by Daniel Reyes for The Jersey Journal

January 18, 2013

The first in a series of new townhomes in the Jackson Hill neighborhood of Jersey City was lowered onto its foundation yesterday as part of a ceremony celebrating the new affordable housing.

The ceremony, which brought in community and corporate leaders, public officials and citizens, celebrated the arrival of new affordable homes on Rose Avenue between Kearney and Orient avenues, dubbed Jackson Green.

The 22 homes are slated for completion in late spring or early summer, and prices start for as little as $950 a month.

All of the units will boast three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, and even the most basic units still include Energy Star rated stainless appliances, central air heating and cooling, and two-story loft spaces.

While no maximum price was given, “in general, families making 80 percent of the Area Median Income will be able to afford the new houses,” said Kavita Vijayan, director of strategic communications at TRF Development Partners, a non-profit community developer.

Jersey City Mayor Jeremiah Healy said he thought the new units were “top shelf” townhomes and have the added amenity of the HUB shopping plaza nearby.

“I don’t think (Jersey City residents) can find a better bargain,” he said.

The $7 million project was the product of a partnership between the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, TRF Development Partners and local citizens’ group Interfaith Community Organization.

The journey in placing the affordable housing complex on the once-chromium contaminated land on Rose Avenue was a long one, said Ellen Wright, a leader of ICO, which led the long-term effort to get chromium sites throughout Jersey City remediated.

While the Jackson Green land didn’t contain as many contaminants as others in the area, it was still expensive to remediate, Joe Morris of the ICO said.

“It’s just the beginning of rebuilding,” said Wright.

Nichele Brown, the first person to buy one of the new townhomes, was excited about finally moving into a home that she owns.

Brown, who was born and raised in Jersey City, said she had been searching to buy a home for five years and was about to leave her hometown to live in Trenton until she was given information on Jackson Green. She was sold.

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