PATERSON, NJ- Efforts to replace Paterson’s aging Riverside Terrace housing complex took another step forward on Monday with the Planning Board voting unanimously in support of minor changes to the original plan as well as variances related to parking and building construction.

Led by Israel Roizman, Principal of Harris Townhomes Associates, several professionals including an architect, an engineer, and an attorney, explained the changes, which include revising the original subdivision of the property from five lots to three, with Roizman explaining that “financing now in his grasp” allowed them to reduce the number of phases of construction, and, as discussed at a city council meeting in December, speed up the overall timetable. The new units are expected to be completed by 2020.

The developer, with projects throughout the East Coast, is already a prolific contributor to the housing stock in Paterson having built over 250 units including replacing the former Christopher Columbus projects with town homes and the successful completion of 85 unit Belmont Apartments.

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While 135 of the 300 Riverside Terrace units are still occupied Roizman said that all of the tenants will be relocated by the time the financing is in place. The Paterson Housing Authority is responsible for relocating the residents. Responding to question regarding future occupancy from Councilman Luis Velez, Roizman confirmed that those relocated will be given first option to return the new units.

Under the currently approved plan, one of the lots will contain 165 affordable housing units spread out across 17 buildings while a four-story building with 80 units, currently designated for senior citizen housing, will be constructed on the second lot. The Paterson Housing Authority will maintain control of the third lot until they select a developer for it, Roizman told the Board.

Those testifying explained that in addition to the units the sites will also contain two outdoor recreation areas, 191 parking spaces, a 6,150 sf community building, and, according to engineer Mike Gallagher, will be “generously landscaped for a pleasant aesthetic.”

In praising the project Velez repeatedly referred to it as “beautiful” while Commissioner Lilisa Mimms told TAPinto Paterson after the meeting that the new development will “transform a neighborhood, be anew gateway to our city, and is another piece of making a better Paterson.”