526 Ocean Ave. Jersey City
526 Ocean Ave. Jersey City

New Jersey-based land-use consultancy Dresdner Robin announced the firm has completed civil engineering, landscape-, and lighting-design services for a veterans’ housing complex at 526 Ocean Avenue in Jersey City that opened yesterday. The 21,700-square-foot low- and moderate-income housing facility consists of 20 units reserved for veterans including some units earmarked for homeless vets. The four-story building also includes 1,500-square-feet of ground-floor commercial space for social support services.

“This is an excellent addition to the city, and it’s fulfilling to have the opportunity to provide our services on a project like this,” said Dresdner Robin’s Mark Vizzini, the associated director of land development, who also served as project manager. “The facility’s amenities will go far beyond just housing. It will provide counseling and support to our local veterans, and strengthen the Jersey City community as a whole.”

Mural at 526 Ocean Ave. Jersey City
Mural at 526 Ocean Ave.

In 2016, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, which chooses developers within redevelopment areas and works with them to clear and environmentally remediate sites (among other things), purchased the property for $1 from the city. Shortly after the sale, the Tantum Real Estate agency was granted an Affordable Housing Trust Fund contract, which provides funding for the development of affordable housing throughout New Jersey.

Speaking at yesterday’s ribbon cutting, Tantum’s founding principal, Debra Tantleff, explained her motivation in pushing the project forward. “When the opportunity for this project came along it was like a lightbulb went off, it was everything I cared about…it was a platform to develop affordable housing at a boutique scale that was dense enough to create immediate impact.”

Tantum is partnering with several organizations that offer veterans support and skills programs, including Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey (CSPNJ), a peer-led not-for-profit organization.

The redevelopment project was approved by the Jersey City Planning Board in 2017.

Deputy Editor Elizabeth Morrill has worked in business, not for profit fundraising and as a freelance copy editor. She holds degrees in American studies and education from Yale and Harvard.