MODEL OF URBAN PRESERVATION TO BE UNVEILED IN JERSEY CITY: NEWLY RENOVATED SECTION 8 HOUSING AT SUMMIT PLAZA TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR RESIDENTS
Official Rededication & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Thursday, October 25 at 1:30 PM
Summit Plaza campus – 730 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
Jersey City, NJ – October 25, 2018, 2018—An exemplary model of urban preservation will be unveiled on Thursday, October 25th at 1:30 PM with a rededication and ribbon cutting ceremony at Summit Plaza, located in/near Journal Square at 730 Newark Avenue in Jersey City. Designated as Section 8 housing, Summit Plaza is in a class of its own. The newly transformed campus illustrates how affordable housing can co-exist with market rate properties and in doing so, not only preserve, but improve the quality of life for long-term city residents.
Originally a HUD Operation Breakthrough site, one of only 9 in the entire country, Summit Plaza provides housing for 1,200 people and 483 households, including residents who have been there since the property’s inception in 1972. Sixty-seven percent of current residents are either senior, disabled or consist of families with five or more members, defined by HUD as our “most vulnerable population.”
As Jersey City’s largest privately held Section 8 housing site, the property recently experienced substantial central plant and site infrastructure upgrades, energy efficiency improvements, as well as the introduction interior and exterior common spaces and renovations to tenant living quarters.
“When Summit Plaza first opened, people were amazed at its futuristic trash removal and NASA-engineered water purification systems,” said Paul Odland of Belveron Real Estate Partners, one of the property’s co-owners. “At the time, these technological upgrades were the kind only found in places like Disney World. With recent improvements in place, we’re continuing that kind of innovation and bringing the campus into the 21st century and beyond.”
Many of Summit Plaza’s recent improvements go above and beyond the minimum requirements for HUD-assisted public housing. For example, the campus now boasts its first-ever community room where local residents can have tenant association meetings, holiday parties and daily conversations neighbors.
A resident program director has been hired to execute planned activities that encourage relationship building and a sense of neighborhood. Additional examples of recent improvements include:
- State-of-the-art security system with 24-hour monitoring: 700 new cameras and audio microphones
- First-ever Community Room for local residents – with LED TV, kitchenette with new cabinets and microwaves
- Public Garden – first-time outdoor green space
- New landscaping throughout inclusive of plantings, grasses, mulch and trees
- Newly Constructed Playground – designated age-appropriate areas with modern equipment and rubberized play surface throughout
- Murals by internationally-recognized artistic duo
- New lobbies throughout including paint, tile floors, accent tiles on walls & ceilings and new lighting
- Site of the first pneumatic trash system in the country & still in operation
- Solar photovoltaic system to generate additional power
- Energy efficient windows and sliding doors
- Water conservation toilets, showerheads and aerators at sinks and vanities
- New energy efficient LED lighting in all common interior and exterior areas
“Section 8 housing is much more than a guarantee of shelter. With Section 8 tenants finding it more challenging to identify landlords who will accept vouchers, we felt a responsibility to ensure residents were not displaced” said Charlie Gendron, LIHC Investment Group and co-owner. “Creating an environment that reflects the resurgence around them has resulted in more than the creation of community; it’s created a sense of family.”
“Summit Plaza is a model for urban preservation projects everywhere,” said Lynne Patton, HUD Regional Administrator for New York/NJ. “We are proud to support this model of affordable housing which creates a positive environment for residents, improves the community at-large and elevates the living conditions for our most vulnerable populations.”
The list above is only part of the story. Belveron Real Estate Partners and LICH Investment Group plans to continue the improvements made in Phase I with additional improvements like new kitchens featuring contemporary maple shaker cabinetry, granite counter tops, built-in microwave, large profile flooring, LED lights for increased brightness and efficiency and new energy-saving appliances, if needed. Bathroom upgrades will made, as well.
About Belveron Real Estate Partners
Belveron Partners, LLC is a privately held investment firm with a focus on preserving affordable and workforce housing across the United States. Founded in 2006, its investment process has yielded positive results for investors and the communities it serves. Belveron and its affiliates have invested in more than 200 properties in 32 states, representing more than 25,000 affordable homes. For more information, visit www.belveron.com
About LIHC Investment Group
Founded over 25 years ago, LIHC Investment Group (formerly Low Income Housing Corp.) is a leader in the affordable housing industry. Respected preservationists, LIHC works hard to restore properties to enhance their value and bring quality of life to their tenant base. For more information, visit https://lihc.com
3E Public Relations