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The Michaels Organization And City Of Newark Host Ribbon Cutting Ceremony For Somerset Brownstones


New Affordable Housing Community in Newark’s Central Ward Offers Modern, High Quality Affordable Housing for Families with moderate incomes and the formerly homeless. 

Joined by government officials, local dignitaries and residents, The Michaels Organization, along with the City of Newark, celebrated the grand opening of Somerset Brownstones on July 15th with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The newly constructed $21 million rental community, built on a former site of public housing that had become blighted and crime-ridden, represents an important transformation for high quality affordable housing as well as new community green space in Newark’s Central Ward.  

"Somerset Brownstones is another giant step forward in the comeback of a neighborhood that for years was red-lined, blighted and denied needed development and upkeep," Baraka said. "It is also a milestone in our equitable growth strategy to focus on creating more affordable housing for the lowest income residents throughout Newark."

Michaels, a national leader in residential real estate and the largest privately held owner of affordable housing in the country, was selected by Newark as the city’s private development partner. The development plan for Somerset Brownstones included 60 modern yet affordable apartments across four, 3-story buildings as well as significant new community green space. Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony was held in one of the new parks that was built by Michaels; a second, larger park is currently under construction. 

“We are very grateful to the Mayor, the city, neighborhood stakeholders, and all of our financing partners for their tremendous support of this new development,” said Michaels Vice President Jonathan Lubonski. “We look forward to Somerset Brownstones being a community asset for many years to come.”

All the two- and three-bedroom apartments at Somerset will serve families earning below 60% of the Area’s Median Income (AMI). Half of the apartments are reserved for very low-income households who receive Project Based Section 8 subsidies from the Newark Housing Authority while 15 units are reserved as permanent housing for the homeless, with priority given to homeless veterans. 

Somerset Brownstones residents will enjoy modern and efficient amenities in their apartments, including Energy-star certified appliances, central air and gas heat, as well as a community center. In addition, residents will also receive supportive services focused on health, wellness, education and economic stability from Michaels’ nonprofit partner, Better Tomorrows. 

Financing for the $21 Million development included $11 million in private equity raised through the sale of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, $1.5 million in Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of NY, and $500,000 in HOME funds from the city of Newark. Funding for the park was provided  through a Green Acres grant from the state of New Jersey. 

In addition to Michaels Development, other members of the development team included ARC Construction serving as the General Contractor and KNTM Architects. Michaels is also serving as the property manager, ensuring that Somerset Brownstones remains a quality community asset for years to come. 

About The Michaels Organization: The Michaels Organization is a national leader in residential real estate offering full-service capabilities in development, property management, finance and construction. Michaels brings comprehensive solutions to communities that jump-start housing, education, civic engagement and community prosperity, and is committed to creating communities that lift lives.

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