Capitalizing on the success of the Lincoln Park project, MBI Development and BCM Affordable Housing joined forces along with the Newark YMCA to develop the Residences at Symphony Hall. Symphony Hall is located between Crawford and Halsey Streets in the middle of the four buildings developed as part the Lincoln Park project. Symphony Hall is comprised of one four story building situated on a vacant Brownfield site and contains 20 one and 40 two-bedroom apartments. All of the apartments are marketed to the performing arts community (the performing arts community will have the first preference, if qualified artists cannot be found then the apartments will be leased to qualified non-artist families) and 15 of the 60 units will be set-aside for residents that have special needs. Incomes for the 15 special needs units are underwritten at 20% of the Essex County median and are being supplemented by Project Based Section 8 Vouchers provided by the Newark Housing Authority via the YMCA. The remainder of the units will be marketed to residents earning no more than 60% of the County median income.
The new building is four stories in height, contains two elevators, a two story furnished lobby, a community room with a beautiful kitchen, two furnished decks, a leasing/management office, a maintenance facility, performing arts rehearsal space, 46 off street parking spaces and a play area. All of the apartments have balconies (floors two through four only), full size washers and dryers, wooden baseboards, a full appliance package including dishwashers and garbage disposals, digital thermostats and window treatments. Additionally the 15 special needs units are fully furnished.
Construction began in the early Winter of 2016 and the doors opened for occupancy in June of 2017.
Total project costs were in excess of $17 million. The building contains 63,030 square feet of residential space. Financing for the project was provided through the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency (LIHTC and an Agency Mortgage), Newark HOME Funds, a construction loan and a permanent mortgage from the NJHMFA.
Within a short walking distance of the site is the downtown core of the City of Newark, NJ. This area contains drugstores, supermarkets, convenience stores, houses of worship, medical facilities, etc. Immediately adjacent to the site is Broad St. which is serviced by NJ Transit busses. 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. Finally the site is approximately one mile from Penn Station which is serviced by NJ Transit and Amtrak.
Finally, the project also offers the residents a complete social service package. The social services are provided by the Newark YMCA. These services include a case manager (20 hours/week) who is responsible for instituting linkages with area service providers, including mental health counseling, substance abuse programs and counseling, transportation, legal advocacy, domestic violence counseling and a host of medical services. All of these services are being provided within the social service suite or in the resident’s apartment, whichever is more appropriate.