West Windsor — On a brisk day with bright sunshine in October, Project Freedom Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony for Freedom Village at West Windsor, a 72 unit affordable and accessible rental community under construction located on Old Bear Brook Road already.
West Windsor Mayor Hemant Marathe, Ph.D., past Mayor Dr. Shing-Fu Hsueh, Council members, Affordable Committee members and many town officials were in attendance. Also present was Florence Cohen, former chairperson of West Windsor’s Affordable Housing Committee, was the committee member who introduced Project Freedom Inc. to the township.
Timothy Doherty, executive director of Project Freedom Inc., welcomed the guests and speakers followed by Herb Schneider, chairman of the board of trustees, who highlighted Project Freedom’s cooperative relationship with the many towns in New Jersey that are home to Project Freedom communities.
“Our Project Freedom Villages have been invited into each of the seven towns where we have built a community,” said Schneider, “and we have been warmly welcomed by the town officials and the neighbors. We work hard to establish a spirit of cooperation with our new neighbors and with the town.”
Mercer County Freeholder Pasquale “Pat” Colavita Jr. spoke about the “freedom provided by Project Freedom’s housing.”
Maria Malo-Messano, Field Office Director, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, praised the inclusiveness of the development and noted that this type of housing was what the federal government encouraged
Claudia Lovas, Deputy Executive Director, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, Tony Lyons, Vice President of East Originations for the National Equity Fund, Benjamin Kruger, Vice President Commercial Real Estate for TD Bank, all spoke about working and partnering with Project Freedom on eight housing projects throughout the years..
Norman Smith, co-founder of Project Freedom spoke about the mission of the organization.
“Project Freedom housing is the foundation from which people with and without disabilities can build their lives on,” added Smith in his remarks. “What has been started here today will bring freedom to some, a comfortable sanctuary for others, and for everyone the opportunity to say West Windsor is a great place to call their hometown.
The plans for Freedom Village at West Windsor are 72 unit affordable and accessible rental community six two-story buildings with 12 apartments in each building and a Community Center. Each building will have an elevator for easy access to the second floor and a laundry room on each floor for the convenience of the tenants. There will be one, two and three bedroom units which are designed to LEED Silver equivalency which will insure energy efficient units. Eighteen of the units will be set aside for individuals who have a disability.
The new community is funded through Tax Credits awarded by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, National Equity Fund Inc. TD Bank and Investors Bank. The General Contractor for the project is Costanza Builders of New Jersey Inc., the architect is Joseph F. McKernan Jr. Architects & Associates and the Engineer is ESE Consultants, Inc. Construction for Freedom Village will take 14 months to complete.