NORTHFIELD — The land on Cresson Avenue behind the Tilton Shopping Center sat undeveloped for decades.
Three years ago, the city’s Planning Board gave major site-plan approval to a 266-unit, multi-building apartment complex called Cresson Hill, located between Cresson Avenue and Tilton Road and close to the London Court condominiums and Cambridge Townhouses.
Next month, residents should definitely begin moving into Cresson Hill, said Mitchell Gurwicz, one of the partners for the developers, Max Gurwicz Enterprises, which also owns the Tilton Shopping Center.
“Leases haven’t been released yet, but we have several applicants already qualified,” Gurwicz said.
Other communities have this type of housing development, but Northfield does not, Gurwicz said.
The first three buildings of a proposed 14-building complex have been constructed in what is called phase one, Gurwicz said. Phase two will have another three buildings. Phases three and four will have four buildings each.
There will be 225 market-rate units and 40 affordable-housing units in total with the fully completed project, the developer said.
When it comes to Cresson Hill, affordable housing will not mean people on government assistance, people on government programs or people who need to use the Section 8 housing choice voucher program, Gurwicz said.
Affordability will be based on median income. The affordable units will be available at the end of phase two, and they will be administered by another company, Gurwicz said.
“The affordable units will be given out after a rigorous applicant process. People will qualify for a lower rent than market rate, but this is not an assistance program,” Gurwicz said.
In 2014, the City Council passed an ordinance amending its zoning laws to place the development area into the commercial multi-family zone.
At the same time, the City Council also entered into a developer’s agreement with Gurwicz for the property to help the city meet some of its affordable housing obligation.
Mayor Erland Chau, who is also a Planning Board member, voted for the project three years ago. He is happy to see it will be admitting residents.
“No. 1, it will provide us with more affordable housing,” Chau said. “No. 2, it is a ratable. It was vacant land.”
There has been little to no advertising for Cresson Hill because the developer did not have anything to show until recently, Gurwicz said.
“We will be stepping up the marketing very soon, but the response has been incredible just from the drive-by traffic and word of mouth,” Gurwicz said.
There are two 4-feet by 8-feet signs for Cresson Hill, one on Tilton Road and one on Cresson Avenue at the main entrance, Gurwicz said.
The apartments themselves will offer granite countertops, stainless steel kitchen appliances, balconies and an in-unit washer and dryer.
Cresson Hill was built to provide the feel of condo living to a rental community. The residents will be able to take advantage of a clubhouse, 24-hour fitness, a heated pool, a barbecue and picnic area, a package receiving and distribution center and designated pet-friendly areas.
Cresson Hill’s one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit at 841 square feet starts renting for $1,259 monthly. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom units at 1,241-square-feet begin renting for $1,550 monthly, Gurwicz said.
Private garages and private ground-level storage closets and units in various sizes will be available for rent on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Max Gurwicz Enterprises currently operates Woodcrest Apartments in Egg Harbor Township and Ocean Terrace condominiums and Riviera Apartments in Atlantic City.