The Michaels Organization Breaks Ground on Rutgers Student Housing

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New High rise for Graduates is Fast-Tracked for Fall 2012 Delivery

The Michaels Organization, a national leader in developing and managing residential communities, broke ground today on student housing for Rutgers University. The new 12-story addition to the Rutgers University – Camden Campus will open in August 2012 and will serve graduate students.

“We are proud to participate with Rutgers University, Camden County Improvement Authority, Camden Redevelopment Agency, and city and county officials to create a striking new building in downtown Camden with much-needed housing for the Rutgers students,” said John O’Donnell, Chief Operating Officer of The Michaels Organization.

The 102-unit high-rise located at the corner of N. Fourth and Cooper Streets will accommodate 350 students, providing an excellent location, and coveted amenities, including student gathering spaces, a fitness center, club room, fully furnished units, and a roof deck accessible from the residential tower. Units will be offered in one-, three- and four-bedroom layouts, featuring modern kitchens with energy-saving appliances, and common area living spaces. The entire building will be wired for high-speed internet access. In addition, the ground floor of the building will feature 7,000 square feet of retail space that will serve both Rutgers students and the wider Camden community.

Additional housing for the growing University—which has plans to expand its enrollment to 7,500 students over the next few years—has long been a high priority, but various attempts at starting it over the years fell short, due to concerns about financial viability and location, among other issues.

The Michaels Organization, working with several local firms, including the architect and general contractor, developed a plan that allowed the project not only to be financially viable, but was also able to acquire the site, design the building, gain all permits and get buy-in from all local stakeholders in less than a year, allowing it to fast-track the construction to meet the University’s time line of a Fall 2012 opening. The project is being hailed as a significant addition to the City of Camden’s redevelopment efforts, as well as a huge stimulus for local jobs.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to New Jersey Transit, the CRA, the Massey Family, and the Sigma Epsilon Fraternity and their Alumni Association for agreeing to sell their properties to allow the site to be turned into this needed graduate housing facility,” said Ronald Hansen, The Michaels Organization senior executive who is overseeing the Rutgers development. Hansen also praised the General Contractor, Joseph Jingoli and Son (Lawrenceville, NJ) and the architect, Erdy McHenry, for their incredible flexibility and commitment to reducing construction costs and streamlining the construction schedule.

“The Michaels Organization is expanding its role in developing, constructing, and managing student properties in public-private partnerships, said Joe Coyle, the President of the Michaels Student Housing Group. “We are especially pleased to launch this expansion in our home state.”

The Michaels Organization is a family of companies, privately held by Michael J. Levitt, which is dedicated to housing excellence. Its flagship company, Michaels Development, has a proven track record of successful public-private partnerships and has served as the master developer for local and state housing agencies across the country. Michaels is currently working with the Housing Authority of the City of Camden, serving as master developer on the revitalizations of Roosevelt Manor and Branch Village, which are being transformed from outdated, distressed public housing into mixed-used, sustainable housing for families of all income levels.

“Michaels appreciates the opportunity to bring jobs to New Jersey when they are needed most and the opportunity to work with Rutgers University and Camden County Improvement Authority on this wonderful project,” Coyle said.

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Laura Zaner
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