Affordable Housing Community Located on Former Site of Historic Springside Elementary School
Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development (MEND) and its joint venture development partner Conifer Realty, LLC, along with financing partners and public officials recently joined together in a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially celebrate the $16.9 million transformation of the former Springside Elementary School into Springside School Apartments.
Located on Route 541/Mount Holly Road, the 75-unit apartment community was created for low and moderate income senior citizens and adults with special needs. Thirty two of the apartments are located in the former Springside Elementary School - initially built in 1871 as a one-room schoolhouse known as the Mitchell School at Springside - now designated as a National and State Historic Landmark building. The remaining 43 apartments are located in a new, two-story addition attached to the rear of the former school. Each unit features full kitchens, living and dining areas, full baths, generous bedrooms and closet space. Monthly rents range from $240 to $990, depending on the tenant’s income and unit size (one or two bedrooms). Overall building amenities include a community room, laundry room, computer room, exercise room and library.
Development for the community began in late 2010 and was completed in just three years, from concept through completion. The first tenant moved in mid-November 2013 and 60 apartments are already occupied.
According to Matthew Reilly, President and CEO of MEND, “This is a clear sign that affordable housing for seniors is in high demand and reinforces MEND’s mission throughout our 45-year history to increase the supply of affordable rental housing in the Burlington County region.”
“You can describe the Springside School as lot of things: historic preservation of a landmark in the community; Smart Growth because of re-purposing an obsolete building; a green project because of the solar electric system and other energy saving features; or a redevelopment project putting a vacant building back to use. Most importantly, it is the creation of 75 affordable homes for Burlington Township seniors,” said Charles M. Lewis, Senior Vice President, Conifer Realty, LLC.
“In addition to providing affordable housing, Springside School Apartments also provided jobs for approximately 300 construction workers, saved and preserved an historic school building and made a significant contribution to the redevelopment of the 541 corridor,” added Reilly.
Key project partners include: general contractor Gary F. Gardner, Inc., of Medford in collaboration with Conifer LeChase Construction of Rochester, NY; architectural designs for the former Springside Elementary School site by Kitchen & Associates of Collingwood; and site engineering by Stout and Caldwell of Cinnaminson.
The project received financing through the following sources: Federal Low Income Housing and Historic Preservation Tax Credit equity invested by Red Stone Equity Partners/TD Bank ($15,604,000); mortgage from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency ($346,000); U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME funding via the Burlington County Board of Freeholders ($850,000); Burlington Township Municipal Housing Trust Fund ($200,000); and TD Bank construction loan ($10.5 million).
Celebrating its 45th anniversary, Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development, Inc. (MEND) is a private, nonprofit, housing development organization founded by several Moorestown churches in 1969. MEND is a national and state award-winning developer dedicated to providing safe and affordable rental housing to senior citizens, disabled persons, and families of low and moderate income. MEND has developed 565 residential units at 27 locations in the Burlington County region. Over the last four decades, MEND’s affordable housing production efforts have represented a $113 million real estate investment in the region.
About Conifer Realty, LLC:
Conifer Realty, LLC is a full-service real estate company specializing in the development and management of high-quality, affordable housing communities. Since its inception, the company has developed and/or acquired over 230 properties and over 17,300 apartment units. Conifer concentrates its business in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The company currently owns and manages over 13,000 apartment units throughout these regions. Please visit www.coniferllc.com for more information.