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Conifer In The News

Our non profit partners at People for People Foundation discuss Camp Salute, a new development that will offer affordable housing for veterans in Clayton, NJ. Construction will begin June 2016 and offer 76 apartment homes with 1, 2 & 3 bedrooms. Camp Salute offers a fully equipped community complete with a laundry center, computer labs, fitness centers, as well as Supportive Services for veteran residents by People for People. 

Jessica Zuniga, Vice President of Development has been a consistent voice for affordable housing in Maryland. She has developed numerous communities for Conifer and continues to build lasting relationships in her region. Recently, Jessica spoke at the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) Housing Day. Jessica is a Board Member of MAHC as well as the Legislative Chair. 

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The above are pictures are from the MAHC Housing Day. For more information about MAHC, please visit or to take a glance at the Legislative agenda for the event, please visit 

Brian Crandall, Staff Writer
The Ithaca Voice 

"A long-delayed plan for affordable senior apartments has been funded through a state grant and is poised to begin construction later this year.

The Ithaca town board convened Monday night to discuss property easements required from Rochester-based Conifer Realty LLC as one of the stipulations of receiving a building permit for construction.

The 3-story, 68-unit apartment building, to be called "Cayuga Meadows", would be located on a grassy field directly south of the Overlook at West Hill apartment complex, east of Cayuga Medical Center. Final site plan approvals for the 58,500 square-foot project, a mix of of 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units, were granted in November 2013. Although the land is Cornell-owned, the 4.8 acres the building will be built upon will be subdivided from the rest of Cornell's land, and the project will be on the tax rolls.

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According to town planning director Sue Ritter, a project needs to begin construction within three years of receiving final approval, otherwise it once again has to return to the town planning board.

The years-long delay was the result of a lack of financing for the affordable housing project. As previously discussed here on the Voice, affordable housing is very complicated to pay for - funds have to be cobbled together from a variety of public, not-for-profit and for-profit sources in order for a project to have enough funding secured to pay for construction.

Programs like New York State's Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) have three applications for every funded project, meaning it often takes multiple attempts before an affordable housing project is able to obtain financing. For comparison's sake, that INHS's 210 Hancock received grant funding on the first try is very rare (but welcome, given the well-documented affordability issues plaguing Ithaca and the region).

After multiple attempts, the final piece of the funding puzzle was awarded to the project by a state resolution on January 28th. The $8,395,000 will come from the sale of bonds issued by the New York State Housing Finance Agency (NYSHFA). Other sources of funding for the project include the LIHTC program mentioned above, and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). The project's total cost of construction (including "hard costs" like materials and "soft costs" like legal fees) is $14.5 million.

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The units will be available to individuals aged 55 and older, with incomes 60% or less or the Area Median Income (AMI). AMI in Tompkins County is about $53,000 per household, so a qualifying senior household would have an annual income of $31,800 or less. 7 units will be accessible to mobility-impaired individuals, and 3 units will be designed to accommodate hearing or visually-impaired occupants.

Actual rents have not been released by Conifer, but a second senior housing project they recently built in Ithaca, West Hill's Conifer Village Apartments, charges $678-$864/month for a 1-bedroom unit, and $803-$979/month for a 2-bedroom unit, with income limits of up to $43,300/year for a single senior, and $49,600/year for a couple.

Conifer Realty owns and manages several local apartment complexes, including the Cayuga View Apartments (part of Linderman)Conifer Village at IthacaEllis Hollow ApartmentsLinderman Creek Apartments, and The Meadows Townhomes."


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New Jersey Biz presents an annual Forty under 40 award celebrating 40 of New Jersey's most accomplished young businessmen and women who have been making headlines in their field and who share commitment to business growth, professional excellence and the community - the next generation of unstoppable leaders. Janine Owens, Project Coordinator in New Jersey, has been selected for the award!

"Janine recently completed Riverfront Village at Pennsauken, the Duffy School and Conifer Village at Rittenberg," said Charlie Lewis, Senior Vice President of Development. "All three deals were brought in on time and on budget. She is currently running the Meadows(the Atlantic City HOPE VI), Clayton Mill Run, Camp Salute and Hamilton Township."

Please join us in congratulating Janine for this prestigious and well-deserved award.

DennyP9218It is with great pleasure that we announce the promotion of an exceptional, hard-working employee, Patricia Denny, effective immediately. At Conifer, we believe in hiring the best and brightest who allow us to promote from within.

“I am pleased to announce that Patti Denny has been promoted from Senior Asset Manager to Director of Asset Management,” said Thomas R. Johnson, Executive Vice President and CFO of Conifer.

Patti joined Conifer in 2012 and has lead the development of Asset Management from a brand new Conifer function to a highly effective group. Under her leadership, Asset Management has significantly improved multiple processes, including property budgets, development conversions, property tax reviews/challenges and acquisition analysis.

Please join us in congratulating Patti on her well-deserved promotion.

It is with great honor that we announce the promotion of Sam Leone to Regional Vice President of Conifer Realty, LLC.

Leone Sam"Sam has had a wonderful career since joining our New Jersey development team nine years ago,” said Tim Fournier, President and CEO. “He not only has become a very accomplished Developer, but has earned a broad level of respect from our construction partner Conifer-LeChase Construction, and every department within Conifer. Most importantly, Sam cares deeply about the Conifer values and so clearly demonstrates this through his daily actions. I have great respect for Sam personally, as a Developer and leader of Conifer.”

In this new position, Sam will work directly with Jessica Zuniga, Vice President of Development in Maryland, as we continue to accelerate our growth in the Maryland market. With Sam’s talents, capacity and leadership we expect to enhance our growth in Maryland and create a platform from which we can expand our development opportunities in other Mid Atlantic and Southern states.

We are so proud to have a team of committed professionals who strive every day to do what we do, better. 

"Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced today that the City of Rochester and the Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living have launched Celebrate City Living, a new program to help homebuyers and renters learn about the benefits of living in the city and find the resources to make it easier to buy or rent a home in Rochester.

“Rochester’s neighborhoods are a great place to grow and Celebrate City Living is our way of making sure everyone knows why,” said Mayor Warren. “I want to thank the Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living and all of our sponsors for helping us create an exciting new opportunity to celebrate city living and invite more people to choose Rochester as their home. People who know why Rochester is a wonderful place to live can become active partners in our mission to create more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and provide all of our children with a quality education.”

“The Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living is extremely proud to partner with the City of Rochester to promote city living by helping potential homebuyers and renters fully appreciate and enjoy the amenities of living in Rochester,” said Coalition Chairs Beverly Fair-Brooks, Vice President, Regional Community Reinvestment Officer of M&T Bank; and Ted Wood, Realtor, Construction Manager and Real Estate Broker at the Ibero American Development Corp. “Celebrate City Living is a fun and exciting way to increase investment and build a stronger sense of community in all of Rochester’s neighborhoods.”

Read more ...

David Mckay Wilson, Staff Writer

"Tax Watch columnist David McKay Wilson explores the latest development in Westchester epic housing battle in Chappaqua

So far, Westchester County has lost an estimated $22 million in federal funding due to its noncompliance with the consent decree from its 2009 fair housing lawsuit.

Now it would have to pay $60,000 more in contempt-of-court penalties if the office of Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, can convince US District Judge Denise Cote that Westchester failed to comply with its consent decree on two issues involving the controversial affordable housing complex in downtown Chappaqua that remains tied up in the town’s arduous building review process.

First, the US Justice Department has argued in a Jan. 22 filing in US District Court in Manhattan that Westchester failed to meet a 2014 benchmark to have financing in place because the 28-unit development proposed by Conifer Realty should not be counted, as Westchester has done.  Westchester needed 450 units with financing in place by Dec. 31, 2014, and the Chappaqua units made the difference.

Read more ...

Mary Chao, Staff Writer
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Democrat & Chronicle

"With their three children grown and on their own, Jim Mayer and Irene Allen decided it was time for a change.

Almost four years ago, the couple sold their 2,400 square-foot, ranch-style home in Brighton and began searching for a new place to start a new chapter of their lives as empty nesters. They found their perfect locale at Erie Harbor on Mt. Hope Avenue in Rochester near the Genesee River, renting a 2,000 square-foot, three bedroom apartment.

“This is an amazing location and area,” said Mayer, 56. “We love the South Wedge, walking to restaurants and walking to downtown.”

Erie Harbor is one of the communities that will be featured in a new program being launched by the City of Rochester. Celebrate City Living will replace City Living Sundays and will be a year-round communitywide program to promote living in the city.

City Living Sunday focused on home ownership, but the new Celebrate City Living will feature an array of rentals, home ownership options as well as highlighting neighborhood activities.

Erie Harbor, which is owned and managed by Conifer Realty, will be one of the rental areas showcasing what the community has to offer. There are 131 units at Erie Harbor, ranging from $1,100 a month for a one bedroom to $2,300 a month for a three-bedroom unit with three stories of living, similar to what Mayer and Allen are renting, said Katie Simmons, regional leasing specialist at Conifer.

There are 20 different floor plans to choose from and rent includes cable, Internet and water. Twenty percent of the apartments in the complex are set aside as affordable housing for income eligible tenants while the rest are at market rate.

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It is with extreme pleasure and gratitude that we announce that Tajdeed Residences is 100% occupied as of January 26, 2016!

ext5NEWTajdeed Residences is a brand new apartment community located in Philadelphia, PA. Conifer Realty and Arab-American Development Corporation are working in partnership to revitalize an underutilized block into a vibrant, 45 unit community in South Kensington.

The community features one, two, three and four bedroom energy efficient apartment homes. Amenities include smart card laundry center, fitness room, computer lab, clubhouse and professional on-site management. Residents enjoy a quick walk to The Piazza at the Schmidts and a variety of restaurants and local shops. Tajdeed Residences is just a few blocks from the Frankford Avenue restaurant corridor.

“I cannot thank Laurielee Thomas [Community Manager], Tammy Luft [Area Manager] and Millie Hernandez [Area Manager] enough for all of their hard work to make this happen,” said Kelly McKenna, Community Leasing and Marketing Specialist of Conifer Realty in New Jersey. “Thank you for your continued dedication, hard work and winning attitude through it all!”

For more information about Tajdeed Residences, please visit or call (267) 385-8297.