Ben Carson cuts ribbon as first phase is completed at the Brownstones in Rahway

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RAHWAY, NJ — The first phase of the Brownstones redevelopment project in Rahway came to a close on Monday, Dec. 21, when Mayor Raymond Giacobbe and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson cut the ribbon at the factory-turned–apartment complex.

“Anyone from this city knows what this site used to look like,” Giacobbe said at the event.

Vacant from 1975 to 2015, when Meridia Brownstones Urban Renewal bought it, the property will be home to four five-story buildings with 120 apartments in each. It is estimated to be completed by 2023.

The CARES Act, the COVID-19 pandemic stimulus bill passed in March, provided $205,242 to this project.

“Usually, a place like this is razed, but this has a lot of potential,” Carson said in an interview with LocalSource at the event. “What they’ve done is beautiful. You can’t beat it with a stick.”

Carson cited the easy access to the train station for commuters as a draw, as well.

“The private sector has a very important role here,” he said. “And the government is always willing to help.”

Photos by Amanda Valentovic