CAMDEN, N.J. – Camden officials, community leaders, and residents gathered on Friday, April 26th, at the Cooper Plaza Townhomes to celebrate the official groundbreaking for a major renovation by The Michaels Organization.
The $14 million renovations of Cooper Plaza Townhomes will modernize both the interiors and exteriors of the 64 townhomes in the original community. Upgrades include new HVAC and mechanical systems, new roofs and windows, porch improvements, new EnergyStar appliances, and the construction of drainage and waterproofing systems.
“We are so grateful to the city’s leadership for their support and their commitment to preserving affordable housing as ‘Camden Rises,’ and we are privileged to make their vision for this historic and critically important housing resource a reality,” John J. O’Donnell, Michaels’ Chief Executive Officer said.“
“It’s great to witness Camden’s historic transformation and it’s an honor to be a part of it,” Congressman Donald Norcross said. “We’ve seen tremendous job growth in Camden, along with major improvements in city schools, parks, and public safety. Today is another huge milestone as we break ground at Cooper Plaza to renovate homes and reanimate the community for local families.”
All 64 townhomes in Cooper Plaza will remain 100% affordable, helping households that earn less than 60% of the Area Median Income. The townhomes are also in a designated promise zone, which means that residents of the newly-refurbished townhomes will have access to various success centers in the neighborhood sponsored by the Center for Family Services.
“This is another great example of how public-private resources are being leveraged to ensure investment takes place within Camden’s neighborhoods,” Camden Mayor Francisco Moran said. “I am grateful to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Camden County, Berkadia, Riverside Capital, TD Bank and The Michaels Organization for being incredible community partners. Not only are these beautiful historic homes being rehabilitated but our Camden residents will now have greater access to quality housing within their community.”
Financing for the rehabilitation and preservation of Cooper Plaza 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, both allocated by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs provided $1.6 million in assumed mortgage funding and Camden County provided $300,000 in Trust Funds to the preservation. Additional funding includes a $3.1 million permanent mortgage provided by Berkadia and a $6.9 million construction loan from TD Bank. Fulton Bank invested in the tax credits, which were syndicated by Riverside Capital.