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Press Release
May 20, 2021
4 minute read

NJEDA and NJHMFA Support Mixed-Use Redevelopment and New Construction at Paterson’s Argus Mill Site


TRENTON, N.J. (May 20, 2021) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) have announced their approval of support for a project at the historic Argus Mill site in the Great Falls Historic District of Paterson. The Argus Ellison Development project will create 74 housing units and associated parking for residents. It will also provide program space for Grandparents Relatives Care Resource Center (GRCRC), a Paterson-based nonprofit that provides family services, and office space for Winn Residential, the project’s property manager.

“Driving investment in communities is one of the key tenets of Governor Phil Murphy’s plan for a stronger, fairer New Jersey Economy. The Argus Ellison Development project will advance this goal by supporting the well-being of Paterson residents in several ways,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The project offers attractive and affordable housing options and will provide a permanent, welcoming home for GRCRC staff and the families they support. All of this will be achieved in a manner that will make the iconic Argus Mill an asset to the Great Falls community once again.”

The Argus Ellison Development project will revitalize the historic Argus Mill, which was built in the late 1800s, to create six two-bedroom apartments, and office and programming space for GRCRC. At the same time, the project will undertake new construction of a second, six-story building comprised of 68 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Most of these apartments will be supported by housing vouchers from the Paterson Housing Authority. A minimum of 40 percent of the units in this mixed-income development will average 60 percent or less of area median income (AMI). Two small existing office buildings on the site, the Daniel Thompson and John Ryles Houses, will remain in place and serve as management office and nonprofit office space.

The project also includes office and programming space for GRCRC, which will provide social services to tenants and other Paterson residents. GRCRC offers grandparents and other relative caregivers and the children they are raising with a range of support services, resources, programs, benefits, and information on laws and policies available to help them successfully fulfill their caregiving role.

“We are extremely excited about the Argus development project and are profoundly grateful for the state’s assistance in achieving equitable housing and quality infill development,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing portion of our city, so we are very supportive of filling this niche need, while also serving as beacon for other communities to serve their citizens in creative ways.”

“Redevelopment of the Argus Mill and related new construction preserves local history while enhancing the quality of life in this vibrant community,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Melanie R. Walter. “The Argus Mills property provides a model for inclusive and equitable development by offering financially sustainable, quality housing for Paterson families near the City’s beautiful and historic national park.”

“We are thrilled to return to the Paterson community and to work with the administration in serving a very targeted population.  We also are very pleased to be able to serve a genuine community need, especially during these challenging times,” said Owen Tonkins, Partner, Argus Ellison Associates LLC.

On May 12, 2021, the NJEDA Board approved Mixed Use Parking Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) tax credits not to exceed $17 million to support the project. The award approximates 100 percent of actual eligible parking costs and 40 percent of the total actual eligible project costs related to residential housing uses. Financing of this project also includes $20.2 million in permanent financing through NJHMFA’s Conduit Bond Program, which was approved at today’s NJHMFA Board meeting.

The project is being developed by Argus Ellison Associates LLC, which is a partnership between Lagos Partners and Winn Development, and Grandparents AE, LLC. Grandparents AE is affiliated with GRCRC and was created for the sole purpose of advancing this project. Construction is expected to begin in July 2021. The anticipated completion of the project is September 2022.

To support more projects like the Argus Ellison development, in January, Governor Murphy committed an additional $50 million to the Residential ERG program through the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), a comprehensive package of economic development legislation to address the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy. This new commitment of funding will enable projects that are ready to advance to do so while new ERA programs are under development.

The application for the residential ERG program is expected to reopen on June 1 and will be administered based on pre-existing ERG regulations and statutes, as amended by the ERA, which added new prevailing wage and minimum wage requirements. For additional information and detailed eligibility requirements, including a clarifying document outlining all requirements and application review protocols for interested parties, visit https://www.njeda.com/economicrecoveryact/. Specific questions can be directed to ergextension@njeda.com.

For more information about the extension of the ERG program and other programs created by the Economic Recovery Act, please visit https://www.njeda.com/economicrecoveryact/.

About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.
 
To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, an affiliate of DCA, is a statewide and national leader in providing and advocating for affordable housing and homeownership. The Agency provides financing to developers to create quality homes and provides mortgage loans and down payment and closing cost assistance to help homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership. For more information about NJHMFA programs, visit https://www.njhousing.gov.

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