WinnCompanies, ART-JIUS Enterprises complete $26M Mill Street Square in Paterson

WinnCompanies executives and two developers from ART-JIUS Enterprises, Owen Tonkins and Daryll Tyson, on Wednesday joined with Paterson Mayor André Sayegh and state and local leaders to celebrate the completion of a $26 million building effort, Mill Street Square.

Mill Street Square transformed the 19th-century Argus Mill in Paterson’s Great Falls Historic District from a vacant, four-story, 7,700-square-foot historic brick mill into six loft-style, two-bedroom apartments, with programming space for the nonprofit Grandparents Relatives Care Resource Center; built a new four-story apartment building for 68 low- to moderate-income households; built a new parking garage for the Paterson Parking Authority; and restored the historic Thompson and Ryle Houses as the offices of the nonprofit Paterson Music Project.

WinnDevelopment Senior Vice President David Ginsberg and Senior Project Directors Laura Manville and Lindsay Finkenstaedt led the partnership with Tonkins and Tyson, the principals of ART-JIUS Enterprises, who were both born and raised in Paterson and who have also led successful development efforts in Maryland and Georgia.

All 74 apartments are Low Income Housing Tax Credit units, with 52 units targeted to multi-generational households with grandparents raising their grandchildren and earning less than 50% of the Area Median Income. Families meeting the grand-family definition will be eligible for project-based rental assistance from the Paterson Housing Authority.

The remaining 22 units are for families earning below 80% of AMI, also under the LIHTC program. Fifty-four of the new apartments are two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, creating much-needed space and flexibility for larger families in Paterson.

“Mill Street Square showcases how strong public-private partnerships can come together to meet Paterson’s pressing need for affordable housing,” WinnCompanies President Gilbert Winn said. “We’re excited to begin leasing a development that has been a priority for the city for many years. Our local partners at ART-JIUS Enterprises, backed by catalytic financing from state and private sources, were critical to making this unique project a reality.”

“We are proud to celebrate the completion of Mill Street Square, a $26 million construction effort that exemplifies the power of collaboration between public and private sectors,” Sayegh said. “This development addresses Paterson’s urgent need for affordable housing and provides a haven for grandparents raising their grandchildren. It’s a testament to our commitment to our community’s well-being and inclusivity.”

Funds for Mill Street Square came from construction and permanent financing provided by Bank of America and Citi Community Capital; tax-exempt bonds and 4% LIHTCs issued by the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency; LIHTC and Federal Historic Tax Credit equity from Bank of America; an Economic Redevelopment and Growth state tax credit award from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority; an ERG bridge loan from New Jersey Community Capital and BlueHub Capital; ERG credit equity syndicated by Fallbrook Financial Services Co.; U.S. Housing & Urban Development Project Based Vouchers administered by the Paterson Housing Authority; and HOME and local funding from the city of Paterson.

“Multigenerational households are an often overlooked and underserved family type. Mill Street Square not only addresses our state’s critical affordable housing needs, but does so for grandparents who are the primary caretakers of children,” NJHMFA Executive Director Melanie Walter said. “We are proud to have contributed $37.9 million in financing for this project, which is a testament to how innovative public-private partnerships can make a lasting impact on Paterson families.”

“The redevelopment of the Argus Mill has returned it to its former status as an economic asset to the Great Falls community. Mill Street Square meets a longstanding need for attractive affordable housing options while offering specialized resources for grandparents caring for their grandchildren,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “This kind of public-private investment in communities where it’s needed most aligns with Gov. Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy, by prioritizing the well-being of multigenerational Paterson families.”

More than $5 million in contracts were awarded to Section 3 and M/WBE businesses, exceeding project goals by more than 35%. Nine MWBE businesses were hired during construction and 20% of all construction spending went to MWBE businesses. Working with its partner, Renaissance Groups, WinnDevelopment also helped four existing local businesses become certified and registered as MWBEs in New Jersey, expanding their access to public-sector business opportunities. Thirty-one Paterson residents were hired during construction.

The project was successfully certified through both the Zero Energy Ready Homes and Energy Star Multifamily New Construction green building programs. The high-efficiency design features include continuous insulation and triple-pane windows, energy recovery ventilation systems, high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, LED lighting and Energy Star appliances. The newly constructed residential building features a 97-kilowatt solar PV system on its roof, which will produce approximately 120,000 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable electricity every year, offsetting approximately 35% of the building’s electricity load.

Sixty-eight new affordable units were created in a new-construction four-story, wood-frame residential building, built with one podium of resident parking and a new, modern ground-floor public parking lot managed by the Paterson Parking Authority, which provided a 99-year ground lease for the site.

The four-story Argus Mill, a brick-and-wood frame structure erected in the mid-1870s, serves as the gateway to the development, now housing six apartments with open floor plans, hardwood floors, exposed brick, high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. It was added to the National Historic Register in 1986 but has been vacant for many years. Two other small historic structures, dating back to the early 1830s, known as the Thompson and Ryle Houses, were also renovated as part of the project.

Coppa Montalbano Architects of Totowa was the architect; Paulus Sokolowski and Sartor Engineering of Warren served as the civil engineer; Public Archaeology Laboratory Inc. served as historic consultant; ACME Heritage Consultants of Larchmont, New York, provided archaeological services; Renaissance Groups of Buffalo, New York, led efforts to recruit local and MWBE businesses; Friend and Wenzel of Clifton provided local legal counsel; and Berman Indictor of Philadelphia served as transactional counsel.

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