Demolition begins at Ellis Manor site in Glassboro
Demolition begins at Ellis Manor site in Glassboro
(Glassboro, NJ) – The first of thirty buildings started coming down today at a ceremony to mark a new chapter at The Ellis Manor/Whitney A public housing site in Glassboro. Seventy-six housing units and other office and administrative buildings are all scheduled to be removed from the 76-acre site by August 31, 2017.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included Senator Steve Sweeney, Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert Damminger, Freeholder Dan Christy, Glassboro Mayor Leo McCabe and Councilwoman Anna Miller, Kimberly Gober, Executive Director, Housing Authority of Gloucester County, Maria Maio-Messano, Field Officer Director, Housing and Urban Development, Noah Freiberg, Developer for Pennrose Properties LLC and residents from the surrounding neighborhood.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) said, "Today marks the beginning of the revitalization of this part of Glassboro known as the 'Ellis Street' projects. The demolition of these buildings will make way for a fresh start for this neighborhood. It took a lot of effort and team work to get to this point and I congratulate everyone for their vision and perseverance."
The site was known locally as the “Ellis Street” projects, and eventually became known as an area where crimes took place on a frequent basis. As time passed, the local community surrounding the complex became blighted, and local home values decreased. The Glassboro Housing Authority built the public housing in the early 1960's. After approximately 50 years of serving the community, the site which consisted of 60 family apartments and 16 senior apartments was determined by the Housing Authority and approved by HUD that the cost to maintain the existing buildings was higher than was warranted. HUD approved the demolition of the units in July of 2012. The Housing Authority started relocation of the remaining residents in 2013.
Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, “Glassboro has consistently proven their ability to reinvent itself and create a positive community for all of its residents. These housing units were past their prime and now Glassboro will again breathe new life into an aging asset.” Damminger said that under federal guidelines the County of Gloucester is the "responsible entity" for HUD based public housing in Glassboro with funding applied for and routing through the County.
Freeholder Dan Christy, Liaison to the Housing Authority, said, “When the demolition is done and the future site is completed, it will be one more example of how Glassboro is progressive in bringing improvements to the community through collaboration with the county, state, and federal departments. This will be a great improvement to the area and develop much needed housing for developmentally disabled adults and the many senior citizens who need affordable housing.”
Glassboro Councilman Joe D'Alessandro said, "The start of work on this project is great news for the Ellis Manor community and for all of Glassboro. It is encouraging to see the cleanup begin at this location after years of planning and I applaud the state and county officials for their commitment to this critically important project."
"It's gratifying to see this long-awaited project is moving forward,” stated Councilman Hector Cabezas. “The state, the county, and the Borough are committed to building stronger communities and revitalizing our economy, and this project is a great example of how we have Glassboro on the right track."
The cost for full demolition/remediation of Ellis Manor is site is $1,639,000. The funding for the demolition and remediation came from $1,499 million from the Demolition Loan Fund from NJDCA, $100,000 from the Borough of Glassboro Affordable Housing Trust Funds and $40,000 from the Gloucester County Community Development Block Grant Program.
Pennrose Properties LLC was procured in 2014 and entered into a master redeveloper agreement in December of 2014. Pennrose has received approval to redevelop the site into senior housing. An application was submitted to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency on May 2, 2017 for an allocation of 9% low-income housing tax credits. If successful in receiving the 9% tax credits; the first phase will start construction in the spring of 2018 and will develop 65 affordable senior units that will include 17 units for developmentally disabled adults.
Glassboro Housing Authority Chairman Fogarino said, “It is a great day for the Glassboro Housing Authority. The Ellis Manor and Whitney units were built in the 1960’s and sustained significant structural damage. With the hard work of the Glassboro Housing Authority staff, the Board and its partners, the Gloucester County Housing Authority and the Borough of Glassboro, we were able to successfully relocate all the residents. Today begins the demolition of the existing buildings to make way for a modern facility that will properly serve low income seniors in our community."