Erroneous Claim by NJ Touted Sandy Aid Project
A Christie Administration spokesperson has acknowledged inaccuracies in a press release regarding the politically-connected developer of luxury apartments built with the help of $4.8 million in Hurricane Sandy aid, New Brunswick Today reports.
The Sept. 23 press release issued by Department of Community Affairs and the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Authority claimed Boraie Development LLC had previously worked to build and sell affordable housing. According to the release, the New Brunswick-based developer "has worked successfully in the past to construct and sell Spring Street Plaza, a 120-unit condominium project that provided affordable housing opportunities to NJ residents."
However, Lisa Ryan, a spokeswoman for the DCA, told New Brunswick Today that the developer "has never before built affordable housing from scratch, although they did provide affordable housing."
Following the publication of an article on New Brunswick Today's website questioning the credentials of Boraie Development, Ryan told the publication: "Honestly, the press release as written is not accurate. However, what you will see is that... affordable housing units were not created in the Spring Street Plaza, the company did provide them in other neighborhoods of the city."
According to the article, one of the reasons affordable housing didn't make sense for the Spring Street Plaza development is because the affordable housing families would have to pay condo association fees - which could top $700 per month - for amenities such as parking and other services.
Originally, the New Brunswick Today story states, the condos "were supposed to be sold for between $149,555 and $196,440 and buyers would have been entitled to 100% financing from HMFA. Instead, the first 103 units at Spring Street were sold for an average price of $524,448, as we reported in 2012. None of the units were ever sold at the affordable rates."
Boraie Development has strong political ties to the Christie Administration as well as Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, according to New Brunswick Today.