Press Release (ePRNews.com) - BARNEGAT, NJ - Jan 22, 2016 - The Walters Group has broken ground on a new 102-unit affordable rental community for seniors to be named Cornerstone at Toms River. The project will fill a need for senior (55+) affordable housing in the township as well as give priority to Sandy-impacted residents.
Located at the intersection of Massachusetts Ave. and Cox Cro Road, Cornerstone at Toms River is being built on an 11-acre site, which will remain largely wooded and preserved. The property sat idle for many years because of environmental constraints before Walters was able to gain approvals. The project is being built to LEED specifications and will be ENERGY STAR® CERTIFIED.
“Getting the project underway was challenging, but we have the expertise in managing environmental issues and building sustainable developments.”
“This project fits with our program to pursue affordable housing projects,” said Ed Speitel, Jr., head of land development for the Walters Group. “Getting the project underway was challenging, but we have the expertise in managing environmental issues and building sustainable developments.”
The complex will consist of a three-story apartment building containing one- and two-bedroom floorplans, encompassing 94 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom units. A 7,000-square-foot community clubhouse will offer a long list of amenities including a kitchen area, game room, state-of-the-art fitness area, conference room and more.
In addition to being eco-friendly, Cornerstone at Toms River will offer more modern amenities than most people would expect to find even in market-rate complexes, according to Speitel. “We’ve designed this project with seniors in mind,” Speitel said. The buildings will offer a washer/dryer in each unit, wheelchair access and elevators.
“As Ocean County’s population ages, it’s important to offer a variety of housing options so that lower-income residents can remain in their communities,” said Speitel. “This project is well-suited to older people seeking to downsize and reduce expenses and maintenance responsibilities.”
Priority given to Sandy-impacted residents
In addition to meeting the needs of seniors, priority for residency in the development will be provided to Sandy-impacted individuals who have been displaced by or experienced major or severe storm damage from Superstorm Sandy during the first 90 days on the market.
“Toms River was one of the most heavily impacted Sandy towns in Ocean County,” explained Speitel. “But even before Sandy hit, Walters was looking to broaden its reach into the affordable housing arena. After Sandy, we saw a great demand for this type of housing because people lost their homes and were displaced.”
Increasing the inventory of affordable housing in Toms River will also help the town meet its affordable housing obligation under the state’s Mount Laurel doctrine, a state Supreme Court decision that affirms a person’s constitutional right to affordable housing.
The Walters Group is planning the development of six more affordable housing projects in Ocean and Burlington Counties. Another community for seniors is also underway in Barnegat Township. Cornerstone at Barnegat will be 70 units and will have all the same features as the Toms River community. The other developments will be workforce housing for families and are planned for Delanco, Jackson, Howell and Lacey.
The Walters Group is a leading residential and commercial real estate developer with offices in Barnegat and Haddonfield, N.J. Founded in 1984, the privately held company has built residential custom homes, planned communities, multi-family, affordable housing, retail and student housing.