The families and individuals who call the 80-unit neighborhood home have a unique level of personal investment in this revitalization project. Former tenants approached local officials in 2007 to help them enhance their quality of life.
"These hard-working people wanted to redefine their neighborhood in order to have pride in place," said Christiana Foglio, CIS founder and CEO. "They are a testament to what can be achieved when residents share a common goal that will benefit the greater community. These men, women and children were the catalyst for change and without them, Whitney Crescent would never have been possible."
Once local officials negotiated with the former owners to acquire the previously distressed property through eminent domain, CIS purchased the complex and launched a comprehensive repositioning initiative in October, 2010.
"The transformation of Whitney Crescent is an example of what can be achieved when borough leaders listen to residents and invest time and resources to enhance their quality of life. We look forward to continued work with tenants and Community Investment Strategies to keep Whitney Crescent a safe, modern environment that is suitable for raising families," said Glassboro Council President Tony Fiola.
Nine buildings were demolished in phases to redevelop the 9.5-acre Whitney Crescent site and CIS' affiliate, CIS Management, Inc., temporarily relocated residents. The first 40 units were completed in the spring, 2011, followed by two three-story buildings consisting of 20 units finalized in the fall and 20 additional units completed by early 2012.
Whitney Crescent's designs reflect the residential character of the surrounding area. The community incorporates affordable living with a maintenance-
Funding for the revitalization initiative has been provided by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency's Special Needs Trust Fund, Federal Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP), Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Equity from Boston Capital, JP Morgan Chase, Gloucester County HOME, Glassboro Affordable Housing Trust Funds and Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. The new community now satisfies the borough's Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) credits, whereas Bentley Woods, which was built prior to 1980, did not.
In addition to Whitney Crescent, CIS has successfully repositioned numerous properties in Elizabeth, Bordentown and Rahway, N.J. The for-profit, certified woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) specializes in developing a broad spectrum of multi-family properties, ranging from multiplex apartments and townhomes to garden-style and mid- and high-rise complexes, valued in excess of $350 million. Currently, the company is redeveloping 183 new affordable apartment-rental units; on-site management offices and a superintendent's unit; and a new community clubhouse in North Brunswick, N.J.