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A $26 Million Mixed-Use Project in Paterson, NJ

Construction on a $26 million initiative to produce 74 units of affordable housing based around the site of the 19th century Argus Mill in Paterson’s Great Falls Historic District was kicked off by Paterson Mayor André Sayegh and a host of New Jersey politicians.

A new four-story apartment building for 68 low- to moderate-income households will be built nearby. A new parking deck will be built in coordination with the Paterson Parking Authority.

All 74 apartments will be eligible for the Low Income Tax Credit, with 52 units reserved for Paterson Housing Authority voucher holders earning less than 50% of the Area Median Income. The remaining 22 flats will be for low-income families earning less than 80% AMI. For larger families, the 74 additional apartments include 54 2 and 3 bedroom flats. Multi-generational households will be accommodated, including grandparents rearing grandkids.

According to WinnDevelopment Vice President David Ginsberg, the Argus Ellison development will demonstrate the value of a strong public-private cooperation, historic adaptive reuse, and state funding. “We’re really happy to get started on a project that has been a long-term goal for the City of Paterson and will help local businesses. In addition, we are thrilled to work with our local African American partners Owen Tonkins and Daryll Tyson, and look forward to welcoming our first residents.”

Tax-exempt bonds and 4% LIHTCs from the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) as well as Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) tax credits from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will be used to fund the project.

“The Argus Ellison Development project shows how public-private collaborations can produce equitable and sustainable infill development. “My government has been supportive of this project from the start, offering ERG State Tax Credits and additional resources to ensure its success,” stated Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “I am glad that future tenants would include grandparents raising grandkids, a burgeoning demographic in Paterson. This endeavor is a win-win because the development team includes local Patersonians.”

“Argus Mill’s comprehensive rehabilitation will protect and honor the historic and cultural significance of the properties,” stated NJHMFA Executive Director Melanie Walter. This new intergenerational housing will produce a new generation of memories for inhabitants and ensure the cultural significance of this special region of Paterson.

A stronger, fairer recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is fundamental to Governor Phil Murphy’s goal for historically disenfranchised communities, according to NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. In addition to providing much-needed affordable housing, the Argus Ellison development will also house a crucial community nonprofit. The NJEDA is pleased to work with the NJHMFA and Mayor Sayegh on this vital project.”

Laura Manville, WinnDevelopment Senior Project Director, is leading the endeavor with Tonkins, Tyson, and the GRCRC. Born and raised in Paterson, Tonkins and Tyson have spearheaded successful development efforts in Maryland and Georgia, as well as in their hometown.

For Owen Tonkins, it’s a pleasure to return to his hometown and be a part of this excellent and much-needed initiative. “Paterson is our basis! This fantastic project took us three years to complete. Part of our familial heritage.”

The project will provide the GRCRC with expanded program and office space, as well as recommendations to area service providers.

Executive Director Lorenzo Carpenter of GRCRC stated the Grandparents Center is thrilled to be a part of the Argus Ellison project. “After years of struggle, we are finally a part of this amazing group. We are grateful for our new connection and location. We thank everyone who helped make this a reality for our charity! So excited to obtain our new home and start a new chapter for our Center. “Thank you.”

A new four-story wood frame residential structure with one podium of parking over an existing surface parking lot would generate 68 new affordable homes. The building will be Energy Star certified, with energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and water-saving fixtures.

The project is estimated to produce 110 construction jobs in New Jersey. During construction, qualified Paterson residents and minority and women-owned companies would be hired first.

“The Grandparents is a much-needed Paterson project. Mayor Maritza Davila of Paterson said she was happy to have been a part of the endeavor. “It’s extremely encouraging to learn that the developers are two local African Americans who are using other local contractors to create jobs.”

The property is in central Paterson, close to retail, services, and employment. The Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park, with green space and recreational possibilities on the Passaic River, is less than a 15-minute walk away.

“This is how the city should develop,” said Ward 1 Councilman Mike Jackson. Local contractors and, most importantly, delivering a service to the inhabitants are actual economic opportunities of inclusion.

The three-story Argus Mill, built in the mid-1870s of brick and wood, will accommodate six apartments. Built as a storehouse for a local textile factory, it later made mosquito netting and became the Argus Yarn Mill in the 1940s. It was added to the NR in 1986 but has been unoccupied for years.

The project will also improve the Ryles and Thompson Houses, both built in the early 1830s. The Paterson Music Project, a Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts program, will remain at the Thompson House, inspiring youngsters to reach their full potential through music. Onsite management will be provided by Ryles House.

Director Tony Perez of the Paterson Parking Authority said he was eager to transform existing surface parking into a mixed-use development. This partnership allows us to fulfill our main objective while also providing imaginative housing solutions and much-needed support services to an area ripe for transformation.

General contractor O.A. Peterson of Montclair, NJ. The architect is Coppa Montalbano Architects of Totowa, NJ; the civil engineer is Paulus Sokolowski and Sartor Engineering of Warren, NJ; the historic consultant is Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL); Renaissance Groups will monitor hiring and MWBE goals; and the transactional counsel is Berman Indictor of Philadelphia.

After completion, WinnResidential, the nation’s largest manager of affordable housing, will administer the property. Currently, the company administers 13 multifamily buildings in New Jersey, totaling 1,955 apartments and 13,700 square feet.

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