Greenville Neighborhood Gets Five New Two-family Houses

Five new townhouses in Jersey City’s Greenville neighborhood will give five first-time buyers not just a chance to enjoy the “American Dream” but to become landlords to boot.

The families, city officials, and staff members of the Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corp. joined together yesterday to cut the ribbon on the five new two-family buildings at 34, 36 and 40 Van Nostrand Ave. and 15 and 17 Oak St.

The three-story townhouses are each priced at $220,000.

Known as the Van Brunt Homes, each townhome includes a three-bedroom duplex on the bottom two floors, a garage and backyard, and a three-bedroom rental unit on the top floor.

Sergio Benitez, 38, his wife Shadira, 35, and their three children are moving into one of the Van Nostrand Avenue homes. The closing is scheduled for next week.

“We are going to live the American Dream,” said Benitez, a technician for a hospital supply company and a current renter in the Jersey City Heights.

To qualify, applicants to buy the homes had to show they earn between $40,000 and $60,000 a year, officials said. All the buildings have been sold or are under contract.

Tenants who pay $900 per month for the three-bedroom top-floor apartments also have to apply for a home through the development corporation.

The buildings are named for the founder of the Jersey City Episcopal Community Development Corp., Peter R. Van Brunt, 72, who attended yesterday’s event.

“I look forward to assisting this development corporation for as long as I am able,” he said.

The project cost $2.1 million to build. Some $1.1 million came from a construction loan from TD Bank and the City of Jersey City gave the project a $1 million grant, officials said.

The Jersey City Redevelopment Authority sold the land to the development corporation for $120,000.