Georgia King Village, the transformative project that will bring quality housing and access to medical care to an underserved community in Newark near University Hospital, received $42 million in funding Friday, officials associated with the project said.
Construction will begin in the coming weeks.
The project, developed under the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program, will function as a gateway to University Hospital and is designed to improve resident health outcomes.
Located on a portion of the property at 250 Georgia King Village on West Market Street in the city’s Fairmount neighborhood, the project is being developed by L+M Development Partners, Type A Projects and MSquared.
It will feature 78 affordable rental apartments that will serve low- and moderate-income households, including 16 set aside for homeless individuals.
The building will include a ground-floor clinic and hospital office space operated in partnership with University Hospital. This wellness center will enhance social services throughout the neighborhood by providing much-needed outpatient medical care to an at-risk population.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and NJHMFA board chair, said the project will have huge impact.
“This financing is a tremendous step forward for a project that will have a lasting impact on area residents in finding and keeping affordable, supportive housing in the proximity of University Hospital,” she said. “Gov. (Phil) Murphy and I are thrilled to see progress on this innovative hospital and housing partnership project that will help strengthen the Fairmount community. We look forward to coming back to celebrate its completion.”
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was equally enthused.
“One of my administration’s core commitments has been to provide our Newark residents with quality affordable housing and quality health care,” he said. “This $42 million partnership will enable us to address both these needs simultaneously through collaboration and with compassion. I congratulate this team on developing this important project that will continue to benefit our community for generations to come.”
The project is being financed through a combination of public and private capital, including $18 million in tax credit equity from Wells Fargo, $22 million in mortgage financing from NJHMFA, $1.6 million from the NJHMFA Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, $6 million from the Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program and $3.5 million from the Multifamily Rental Housing Production fund, as well as $3 million from University Hospital, $300,000 in HOME funds from the city of Newark and $300,000 in HOME funds from Essex County.
The Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program stems from the recognition that access to quality housing is critical to maintaining good health and that hospitals are crucial anchor institutions well-positioned to advance housing in conjunction with healthcare.
Under this award-winning program, NJHMFA matches funding contributions from participating hospitals to provide affordable rental apartments for low- and moderate-income families, as well as apartments with access to supportive and wrap-around services for residents with special needs.
NJHMFA Executive Director Melanie Walter said the project has great purpose.
“The Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program began with a very simple premise: Housing is health care,” she said. “Where and how people live affects their well-being.
“This innovative program is a vehicle for hospitals to make impactful affordable housing and wellness investments in their communities. The high-quality apartment housing produced through these development partnerships also ensures resident access to critical resources, including wraparound services for residents with special needs.”
Jonathan Cortell, managing director at L+M Development Partners, said he’s eager to get started.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to Newark, we are proud to develop another project that will provide two critical resources to the Fairmount neighborhood — quality affordable housing and access to health care,” he said. “A core part of our mission at L+M is to improve the quality of life for our residents and vulnerable communities, and this project exemplifies just how far our impact can go. Thanks to all our partners for their work in reaching this important milestone and we look forward to bringing this development to the community.”
University Hospital CEO Shereef Elnahal said the project will change lives and the community.
“Supportive housing has never been a more critical component in the equation of health care than it is today, and we are pleased to join with our state and local partners to develop this project in the heart of Newark,” he said. “This initiative will help us move more deeply into our long-term vision of chipping away at upstream social determinants of health, while creating positive and lasting health outcomes for our neighbors.
“Looking to our future, University Hospital must honor our original charter by focusing on the solutions that will bring dramatic change to our community. “