HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - The creation of a new housing development of 99 low- and moderate-income rental apartments has been underway since June at a site at New York Avenue and Harding Highway.

The first fully framed buildings are visible inside of the development now known as Pinegrove at Hamilton, but which was originally called Harding Homes.

The $28 million project features eight buildings with apartments, said Charles M. Lewis, senior vice president for the developer, Conifer Realty LLC, Mount Laurel, Burlington County.

“The cold weather slowed us down a little bit. Early on, we were a little bit ahead of schedule, so we had a little cushion built in. So, we are pretty much on schedule right now,” said Lewis, who added the plan was always 13 months for construction.

The first three of the eight buildings should be completed in July and the last building or buildings should be finished in October, said Tom Amato, the project manager for the construction company, Conifer LeChase, a separate, but affiliated company with Conifer Realty.

The apartments will be basically townhouses with some flats mixed in, Lewis said. There will be 15 one-bedroom, 51 two-bedroom and 33 three-bedroom apartments.

Along with the eight buildings with apartments, a fenced-in playground area and a freestanding clubhouse are also being built for the development’s residents to use.

The clubhouse will have office space for management, a community room for parties and events, a washer and dryer, a small fitness room and computers, Amato said.

Besides the two fully framed buildings, a third building was 95 percent framed by Thursday, Amato said.

"Two buildings were just started today," said Amato on Jan. 18.

The single-story units will be on the first floor, so that people with mobility issues can rent them. The two-story units will start on the second floor, Amato said.

There were no issues dealing with the Hamilton Township Planning Board during the approval process, Lewis said.

One of the items the planning board asked the developer to add to the site was a walking path for residents, who live inside the development, and for people who would like to walk to the site via Route 40, Lewis said.

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is providing Hurricane Sandy funds for this project, Lewis said.

“We did a market study prior to acquiring the site, and it showed that there was a big demand for affordable housing in Atlantic County,” Lewis said. “We also have developments in Atlantic City and in Egg Harbor City, so for us it made a lot of sense from a management perspective because we already had a presence in the area.”

Conifer Realty LLC is responsible for the Meadows in Atlantic City, which was done in conjunction with the Atlantic City Housing Authority. The Egg Harbor City development is known as Conifer Village at Rittenberg. The company also was behind a housing project in Absecon known as Clayton Mill Run, Lewis said.

“We always keep our eyes out for good locations. A realtor had brought this (piece of property) to our attention, and we really liked the site,” Lewis said.

For further information about Pinegrove at Hamilton, including the rental rates for the apartments, call Conifer Realty at 609-829-3016.

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Contact: 609-272-7202 VJackson@pressofac.com

Twitter@ACPressJackson

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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