1/20/2022 6 Comments
Ground will be broken this spring on an affordable senior-citizen apartment building that will house a new community health-and-wellness center in northeast Teaneck.
The new 40-unit building will replace a long-vacant and outdated public works facility at 1425 Teaneck Road. Its independent living apartments will be leased to qualified applicants age 62 or older, and its ground floor will have community space to be used as a neighborhood hub of health-and-wellness services, age-friendly programs, and community engagement activities.
“We’re very excited to be embarking on this new project, which we believe will make Teaneck a model for the type of housing and supportive services that older residents need to affordably and comfortably age in place,” said Elizabeth Davis, executive director of The Bright Side Family.
The new 5-story, elevator-equipped building will include underground parking for residents and visitors and will blend well into the surrounding commercial district - just across the street from a retail center containing a pharmacy, a fruit market, an urgent-care center and other shops.
Because of its ideal, walkable location and its inclusion of on-site services for older adults throughout Teaneck, the $12.3 million project has received wide-ranging endorsements and was selected to receive financing through a highly competitive state affordable senior housing program.
Many government agencies and non-profit providers – including the Township Social Services department, Holy Name Medical Center, Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey and Bergen County Division of Senior Services – have already committed to providing services at the site.
“As we have done with our other projects and programs, we will engage the public and collaborate with Teaneck’s many active civic, business, faith and neighborhood leaders to develop this new center into a significant community asset that helps meet the current and future needs of our rapidly aging population,” Davis said.
The Bright Side Family is a group of closely affiliated non-profit organizations (led by Geriatric Services Inc.) that oversees Age-Friendly Teaneck and operates the Bright Side Manor, an affordable assisted living residence on Teaneck Road, and The Brookdale Senior Residence, a 60-unit affordable independent-living senior building on Bergen Avenue.
The 1425 Teaneck Road site was designated as an area in need of redevelopment by the Township Council, which sought a developer willing to construct senior housing on the land. An agreement with the Township calls for the land to be leased at a nominal amount to the Bright Side Family and its project partner, The Alpert Group, a Fort Lee-based affordable housing developer and property manager. In exchange, the Township will negotiate a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for use of the lot, which previously had been off the property tax rolls for decades because it is municipal-owned land.
Teaneck has committed $900,000 from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund – a pool of funds raised through developer fees that can only be spent on low- and moderate-income housing - to this project. The bulk of the project’s cost will be financed through private lenders and federal and state affordable-housing incentive programs.
The project qualified for a New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Authority affordable senior housing financing program because it ranked high on a scoring scale that factors in the suitability of the location and the quality and array of services that will be provided on site.
The state will monitor the construction and operation of the building, and property managers must follow all federal fair-housing rules, widely publicize details on how to apply, and conduct a regional lottery to select tenants from among qualified applicants.
Age-Friendly Teaneck will develop a community information campaign - in partnership with civic organizations, local service agencies, faith-based groups and resident associations - to ensure that eligible older residents in Teaneck have the information and assistance they need to apply for units in the building, which is expected to be completed in early 2023.
As construction moves forward, Age-Friendly Teaneck also will assess community needs, seek public input and enlist a diverse group of advisers to plan the new center’s programs.
In addition, The Bright Side Family will reach out to Teaneck Township and Bergen County officials to develop a plan to ensure there are adequate pedestrian-crossing upgrades at the intersection adjacent to the new building.
Click here for more information about Age-Friendly Teaneck.
Click here for more information about The Bright Side Family
Click here for more information about The Alpert Group
Who We Are
Age-Friendly Teaneck formed in 2016 with this mission in mind: A great place to grow up should be a great place to grow old.