Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

Press of Atlantic City — A $13 million affordable housing project unveiled earlier this week provided a preview of what Atlantic City residents can expect from the development company rehabilitating three historic buildings in the resort later this year.

On Tuesday, Boston-based WinnCompanies celebrated the opening of Ivy Square Apartments, a 156-unit affordable housing complex formerly known as the Bridgeton Villas.

The two-phase, $13.3 million renovation project will ensure a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable housing options for the next 30 years, according to the developer.

“When we acquired this site in early 2017, we promised to maintain this housing’s affordability for at least three more decades and to significantly improve the quality of life for the families who live here,” said Brett Meringoff, senior vice president of Winn. “Today, we can say we have kept this promise. … This once neglected property is now a source of pride for residents and an asset to the community.”

Silvia Clark, a 16-year resident of the property, said other management has come and gone during her time.

“But Winn came and they transformed everything,” she said. “Winn is a winner.”

The project included complete kitchen and bathroom upgrades to every apartment, new roofs on all eight residential buildings as well as updated facades, new HVAC systems, a security camera system that is linked directly to the city’s Police Department, repaved parking lots and sidewalks, landscaping and the construction of a community building where an underused basketball court used to be.

Winn purchased three buildings in Atlantic City this year for $17.3 million, which included a $4.45 million loan from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The renovation of the Schoolhouse Apartments, Disston Apartments and Liberty Apartments will begin later this year.

WinnCompanies owns more than 100 multifamily housing properties in 11 states and Washington, D.C., with more than 13,000 apartments, the company said.

State Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Salem, Gloucester, Cumberland, said Ivy Square was the “gold standard” for affordable housing in New Jersey.

“The new housing opportunities address the real-life needs of working families in Bridgeton and will improve the quality of life for countless individuals in the years to come,” he said.

Mayor Albert Kelly, who is also president and CEO of the 501c3 nonprofit Gateway Community Action Partnership, said the community “couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Winn” in transforming the former Villas.

Edward Bethea, chief operating officer of Gateway, said the organization will work with tenants to “create steps toward self-sufficiency and home ownership.”

Senator Steve Sweeney speaks during the ribbon cutting event celebrating the opening of the Ivy Square Apartments in Bridgeton. July 30, 2019

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