Newark breaks ground on affordable housing for age 55+ residents

1st phase of Millard E. Terrell Homes project in East Ward will offer 69 safe, secure, modern housing units for city seniors

Sixty-nine affordable housing units — specifically designed for seniors 55 and up. That’s a big win for a key demographic in Newark.

That certainly was the take of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka at the groundbreaking Monday for the first phase of the Millard E. Terrell Homes redevelopment project in the East Ward.

When completed, the project will provide safe, secure and modern affordable housing for city residents, with retail and community spaces, as well as on-site parking. The development is Energy Star-certified, an Enterprise Green community and will promote healthy living with energy-saving measures that will also minimize operating costs.

A rendering of the planned property.

Baraka, who was joined by Newark Housing Authority Executive Director Leonard Spicer and the Alpert Group to break ground on the facility that will be built at 97 Chapel St., said the housing is a way the city can give back to residents who have given so much in their lifetimes.

“The first phase of the Terrell Homes project represents our determination to provide comfort and security to the elders of our community,” he said. “This five-story building will provide 69 affordable, age-restricted apartments specially designed for seniors to age-in-place. It is steeped in the respect and compassion we have for our parents and grandparents, who have raised up all of Newark through their perseverance, sacrifice, energy and faith. It incorporates the anticipated health, social and transportation needs of our seniors.

“This initiative is not just comprehensive and forward-thinking, but it is attentive and compassionate. Our city extends its heartfelt gratitude to New Jersey Economic Development Authority for this wonderful opportunity for our seniors.”

The five-story building will break down as follows:

  • First floor: An entrance lobby, a management office, a supportive services office, a generator, compactor and a utility room;
  • Second floor: 15 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment;
  • Third floor: 17 one-bedroom apartments, one two-bedroom apartment, a common laundry and trash rooms;
  • Fourth floor: 17 one-bedroom apartments, one two-bedroom apartment, a common laundry and trash rooms;
  • The fifth floor: 17 one-bedroom apartments, common laundry and trash rooms and a small outdoor balcony in the southeast corner of the building.

The namesake

Millard Terrell, an Alabama native and decorated World War II veteran, is the name behind the Millard E. Terrell Homes redevelopment project, an affordable housing complex for ages 55+ that broke ground Monday in the East Ward of Newark. Terrell was the first Newark Housing Authority tenant to become one of the authority’s commissioners, holding that post for 13 years until his death in 1986. Fellow tenants held in high regard for his hard work and commitment to improving the facilities.

The first phase of the project benefits from a crucial $8.9 million award through the NJEDA’s Aspire program. This grant program plays a vital role in supporting the development of mixed-use, transit-oriented projects, including affordable housing initiatives.

Phase II will be a family housing development. Details regarding unit configuration are still being negotiated. A project concept, with proposed benchmarks and financial pro forma, will be drafted in the summer of 2024.

“The groundbreaking of the Terrell Homes redevelopment project marks a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to providing Newark residents with safe, secure and modern affordable housing,” Spicer said. “We are grateful for the support of the NJEDA and Aspire program, and we look forward to collaborating with our residents and community partners to bring this transformative vision to life.”

The senior housing component is designed with the future in mind. Built above flood elevation levels and incorporating numerous resiliency features, the building safeguards residents against potential weather-related events.

About the Alpert Group

The Alpert Group is a fourth-generation, family-owned and -operated full-service real estate management and development company. Since its founding more than 40 years ago, the company has developed more than 3,500 units of housing and currently owns and manages a portfolio of over 2,500 units in New Jersey. The Alpert Group is a recognized leader in the development of affordable housing using Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and has extensive experience partnering with municipalities, housing authorities and local nonprofits to develop quality affordable housing.