Examining Development in Tier II Cities & Affordable Housing

Steve Adubato is joined by Leslie A. Anderson, President & CEO, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, to discuss development in Tier II cities, such as Newark, and Governor Murphy’s agenda on affordable housing.

1/25/2020 #331






"We're pleased to welcome Leslie Anderson, President and CEO of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority. Good to see you my friend. Good to see you as well Steve Thank you for having me. 20 seconds on the organization. What do you do? Who do you do it for? We serve the underserved in New Jersey. We come in with technical assistance and financing, to go in New Jersey's most urbanized communities and redevelop neighborhoods. We pride ourselves on taking the upfront risk and being there first. Whether it's a mixed-use, it's a housing project, a charter school, we are there first to turn that neighborhood around and make it a better place for people to live and to work and improve their quality of life. Leslie, is it grants? Loans? What? It's a loan Steve. Come on. It's a loan. And you know what? We do loans so that we can turn it over and over and over again. I don't want to use the teach-a-person-to-fish metaphor because I think that's kind of stale. Sure. But that's why we lend it, right? Because what that allows an individual to do is to understand how to put that project together, and the next time they need financing, they can go to the private sector and secure that level of financing. Because they've done a project, they've paid back... they paid us back, they've completed it, and they become very attractive to the private sector, and wanting to make an investment. You know, we're taping in Newark, as I said, at NJTV News Right here in the heart of Newark. There are different tiers of cities, communities. You're focused on, quote, "Tier 2" cities? Yes. Yes. But you're also doing work in Newark? Absolutely. So how does that...? Go ahead. Explain it. I love the questions that you're giving me. I'm curious about that. Because I know towns like Bridgeton... Mm hmm. ...smaller community? Right. And others like? The smaller communities? Irvington, Plainfield, East Orange, Orange... Not the biggest? Right. But what are you doing in Newark? So if you break Newark down into bite-sized pieces, there are still challenges in the neighborhoods. That's right. And those challenges in the neighborhood are reflective of Tier 2 cities. So there's still work to be done. Newark is enjoying a renaissance. Particularly right here. Downtown? Downtown. Downtown. One of the projects that we did invest in is Rector Street. 50 West Rector Street. Wasseem Boraie, Shaquille O'Neal, doing all market... The Shaquille O'Neal? The. The Shaquille O'Neal. Just checking. Yes. Who was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey? Yes. Born in Columbus Hospital? Yes. Back in the day? Yes. He still cares about the city? Yes he does. Go ahead. I'm sorry. So we converted… TMI. [laughter] No. It's fine. He con... we converted that..."