being a part of the Montgomery community.”
HMFA noted that the Money Follows the Person program offers subsidies to eligible developers to set aside apartments for individuals transitioning from nursing facilities to community settings. The new apartments provide the individuals the opportunity to live independently within the community, the agency said, noting that it has committed more than $3.5 million under the program to date, enabling 47 individuals to integrate fully into the community.
The Apartments at Montgomery Crossing, to be located on a four-acre site bordering residential neighborhoods, is close to downtown Princeton, medical facilities and the Route 206 multifamily, retail and commercial corridor.
PIRHL Developers is a Cleveland-based company with offices in Hamilton, while HELP is a nonprofit working to address the nation’s growing homelessness crisis.