Sto Helps Transform Affordable Housing Complex

Sto was instrumental in helping to restore the Georgia King Village residential towers in Newark, New Jersey.

Built in 1976, Georgia King Village in Newark, New Jersey, was in need of a makeover.  L+M Development Partners who acquired the two 18-story, affordable housing towers in 2016, were taking on a distressed structure, but were confident they could restore the complex. One rehab priority was installing a new exterior to replace the uninsulated precast concrete façade; the envelope was so porous that Georgia King residents were consistently unable to maintain a comfortable temperature in their apartments.

Over the next few years, L+M Development added a fresh new design and structural improvements transforming the Georgia King Village into a more efficient, more comfortable, and more attractive complex, while preserving its affordability.

Working with Sto Corp. products and experts, L&M upgraded the towers’ building envelope, using StoTherm® ci Essence, a system that combines the quality of StoTherm® technology with a StoGuard® waterproof air barrier incorporating air, water, and vapor control layers and protection against moisture intrusion.

With a new cladding system that incorporates the StoGuard air and moisture barrier, the refurbished Georgia King Village towers are high, dry and handsome.

Sto TurboStick®, a relatively new product, was also used to improve the speed and efficiency of installation.  The product is a ready-to-use, single component polyurethane foam adhesive for securing Sto Insulation boards in StoTherm exterior wall claddings. It helps workers install the boards faster and easier than traditional adhesives.

“We wanted to bring high-end products like the StoTherm system to this project so we could make a positive difference for the people who live there by improving their comfort as well as enhancing the appearance of the towers,” said Elli Himelstein, Project Manager with L+M Development

With eight facades, multiple drops and a difficult design pattern to follow, it was a challenging, project. Nonetheless, Georgia King Village residents were able to remain in their apartments for the duration of all these improvements. Their lives were not disrupted to accomplish the upgrade.

In addition to the high-caliber products provided, Sto also worked with the property management team to mitigate any resident concerns. A technical representative from Sto Corp. was actually dispatched onsite to explain the re-cladding system and construction process. By walking residents through the installment timeline, which included a vision of the final result, they explained that ultimately the system would be more energy efficient, and their homes would be more comfortable and attractive.

The makeover marks the official re-emergence of the residential complex as a symbolic cornerstone in Newark’s West Ward. Today, the positive changes continue, and the adjacent community has a new vitality.  In fact, the McDonald’s restaurant adjacent to Georgia King Village recently renewed its façade and landscaping, and when choosing the exterior wall color, asked L+M for the shade they had used for their renewal project.  The multi-national restaurant chain liked it so much that they matched the Georgia King façade’s gray for their renovations.


Economists Optimistic About Residential Construction Trends

Three leading economists, including two from the National Association of Home Builders agree that the sluggish residential construction industry is experiencing a moderate rebound and that 2016 could be housing’s “best year in a decade.” They say that while the recovery has been a slow process, single-family construction may surge as much as 14% and will likely outpace multi-family for the first time since the crash eight years ago.

Multi-family construction has been quite robust in recent years — due to rental demand driven by the recession and the sheer number of millennials — but it is expected to taper off. This market phenomenon also owes its origins to the millennials who are now aging and making the switch from renting to owning, while also getting encouragement from lower mortgage rates.

Despite positive predictions for the industry, the three major obstacles hindering new construction remain the “3-Ls” – labor, lot availability and lending constraints. Limited housing inventory also continues to pose a problem in the residential sector, with a housing supply that has gone from surplus to shortage.