Rush Crossing in Trenton, NJ has won a 2015 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Public Housing category.
Photo Courtesy of Pennrose Properties, LLC
Rush Crossing is the result of a public-private partnership initiative between the Trenton Housing Authority and Pennrose Properties. The outcome of this partnership was the successful replacement of a large, vacant, crime-infested public housing development with a vibrant new amenity-rich townhouse community. Rush Crossing provides 204 critically needed affordable rental housing units to Trenton, New Jersey residents.
Construction of Rush Crossing was completed in 2014. The development consists of 13 split-level townhouse buildings, and it restores the street grid eliminated in the 1950s by the previous high-rise towers. Other local developers now see the neighborhood as “on the rise” thanks to Rush Crossing. The neighborhood has also benefited from the impact of local hiring. The Trenton Housing Authority received a Section 3 business award from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials for having over 20 qualifying businesses and over 100 qualifying employees on the construction site.
Residents benefit from Rush Crossings’ convenient location, which provides access to local shopping, employment, recreation, and educational opportunities. The Trenton Transit Center is located just a quarter mile from the development, providing easy access to the Amtrak station and other public transportation options. Rush Crossing also achieved LEED Silver certification by installing features that enhance efficiency and comfort. Sustainable features include high-efficiency appliances, plumbing fixtures, and heating/air conditioning equipment, as well as low-VOC paints, green-label carpet, and non-invasive, drought tolerant landscaping. The efficient units and easy access to affordable transportation and nearby employment opportunities help reduce living expenses, boost income, and help families escape the cycle of poverty.
Supportive services provided at Rush Crossing include programs for women in the workplace, men in the workplace, and job fairs for those struggling to find work or change careers. The development also provides support groups for single parents and senior citizens. Outdoor amenities include a furnished patio connected to the community room, tot lot, BBQ area, dog walking area, and a community-wide, state-of-the-art camera surveillance system. In addition, residents will design and create their own community garden. Working with Youth Build, a Trenton nonprofit, residents will be able to determine what they would like to grow and be given the tools to do so.
Many former residents of the Carl Miller Homes project were also involved in the planning and development of Rush Crossing. In fact, the development is named for Joyce Rush, a resident of the Carl Miller Homes who led the Miller Homes Smooth Steppers Drill Team. The development no sponsors the same drill team, which has changed its name to the Rush Crossing Smooth Steppers and no practices in the community room on-site. The impact of the redevelopment on former residents was recognized by a film class at Princeton University, which used the revitalization of the site as the focus for three short films highlighting the personal and physical impact of the redevelopment.
Rush Crossing was built in one phase and required 11 different funding sources to complete all 204 units at one time. The development used one of the last HOPE VI Grant Awards from HUD totaling $11 million, and was one of the first to use the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Conduit Loan Program. Rush Crossing was only the second NJEDA Urban Transit HUB tax credit development in the state, which provided $13 million in equity proceeds. Additionally, financing of Rush Crossing was possible by $21.2 million in Housing Credits syndicated by Hudson Housing Capital, $2.5 million in City of Trenton RCA funds, and $1 million in City of Trenton HOME funds.