In New Jersey, a vacant historic mill is being repurposed as affordable & supportive housing to help revitalize a neighborhood

On May 20, 2021, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) announced their approval of support for a reuse and revitalization project at the historic Argus Mill site in the Great Falls Historic District of Paterson.

Redevelopment of the Argus Mill and related new construction preserves local history while enhancing the quality of life in this vibrant community,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Melanie R. Walter. “The Argus Mills property provides a model for inclusive and equitable development by offering financially sustainable, quality housing for Paterson families near the City’s beautiful and historic national park.

The Argus Ellison Development Project will create 74 housing units and associated parking for residents. It will also provide program space for Grandparents Relatives Care Resource Center (GRCRC), a Paterson-based nonprofit that provides family services, and office space for Winn Residential, the project’s property manager.

The Argus Ellison Development project will revitalize the historic Argus Mill, which was built in the late 1800s, to create six two-bedroom apartments, and office and programming space for GRCRC. At the same time, the project will undertake new construction of a second, six-story building comprising 68 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.

We are thrilled to return to the Paterson community and to work with the administration in serving a very targeted population. We also are very pleased to be able to serve a genuine community need, especially during these challenging times,” said Owen Tonkins, Partner, Argus Ellison Associates LLC.

Most of these apartments will be supported by housing vouchers from the Paterson Housing Authority. A minimum of 40 percent of the units in this mixed-income development will average 60 percent or less of area median income (AMI). Two small existing office buildings on the site, the Daniel Thompson and John Ryles Houses, will remain in place and serve as management office and nonprofit office space.

The project also includes office and programming space for GRCRC, which will provide social services to tenants and other Paterson residents. GRCRC offers grandparents and other relative caregivers and the children they are raising with a range of support services, resources, programs, benefits, and information on laws and policies available to help them successfully fulfill their caregiving role.

We are extremely excited about the Argus development project and are profoundly grateful for the state’s assistance in achieving equitable housing and quality infill development,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing portion of our city, so we are very supportive of filling this niche need, while also serving as beacon for other communities to serve their citizens in creative ways.

On May 12, 2021, the NJEDA Board approved Mixed Use Parking Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) tax credits not to exceed $17 million to support the project. The award approximates 100 percent of actual eligible parking costs and 40 percent of the total actual eligible project costs related to residential housing uses. Financing of this project also includes $20.2 million in permanent financing through NJHMFA’s Conduit Bond Program, which was approved at today’s NJHMFA Board meeting.

The project is being developed by Argus Ellison Associates LLC, which is a partnership between Lagos Partners and Winn Development, and Grandparents AE, LLC. Grandparents AE is affiliated with GRCRC and was created for the sole purpose of advancing this project. Construction is expected to begin in July 2021. The anticipated completion of the project is September 2022.

Driving investment in communities is one of the key tenets of Governor Phil Murphy’s plan for a stronger, fairer New Jersey Economy. The Argus Ellison Development project will advance this goal by supporting the well-being of Paterson residents in several ways,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.

The project offers attractive and affordable housing options and will provide a permanent, welcoming home for GRCRC staff and the families they support. All of this will be achieved in a manner that will make the iconic Argus Mill an asset to the Great Falls community once again,” he added.

To support more projects like the Argus Ellison development, in January, Governor Murphy committed an additional $50 million to the Residential ERG program through the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), a comprehensive package of economic development legislation to address the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy. This new commitment of funding will enable projects that are ready to advance to do so while new ERA programs are under development.

Photo courtesy of Winn Development.

See Winn Residential website.

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