Roebling Lofts in Trenton – file photo
By Joshua Burd
The state has doled out its annual Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Awards, recognizing three well-known projects in northern and central New Jersey.
The categories and winners include:
Leading Housing Development:
Roebling Lofts in Trenton, which involved the rehabilitation and reuse of a vacant historic industrial building to provide 110 market-rate and 28 affordable apartments in a neighborhood undergoing redevelopment. The award recognizes achievement in an affordable housing revitalization project, which must demonstrate the revitalization or redevelopment of distressed or blighted neighborhoods while including an affordable or workforce housing component.
The development team that received the award included the city of Trenton, Mercer County, Fulton Bank, Clarke Caton Hintz, HHG Development Associates LLC and The Bank of Princeton.
Leading Supportive Housing Development:
Middle Tree Home in Jackson, which featured the rehabilitation of an existing home, including equipping it with smart home technology, to provide the opportunity for independent living for residents with developmental disabilities. The award recognizes achievement in the creation of a supportive housing project designed to serve special needs populations such as homeless individuals; survivors of domestic violence; people with mental, physical and developmental disabilities; people with HIV/AIDS; and youth aging out of foster care.
The award recipients include Advancing Opportunities, KVD+ Architecture Inc., Flanagan Construction, Jackson Township and Jersey Central Power & Light.
Leading Economic Development Partnership:
Kearny Point, which involved new construction and rehabilitation to transform industrial space once part of a World War I/II shipyard into loft-style “flex” office space and co-working and business incubation, accompanied by a light industrial building for small-scale makers and creators. The award recognizes a project that promotes economic growth through local job creation, private investment and the catalytic impact of additional development.
The award-winning recipients include Hugo Neu Corp., New Jersey Community Capital, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, the town of Kearny and Hudson County.
“New Jersey’s prosperity is directly linked to the availability of safe and decent housing for all residents in the state, regardless of their income. It also relies on small businesses and local job-creating initiatives that result in sustained economic growth for communities,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Y. Oliver, the commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs. “We congratulate this year’s award winners for championing projects that strengthen our state’s prosperity and improve people’s lives.”
The state announced the awards earlier this month as part of the Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development. Now in its 22nd year, the event drew hundreds of development executives and industry professionals to Atlantic City for two days of presentations, panel discussions and networking.
In a separate news release, Hugo Neu offered praise for all involved in the 4 million-square-foot project in Kearny.
“We want to take this opportunity to recognize all of the parties — especially our public partners and our investors — that have believed in Kearny Point since its inception and have been integral in bringing the project to fruition,” said Michael Meyer, director of development at Hugo Neu, who accepted the award on the company’s behalf at the conference. “It’s been extremely rewarding to watch the development transform from an underutilized industrial site to a continuously growing diverse community of businesses and creators.”
The DCA hosted the conference alongside the state Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and Economic Development Authority. This year’s event featured a keynote address by Gov. Phil Murphy and an opening plenary session led by Oliver.
“From redevelopment of blighted areas to job creation and improved availability of affordable and accessible housing options, the projects honored today are aligned with the Murphy administration’s vision for a stronger and fairer economy,” said EDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “These projects are the result of collaboration among stakeholders that are committed to equitable, inclusive economic development that contributes to improved quality of life for all New Jerseyans.”