Keeping with tradition, officials broke ground on a project that they say is already well on its way towards changing Pleasantville.
"This project has been long in the making, it sets the tone not only for Main Street but it sets the tone for Pleasantville, it's something we can all be proud of," said Mayor Jesse Tweedle.
The state contributed over seven million dollars in Sandy–related funds to the 38 million dollar project, and when it's all said and done, 135 units will be available for working class families.
"It's 80% workforce housing and 20% market rate, one, two, and three bedrooms," said Tweedle.
Officials estimate the city center will generate over 400 thousand dollars in tax revenue for the city. In addition to housing benefits, with its 18 thousand square feet of retail space, officials say the city center carries a large economic benefit.
"We calculate the economic output of this project alone to be over 61 million dollars to Pleasantville and the surrounding region," said Executive Director of the NJHMFA, Anthony Marchetta.
"There's going to be about 39 to 40 full time jobs, as a result of this, the impact from that though is going to be enormous, just that alone,” said Executive Director of the NJDCA, Melissa Orsen.
Officials say this project will be unique to Pleasantville and will cater to those who routinely travel by bus and on foot.
"We're trying to attract retail businesses, things like Starbucks, something like that that's going to attract people that walk back and forth through Main Street," said the Mayor.
And as crews work towards a summer of 2015 completion, city officials hope this project attracts future development.
"I think you'll start seeing other investors that will come in and invest in our downtown," said Jacqueline Amado-Belton, Director of Pleasantville Economic and Industrial Development.
Officials say the city center project has already created roughly 400 new construction jobs.
Posted By Ryan Ross
RPM media coverage from across the state
In 2013, the Historic Trust accepted the donation of a perpetual
preservation and conservation easement on this landmark building in
Woodbury (Gloucester County). The Green Building was listed on the New
Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 2001 for its significance
in the area of community development and its architectural significance as
a vernacular example of the Romanesque style applied to a commercial
building. The easement will protect the unique historic architectural
features, such as the windows, cornice and historic masonry, that contribute
to the building’s significance.
Constructed in 1880 by prominent businessman George G. Green, the
impressive brick block in downtown Woodbury originally housed
commercial retail space, offices, meeting space and a 1,000-seat opera
house. The Green Block was the largest building in Woodbury and the
center of civic and cultural activity. Green amassed his fortune first through
the manufacture of patent medicines and then through successful business
enterprises throughout the county. He utilized his wealth locallyy to spur
Woodbury’s development and support community welfare.
The opera house was converted to a movie theater,
active until its closure in 1955. When the interior was
converted to a large retail space, an incompatible false
front was installed on the second story exterior (right).
The building was vacated in 2000, and deteriorated to the
point that it was scheduled to be demolished in 2012.
RPM Development, LLC, however, realized the potential for this once
grand building and proposed a reuse plan for the block. Under the
guidance of the National Park Service and the New Jersey Historic
Preservation Office, the developer completed the restoration and
rehabilitation project in 2013. The project relied on a complex finance
package including low-income housing credit and federal investment tax
credits. Senior housing now occupies the upper floors of the structure,
while stores at the street level will again contribute to Woodbury’s
The NJ Historic Trust holds the preservation easement, which was a
requirement on the part of city when the building was sold to the
developer. The easement insures that the G.G. Green Building remains a
landmark far into the future.
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta recently joined City of Woodbury Mayor William J. Volk, elected state officials, and RPM Development Group to celebrate the grand opening of GG Green Senior Residences, a 55-unit senior rental community in the City of Woodbury, Gloucester County. The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), awarded the redevelopment project federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that generated approximately $11.3 million in private equity. RPM Development Group, the developer for the project, has a history of adaptive reuse of historic structures with a goal to provide quality housing while aiming to improve neighborhoods.
$27.4M affordable-housing development coming to Newark
Funding, tax breaks for affordable housing
G.G. Green building developers awarded affordable housing funding, slated for completion in 2013