A luxury property development is being sued for not offering affordable units

FORT LEE — A non-profit dedicated to advocating for affordable housing in New Jersey is suing the developers of the largest current development project in Bergen County for their failure to set aside affordable housing units, according to a lawsuit obtained by NJ Advance Media.

In the complaint, Fair Share Housing Center states that they are seeking a declaration from Bergen County Superior Court that Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates, the developers of The Modern — two, 47-story buildings with a total of 900 luxury apartments — is required to provide a 20 percent set-aside of the development as affordable housing.

The non-profit cited the 2012 redevelopment agreement the borough of Fort Lee and the Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates signed, which “requires FLRA to provide affordable housing subject to a state mandate,” according to the lawsuit. 

Anthony Campisi, a spokesman for Fair Share Housing Center, said the state standard is 20 percent.

The lawsuit could have significant ramifications for developments throughout New Jersey located in transit-oriented communities with immediate access to “employment centers,” like New York City and Jersey City — areas from which the middle class has been increasingly priced out. 

“People should be able to live in communities with lots of opportunity,” Campisi said.

Although the first building of the project is completed and leasing units, the Modern is not listed as an affordable development by the state’s Department of Community Affairs. The second phase of the project began construction in the spring of 2016

View from the 40th floor of The Modern, one half of a major redevelopment project in Fort Lee. Fair Share Housing Center is suing the developers for failing to set aside affordable housing. (MICHAEL KARAS)  

The Fair Share Housing Center is seeking an injunction prohibiting the borough from issuing a certificate of completion or certificate…

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