Fairstead, LIHC Investment Group acquire 691-unit affordable housing portfolio in Newark

Fairstead and LIHC Investment Group recently announced they acquired the Essex Plaza portfolio, a 691-unit affordable housing portfolio in Newark that is home to seniors and families, and will undergo a revitalization in partnership with the state of New Jersey, the city of Newark’s Department of Economic and Housing Development, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Financing for Essex Plaza was provided by the Urban Investment Group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Berkadia.

The partnership, along with government officials and community organizations, will invest more than $27 million for renovations and improvements, as well as on-site support services for a 450-unit senior housing residence at 1060 Broad St., also known as Essex Plaza One, with more improvements to come for the remaining 12 buildings in the portfolio.

“Part of our commitment to a stronger and fairer New Jersey has always been to provide basic necessities to those in need,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a prepared statement. “Fairstead’s acquisition and renovation of affordable housing stock in Newark will go a long way toward ensuring that residents of the state’s largest city, in particular its senior citizens, have a reasonably priced place to call home.”

The Essex Plaza portfolio is located in the Lincoln Park Historic District of Newark, just steps away from Newark City Hall, Newark Symphony Hall and the Prudential Center.

The rest of the portfolio includes 241 units of family housing across 12 buildings in the surrounding blocks that will undergo future improvements that will also be financed through the NJHMFA. The portfolio is supported by a rental assistance contract with HUD.

“Cities across the country are grappling with the crisis of affordability so that residents — especially vulnerable neighbors — can stay in their homes and in their communities. Fairstead is stepping up to this challenge. We are making major commitments to create and preserve sustainable housing and drive innovation that will revitalize our cities,”  Jeffrey Goldberg, CEO of Fairstead, said.

“The Essex Plaza portfolio of all-affordable housing is an important part of the housing stock that Newark residents can afford. It is especially good news that Fairstead has purchased these buildings and intends to invest more than $27 million for renovations and support services at Essex Plaza One, an important home for seniors. This is a valuable contribution toward reaching Mayor (Ras) Baraka’s Five Year Equitable Housing Goals,” said Allison Ladd, Newark deputy mayor and director, economic and housing development, said.

Dane Global represented the buyer and seller in the transaction.