Countryside Village I
Seabrook, NJ 08302
- 100 apartments
- Developed and managed by Vesta since 2006
Countryside Village II
Seabrook, NJ 08302
- 90 apartments
- Developed and managed by Vesta since 2007
Countryside Village III
Seabrook, NJ 08302
- 93 apartments
- Developed and managed by Vesta since 2008
Situated on 34 acres in Cumberland County’s choice farmland district, Countryside Village was constructed in the 1940s to house workers of the Seabrook Frozen Foods Company. The Village consisted of 326 Section 8 apartments in 57 one-story, bunker-like buildings, which over time had become severely distressed.
The community had been rehabilitated in 1987, but the apartments were extremely small, the building systems were out of date and needed replacement, and the needs of the elderly and handicapped were not being met. Roads and parking were substandard. There were no community facilities. The Village was poorly designed, adding greatly to the impression of isolation and distress.
Vesta set out to redefine Countryside Village, starting with demolition of the existing structures and creation of a new, viable, self-sustaining and attractive mixed income residential community. Existing residents were temporarily relocated on-site during construction. Due to a limit on the amount of New Jersey tax credits that could be awarded to a project in one year, the redevelopment was completed in three stand-alone projects with separate ownership entities and financing.
The redevelopment took advantage of the size and attractive setting of the community. The master plan provided a clear and coherent road system, connecting the site to the surrounding community, while providing traditional frontages for new housing, and a safer gateway in and out of the neighborhood. Vesta replaced the one story flat-roofed structures with attractive two and three-story buildings sporting peaked roofs, dormers and front porches using quality façade materials.
Phase I consisted of 100 new apartments, constructed and fully occupied in 2006 at a cost of $22.4 million. The apartments are all affordable to families earning less than 60% of median income in the county.
Phase II consisted of the construction of 90 new, attached and architecturally complementary apartments. Development cost was approximately $22.5 million, and the project was fully constructed and occupied by year-end 2007. Included in Phase II was the construction of a Management Center with associated laundry and community space facilities.
Phase III began in the fall of 2007 and was completed in 2008. It consists of new construction of 93 apartments in 18, two-story attached buildings at a cost of approximately $24 million. Phase III also includes a 2,048 square foot Community Learning Center.
All three phases were financed with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, taxable permanent financing through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency, and gap financing through the NJHMFA Home Express Program, as well as developer equity and a conventional construction loan. The three phases combined were awarded $54 million of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Because of technical program restrictions, Vesta had to opt out of the project-based Section 8 contract for all existing apartments; therefore the new apartments are market rate affordable.
The new Countryside Village Apartments face directly onto new and existing streets with on-street parking – all geared towards promoting safe, walkable and livable streets and blocks. Rear yards were developed to include additional parking and open space such as tot-lots and gardens. The community now offers apartments accessible for the elderly and handicapped. The new Community and Learning Center was strategically placed central to the entire Village, promoting an enriching and supportive community environment.