Plainfield breaks ground on $19.3M redevelopment of housing project

The Housing Authority of Plainfield has broken ground on a $19.3 million redevelopment project that will bring more than 50 new apartments to the city.

The project, Elmwood Square, will include 58 units — 43 two-bedroom and 15 three-bedroom townhouses — on 3.68 acres. The apartment complex will include individual entrances, supportive housing and a 5% disability component. All units will have Section 8 project-based assistance.

A groundbreaking ceremony included officials from the city, the Premier Community Development Corp., Union County, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Alpert Group.

“I want quality of life for every Plainfield resident,” Mayor Adrian O. Mapp said in a prepared statement. “This development ensures that any resident, regardless of income, can stay in Plainfield and have affordable, decent housing. I am very appreciative of this joint effort that will have a lasting effect for low-income families in our city. Progress such as this ensures opportunity for all residents.”

The complex replaces a previous Elmwood Gardens, conventional low-income public housing in an obsolete 120-unit, three-story complex. The city said the property had become problematic, and rehabilitation would have been cost-prohibitive.

“We have been dedicated to fulfilling the need for more affordable housing in our community, and have been working diligently to replace the outdated Elmwood Gardens public housing project for more than seven years,” Randall M. Wood, executive director of the housing authority, said in a statement. “In partnership with HAP’s qualified nonprofit arm, Premier Community Development Corp., we are making this vision a reality.”

The previous complex was demolished in 2015, after HUD approvals and grants enabled the relocation of tenants.

The development partnership, Elmwood Square Urban Renewal LP, is a joint venture between two limited liability companies formed by Premier Community Development Corp. and the developer, the Alpert Group.

“As a company that specializes in redeveloping sites in urban areas, we are honored to be part of this project to provide homes that will serve the community for years to come,” Joe Alpert, president of the Fort Lee-based Alpert Group.