Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tenants Prep to Leave Paterson Housing Complex

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tenants Prep to Leave Paterson Housing Complex

Article excerpt

PATERSON - Josephine Jacobs has lived in the Riverside public housing complex for almost four decades.

"I'm glad they're tearing this down," said Jacobs, who is 78. "I'm tired of hearing all this shooting and gunfire. People hang out at all hours of the night. No one wants their kids hanging around a place like this. All the time I hear fighting and cursing."

Jacobs was one of 60 residents of the complex who attended a public meeting this week during which officials from the Paterson Housing Authority outlined their demolition and redevelopment plans for the site.

Riverside has 300 apartments, but about 112 are vacant, including many with boarded-up windows. Riverside, which is just west of Route 20 between Fifth and Seventh avenues, looms as the housing authority's most problem-plagued site, officials said.

"The quality of life will be much better in the new complex," said Irma Gorham, the authority's executive director.

At present, the streets leading into the complex are dead ends. But the streets will run through the new development, which will have 259 units, officials said.

"The engineering assessment has declared this complex obsolete," said Noaim Roizman, whose Pennsylvania-based company is handling the redevelopment for the housing authority.

The first phase will consist of 80 apartments for senior citizens, Roizman said. The second phase will be made up of 68 family units, he said. The third and fourth phases will have 68 and 48 apartments, respectively.

"We hope to start construction of phases 1 and 2 in 2017, and have them occupied by 2018," Roizman said. The goal is to finish the whole project, including retail space along Route 20, by 2020, officials said.

The city agency is still waiting for final approval of the redevelopment plan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. …

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