Cornbread Founder and IHOP franchisee Adenah Bayoh is on a mission to create more affordable housing for her Newark, New Jersey community. She has partnered with community organizer Octavia Frazier-Porter to apply for a 9% low income housing tax credit to build Southside View, a 40-unit property that will open at 654-668 South 11th St., in Newark’s South Ward.
|The proposed development at 654-668 South 11th St., will transform an underutilized parcel near Springfield Ave in Newark, New Jersey. Provided|
“Affordable housing finance in New Jersey has a blind spot when it comes to race and gender,” Bayoh said in a company press release. “Newark needs projects like Southside View, both to help the city reach its five-year plan of creating 6,660 new affordable housing units and to bridge the disparity, especially the racial disparity, of who gets to decide what gets built in our community and how.
Bayoh escaped civil war in Liberia and grew up living in public housing and attended public schools in Newark, before building a real estate development and restaurant portfolio and becoming the second-largest employer in Irvington, New Jersey.
After opening four IHOP franchises in northern New Jersey, she teamed up with fellow entrepreneur Zadie B. Smith to develop concepts for two original restaurants: Cornbread, a fast casual purveyor of farm-to-table soul food, and Urban Vegan, which serves affordable, plant-based comfort food made with locally sourced ingredients.
“I am compelled to use my platform to bring attention to the lack of Black women in affordable housing development,” Bayoh said in the release. “It is my hope that by receiving this tax credit, I can inspire other women and girls to enter this sector and change the lives of families across the country. The affordable housing crisis isn’t just a New Jersey issue, it’s an American issue.”
The proposed five-story housing community will transform an underutilized parcel near the corner of Springfield Avenue, a major Newark corridor, into homes for 40 families with low and very low incomes and advance the on-going revitalization of the Kent-Brenner-Springfield Redevelopment Area, according to the release.
Southside View will comprise six one-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom, and 10 three-bedroom apartment homes, and 34 apartments will be reserved for households with incomes of 60% area median income or less. Five apartments will be reserved for homeless households, and one superintendent’s unit will be non-income restricted. Services offered to residents will include job training, financial management and credit counseling, as well as health, wellness and counseling programs and access to high-speed internet.
Each unit will include central heating and air conditioning and luxury vinyl flooring. Residents will have access to free on-site parking and laundry facilities as well as a community center for programmed activities and an on-site management/leasing office.
To foster a healthy living environment for residents and lower-operating costs and maintenance needs, energy saving measures will be incorporated into the building’s design. These will include energy-efficient refrigerators, stovetops, ovens, and dishwashers. The development is expected to earn green building certification through the New Jersey Energy Star program.
Other members of the development team include architectural firm Kitchen and Associates, Grant Engineering and Construction Group, municipal attorney Connell Foley, professional property management MMS Group and housing consultant Monarch Housing Associates.
Since 2012, Bayoh has developed 373 units of rental housing, including 251 of restricted affordable units financed by federal LIHTC. Affordable housing represents 67% of Bayoh’s total development portfolio to date. However, Southside View would be the first project on which Bayoh is the lead developer.
Bayoh’s real estate portfolio includes major residential and mixed-use urban redevelopment projects across northern New Jersey, including 280 Park Place, the first phase of a multi-phase development that is transforming the former Irvington General Hospital site into a mixed-income residential community, and 722 Chancellor Avenue, an affordable housing community developed in joint-venture with The NRP Group.