The City of Rahway has done a remarkable job in redeveloping its central arts district through a series of public/private partnerships which have resulted in an economic engine that is driving the larger community. These activities include the redevelopment of the Amtrak Train Station and the Union County Performing Arts Center, the development of the Hamilton Stage, a growing visual arts community supported by studios and galleries, the River Place Apartments along with the Park Square Apartments and a variety of shops and businesses in the downtown corridor. Further leveraging this success, BCM Affordable Housing and Ingerman have come together to develop the Rahway Residence for the Arts located at 219 Central Avenue, Rahway, NJ.
RRFTA is a family community which was primarily marketed toward artists. The project includes 24 one, 28 two and 6 three-bedroom apartments, rehearsal, gallery and other cultural spaces, a leasing/management office, five furnished common area balconies and 38 surface parking spaces on site within one four story 65,000 square foot building. Each residence contains granite counter tops and tile back-splashes in the kitchens, full size washers and dryers, Juliette balconies and an abundance of closet space. Total project costs are in excess of $14.7 million. Financing for the project was provided through the syndication of Low Income Housing Tax Credits provided by the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency, Home Funds from Union county, CDBG funds from the City of Rahway and a permanent mortgage provided by the NJHMFA.
RRFTA designated 11 units for residents earning no more than 50% of the Union County median and an additional 47 units for residents earning no more than 60% of County median. The current market conditions in Rahway, for this type of housing, are quite limited.
Within a quarter mile walk of the site is the central core of Rahway. This area contains convenience stores, restaurants, houses of worship, medical facilities, two performance venues and a number of galleries. A short walk from the site is the Amtrak Station which offers commuter’s easy access to Newark and New York City to the north and Trenton to the south. The site is also a short driving distance from the NJ Turnpike, Interstates 280 and 78 as well as the Newark’s Liberty International Airport.