June 22, 2012 - MAYOR BOOKER CUTS RIBBON TO OPEN RICHARDSON LOFTS; 67-UNIT BUILDING OFFERS MARKET-RATE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
For Immediate Release
MAYOR BOOKER CUTS RIBBON TO OPEN RICHARDSON LOFTS;
67-UNIT BUILDING OFFERS MARKET-RATE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Renovation of factory building achieved through City, federal, and CDBG loans;
Complex also offers residents yoga studio and rooftop garden
Newark, NJ – June 22, 2012 – Mayor Cory A. Booker, Council President Donald M. Payne, Jr., Municipal Council Vice President Anibal Ramos, Jr., East Ward Council Member Augusto Amador, Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Adam Zipkin, Director of Housing and Real Estate Michael Meyer, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency Executive Director Anthony Marchetta, and RPM Development Group President Edward Martoglio held a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday to officially open Richardson Lofts at 50-60 Columbia Street in Newark’s East Ward. As part of the ceremony, Father J. Brent Bates of Grace Church of Newark gave the invocation and the Arts High School Classical Ensemble gave a featured musical performance. Director Meyer served as Master of Ceremonies. Also in attendance was Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura.
“Brick by brick, block by block, building by building, we are making a new Newark. Richardson Lofts – new, modern, mixed income, downtown housing – is a result of the collaboration of so many. Our City’s forefathers and foremothers built this building and worked in it when it was a factory. And today Ed Martoglio and RPM Development teamed up with my Economic and Housing Development team and the Municipal Council to ensure that we celebrate our past and move into the future, in a building that is architecturally beautiful and environmentally sound. What was once a jewelry factory is now a jewel of our growing downtown residential neighborhood,” said Mayor Booker.
“Richardson Lofts is a modernized piece of Newark history. Newark is blessed with beautiful, well-constructed, historic buildings, and over a century ago, during Newark’s industrial rise, this building was a new, modern jewelry factory. Ed Martoglio and his team at RPM Development had the vision, patience, and determination to convert a symbol of our industrial past into a symbol of Newark’s rebirth. With both affordable units and market rate rentals, Richardson Lofts means that all Newarkers have a place in Newark’s vibrant 24/7 downtown,” said Deputy Mayor Zipkin.
The completed 67-unit building will include both market-rate (55%) and affordable (45%) rental housing. The City of Newark supported the inclusion of affordable housing units through low-cost loans totaling approximately $3.12 million, including $2.8 million of federal HOME and CDBG funds to the Newark-based development company.
“This project is an example of how an investment of local dollars can help leverage other private and public funds to make a transformational project move forward. This new development will help grow the expanding downtown neighborhood, provide exciting architecture and design, help reduce the City’s carbon footprint and deliver much needed affordable housing opportunities to Newark residents. It is a win-win-win proposition,” said Director Meyer.
“It is great that the 67-unit building will include a substantial amount of affordable housing units, which will benefit residents in the City of Newark. It is very important that we make the creation of affordable and low-income housing our greatest priority. The Richardson Lofts building stands in close proximity to transportation and will make an ideal place to live,” said Council President Payne.
“I want to congratulate the Economic Development team and RPM Development for completing this project. We have a great relationship with Ed Martoglio, who also did a great job with the creation of Studebaker Lofts. I want to thank him and his team for getting us to the finish line on Richardson Lofts. The true winners today are the residents of the City of Newark,” said Council Vice President Ramos.
“I’m extremely happy to see this project realized, even though it faced tough financial times and difficult decisions along the way. As the East Ward Council Member, I would like to thank Ed Martoglio for his tenacity and for continuing to believe in our City’s future. I would like to also thank my Council colleagues and the Administration for supporting this project. Richardson Lofts is a prime example of what the City’s future will be and the ability to combine affordable housing together with market rate housing in this project is a testament to those who believe that we can fulfill the housing needs of this City through innovative ideas and by working together for a common goal,” said Council Member Amador.
“Richardson Lofts creates safe, decent, and affordable housing in close proximity to public transportation and jobs in Essex County,” said HMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “I am pleased that HMFA played a role in getting this project off the ground. This project truly represents our mission of increasing the availability of affordable housing for residents of the State.”
The studio, one, and two bedroom apartments are accessible through a unique common atrium restored from the building’s original 20th century use as a jewelry factory. Other amenities include energy efficient appliances, a multiple-floor fitness center with a yoga studio, and a high-tech security system and an on-site superintendent. The building also includes features like a rooftop garden, as well as advanced ventilation systems that boost indoor air quality and reduce energy costs. Any persons interested in learning more about the Richardson Building Lofts project can visit the building’s website at www.richardsonlofts.com
“I grew up in the area and remember the old jewelry factory. Seeing the revitalization of Richardson Lofts and Newark is so exciting and I am looking forward to moving back to the neighborhood where I grew up,” said Evelyn Pastrada, who is moving into one of the affordable apartments.
“Richardson Lofts is remarkable in that it has come into being in one of the most difficult climates for housing development in recent memory. In collaboration with the City of Newark and the Department of Community Affairs, RPM is proud to be a part of the City of Newark’s ongoing rebirth and revitalization,” said RPM President Martoglio.
The Booker administration has made the creation of affordable and low-income housing one of its highest priorities and has doubled the rate of affordable housing production since taking office in July 2006. Through partnerships with such organizations as RPM Development, La Casa de Don Pedro, Episcopal Community Development, Project Live, Inc., and philanthropists like musician Jon Bon Jovi and Oprah Winfrey, the City of Newark has renovated or created hundreds of affordable and low-income housing developments in every ward.
Through the determined leadership of the City of Newark’s Housing Division, more than 1,400 units of affordable housing have been completed or are under construction, with another 400 in the pipeline. The City’s new housing production includes housing opportunities to address a wide range of housing needs. For example, Episcopal Community Development, in conjunction with Apostles’ House, has been developing 19 affordable rental housing units on Avon Avenue to serve formerly homeless individuals and families. Project Live completed a three-story, 21-unit affordable housing complex that gave 21 homeless individuals with a mental illness the opportunity, stability and support needed to live a productive and stable life.
In addition, at 80-82 Stone Street, a local, small, minority/female-owned development renovated a dilapidated 18-unit building to provide affordable rental apartments. La Casa de Don Pedro completed 19 homes as part of its MLK Homes project, incorporating a new urban design and architecture to help enhance the streetscape, and is currently constructing the Lower Broadway Stabilization Project, six scattered site buildings to provide 11 new housing opportunities for Newark residents. Integrity House, with the Support of Oprah Winfrey’s foundation, has renovated a historic building at 667 Martin Luther King Boulevard to provide transitional, enriched housing for 12 women with children and 12 single women recovering from addiction.
In May 2012, the City celebrated the opening of Genesis Clinton Hill Apartments, a new LEED-Platinum 56-unit apartment building in Newark’s South Ward, which will provide permanent, affordable housing for Newark veterans and low-income families. This project was developed through a partnership between Brad Pitt’s make It Right Foundation and HELP USA. This was HELP USA’s second project in Newark, following HELP Genesis JBJ Soul Homes, the public-private partnership with Mr. Bon Jovi’s JBJ Soul Foundation. The project provided 51 new units of affordable housing in the City’s North Ward, with support services for low-income and special-needs persons. The families residing at HELP Genesis JBJ Soul Homes receive a continuum of services to promote family stabilization, case management, and employment services provided both by HELP staff and local providers. Twenty-five percent of the apartments have tenants living with AIDS, making HELP Genesis JBJ Soul Homes the first residential facility in New Jersey to provide permanent housing that is fully integrated with the services of a post-acute care AIDS facility. In this case, the tenants were referred by Broadway House for Continuing Care, a post-acute care AIDS facility just a few blocks away in the North Ward. Broadway House staff provides medical case-management and counseling on-site at HELP Genesis JBJ Soul Homes in order to meet the clients’ ongoing medical needs.
For information on all City of Newark programs and policies, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.
Contact: Newark Press Information Office – (973) 733-8004
RPM Development Group: Elizabeth Kulinich – (973) 216-7085
About RPM Development Group
RPM Development Group is based in Montclair, New Jersey, and is one of the leading developers of affordable housing in New Jersey. RPM brings all aspects of the process under one roof: development, construction, leasing, and property management. Drawing on the experience of its staff and skilled partners, RPM has worked with cities, suburban towns, local housing authorities, and state and federal agencies to create high-quality housing options, from renovating abandoned industrial buildings to transitioning historic neighborhoods. For more information about RPM Development Group go to www.rpmdev.com
About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation’s largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major commuter and freight rail lines, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.
With a new Administration as of July 2006, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival. Its population showed growth in the most recent census. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The rate of production of affordable housing has doubled, and new businesses are moving in. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission: to set a national standard for urban transformation.