The Community Builders has opened Bergenview Apartments, a 111-unit supportive housing development in Jersey City, N.J. The affordable project represents the rehabilitation and preservation of a historic former YMCA building, providing studio apartments for individuals who have previously experienced homelessness.

The preservation of the building was made through funding received from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, TD Bank, additionally to FHLB-AHP funding and low-income housing tax credit equity. Boston Financial Investment Management will serve as syndicator, while the Community Preservation Corp. will service the permanent mortgage, a tax-exempt Freddie Mac loan.

Steps towards rehabilitation

The Community Builders acquired the property at 654 Bergen Ave. in 1999 from YCMA of Jersey City, under the HUS McKinney Program. The new ownership converted the asset from a 210-unit, single-room occupancy community into a 131-unit building with 59 SRO units and 72 studios for formerly homeless individuals. In 2020, the company secured construction financing for the rehabilitation of the site under the HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration Program. The remaining SRO units were converted into 40 studios, with Kramer+Marks as project architect and Pike Construction Co. as general contractor.

The property’s new common-area amenities include a fitness center, social service suite, community room, demonstration kitchen and learning center. The HVAC system, roof and elevators were also upgraded. Units feature private bathrooms, kitchens and energy-efficient appliances. The property is environmentally friendly, receiving Enterprise Green Communities and ENERGY STAR certifications.

Bergenview Apartments is close to Interstate 78 and Route 440, with numerous retail spaces, schools, dining options and entertainment venues in its proximity. Green areas, such as Lincoln Park and Liberty State Park, are also nearby. Jersey City Medical Center, New Jersey City University, Saint Peter’s University and Liberty Science Center are within a 2-mile radius from the community.

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