Senior independent living just got better at after completion of a $3 million renovation at the Cedar Boulevard complex.
Residents, staff and civic leaders will celebrate the renovations to the 150-unit complex with a grand re-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. The public is invited.
“It’s an open house and opportunity for guests to stroll the grounds, stroll the property and see the improvements made,” said Ryan Chao, executive director for Satellite Housing, which operates the property. “There will be a before-and-after slideshow and remarks by elected officials and funders.”
A choir of Newark Gardens tenants will perform just before the symbolic ribbon cutting.
“We welcome anyone in the community to come in and take a look,” Chao said. “It’s a home for residents who live there, but a home for Newark in a bigger way.”
Built in 1980, is a non-profit affordable housing provider for low-income senior citizens. A variety of services and activities are offered on-site to support seniors' independent living.
In addition to assessments and referrals for residents, two service coordinators research what resources are available in the local community and bring those opportunities to the complex.
Bingo, movie nights, volunteer opportunities and a choir that performs for residents and the community are among the activities at Newark gardens
“This allows folks to express themselves in the arts and to give back to the community,” Chao said. “So it’s not just about staying busy, but about staying engaged in the community.”
Funding for the renovations came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Enterprise Community Partners.
Chao said the complex previously had brown cedar-shingle siding that had dried out and lost its visual appeal. The new siding is expected to last for decades.
“It was nice before, but we’re really pleased how it’s come out and are happy to do this upgrade, so it’s not only nice to look at, but (is) sustainable for the community,” Chao said.
Another "green" upgrade was replacing the old windows with energy-efficient ones throughout the complex, according to Chao.
Common areas got upgrades, including new flooring, carpet, paint, light fixtures, accessibility for public restrooms throughout the building and landscaping.
Property manager Florinda Cleto said that the tenants love the upgrades. “Compared to what we had before, they can see the difference,” Cleto said. “They feel happy about it.”
Business neighbors, other community members members and tenants' families of the tenants have also praised the new look, Cleto said.
“The color brings it out,” she added.