The New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency last week opted to provide tax credits for senior housing projects, but not the one related to the so-called Four Corners development.
Devevlop Hans Lampart said the $3.4 million purchase price for the two acres of land at East and Landis avenues must somehow be lowered for the project to proceed. He said he wants to work with Vineland economic development officials to try to get a lower price from the owners and possibly to obtain more Urban Enterprise Zone funds from the city.
The state agency, however, did award Lampart and his Eastern Pacific Development Co. more than $20 million in the federal housing tax credits for two other projects in South Jersey.
One project involves a $14 million conversion of a former convalescent home in the 3800 block of Atlantic City into Beachview Residences, a 58-unit “supportive-housing” project.
The five-story building would have one- and two-bedroom apartments for the developmentally impaired, Lampart said. A nursing staff would be at the site for those residents who need that type of assistance, he said.
Lampart said the project would use about $10 million of the federal housing tax credits. Other loans would finance the rest of the project, he said.
Work on the Beachview Residences project — which involves gutting and rebuilding the interior of the property — is scheduled to begin in the last quarter of this year, Lampart said. The project should be finished by the end of 2013, he said.
“It’s a fairly extensive renovation in there,” he said.
As for the Four Corners project, that $40 million endeavor was to transform the intersection of East and Landis avenues into a gateway to Vineland’s downtown business district.
The only part of the project to be completed thus far involved the $10 million renovation of the Landis Theater Performing Arts Center and its associated restaurant, Mori’s. That project involved the use of about $4 million in UEZ funds.
Development plans for another corner are now scrapped. Work on a third corner, which was to be the site of an expanded Sacred Heart High School, is on hold while the school tries to correct a financial situation almost resulted in its closing.
The remaining corner is to have Landis Square, which involves 78 units of senior-citizen housing and about 8,000 square feet of retail space.
City Council earlier this year awarded a $32,000 to the Burlington County firm of Holman & Frenia for a full audit of the Four Corners project.
Lampart opposes the audit — saying there is no financial wrongdoing related to the project and that he’s caught up in what he calls an “election year witch hunt.” Lampart’s company was awarded the development rights by a previous city administration.
Lampart said he intends to apply for the tax credits again in November.
City Economic Development Director Sandra Forosisky said Landis Square has a better chance of getting those credits at that time. That formula that helps decide which projects should receive those credits will be changed, possibly giving Landis Square a better chance, she said.
The city will work with Lampart to try and get a better purchase price for the property, but it is not likely the municipality can add to the $1.2 million worth of UEZ money already allocated for the purchase, she said.
“I don’t think it’s doable,” Forosisky said.
Contact Thomas Barlas: