By Joshua Burd
The Michaels Organization is on track to rehabilitate 64 historic affordable housing units in Camden, thanks in large part to financing from TD Bank and state and local funding sources.
The developer and the bank, which is providing a $6.9 million construction loan, on Friday announced the plans for Cooper Plaza Townhomes. Michaels is slated to break ground later this month on the $14 million renovation, which will modernize both the interiors and exteriors.
“We are excited to preserve this affordable housing community, which is centrally located to employment, schools and the Walter Rand Transportation Center and which is a critical component of the comprehensive revitalization of the Historic District,” said Nicholas Cangelosi, vice president of development for Michaels. “We are grateful to the mayor and the city council, as well as Cooper University Health Care, our lenders and investors, and a host of partners committed to Camden’s future, whose support has made this rehabilitation possible.”
The developer will perform the work with financing that includes $4.1 million in private equity raised from the sale of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $6.8 million in permanent conduit bond financing, according to a news release. Both funding sources were allocated by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, while the state’s Department of Community Affairs provided $1.6 million in assumed mortgage funding and Camden County provided $300,000 from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund to the preservation.
Besides TD Bank, additional private funding includes a $3.1 million permanent mortgage provided by Berkadia, the news release said. Fulton Bank invested in the tax credits, which were syndicated by Riverside Capital.
“TD Bank is proud to partner with The Michaels Organization on this very important redevelopment of historic homes which will provide affordable housing for those who need it most,” said Brian Gallagher, vice president at TD Bank. “This project further enhances the bank’s commitment to support low and moderate-income families by helping to build and sustain strong communities where people of all incomes can achieve their full potential.”
The work will result in major upgrades to the building systems, including new HVAC and mechanical systems, along with new roofs, windows and porch improvements, the news release said. Michaels also plans to install new drainage and waterproofing systems throughout the community to address water infiltration issues.
Interior improvements will include renovated kitchens and bathrooms, new appliances and new luxury resilient flooring throughout all homes.
All 64 townhomes will remain permanently affordable as a result, serving households that earn less than 80 percent of the area median income, Michaels said. The majority of the homes are occupied, but the developer plans to renovate the roughly dozen vacant units first, allowing them to serve as temporary lodging for current residents while their homes undergo renovation.
Michaels Construction will serve as the general contractor, while Kramer + Marks is serving as the project architect.
“NJHMFA is proud to be part of the Cooper Plaza Townhomes redevelopment, which preserves historic properties as affordable homes for families who live and work in the community,” said Charles A. Richman, the agency’s executive director. “This project also helps the city’s ongoing revitalization in an area which will continue to see growth that will have a positive impact.”