What: 357-unit apartment complex where Section 8 and other government programs subsidize nearly every tenant's rent
Where: 10.6-acre tract in Elizabeth, Union County
When: Built during the 1950s Michaels Development, which counted affordable housing projects in Atlantic City among its first endeavors four decades ago.
Who: Community Investment Strategies owns Oakwood. CIS has 36 redevelopment projects to its credit throughout New Jersey, with most in the northern part of the state. CIS CEO and President Christiana Foglio's career started more than 20 years ago and has included appointments to head the state Council on Affordable Housing and Home Mortgage and Finance Agency.
Problems: Crime and maintenance issues
Solution: Original plan was to relocate residents, bulldoze Oakwood and rebuild a lower-density residential development for low-to-moderate income tenants including a set percentage of senior citizens. Financial issues with public partners forced Foglio to revise. The new strategy provides for redevelopment over a long duration and involves less - if any - demolition and more maintenance costs for the upkeep of ageing buildings that were supposed to be torn down.
Status: Window replacement will start when pending federal funds dedicated to energy efficiency initiatives materializes.
Costs: Redevelopment costs estimated at $80 million.
Assessed at $2.5 million. Sold in June 2009 for $28.3 million, on par with the market value determined by an independent, third-party study commissioned by the Union County Improvement Authority two years before the sale.
The state Department of Community Affairs financed the transaction through the City of Elizabeth. Using money borrowed from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, DCA provided the city with a direct $4 million grant marked for the title company involved in the Oakwood sale. DCA also planned to forward payments through the city to UCIA so the authority could repay the loan it took to front $16.7 million for the sale.
CIS covered the balance by assuming the $7.6 million remaining on the prior owner's mortgage.
Sources: Documents from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, city of Elizabeth and Union County Improvement Authority; Community Investment Strategies President and Chief Executive Officer Christiana Foglio; UCIA attorney Jonathan Williams