Coolest Offices New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

Jessica Perry//March 13, 2017

Coolest Offices New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

Jessica Perry//March 13, 2017

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is an organization that finances affordable housing. It secures program funding and operating expenses through the sale of bonds to private-sector investors.


Historic standout


It was about two decades ago that the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency first set about changing its headquarters from a suburban address to the restored manufacturing complex in Trenton that was once Roebling’s Sons Co., a business that for more than a century made wire rope for suspension bridges around the world — inspiring Trenton’s well-known slogan.

The office still has remnants of that history, with a 50-foot-tall former testing room just through its front doors — the testing place for wires that would end up on the George Washington, Williamsburg, Manhattan and Golden Gate bridges. And the company, which employed thousands of people in Trenton and transformed it into an industrial hub, installed tall windows around the building and skylights on the roof to flood it with natural light to bolster the productivity and well-being of those workers, a feature the housing agency has kept intact.

But the housing agency’s base also has new and wholly unique aspects to it. Each of its departments is defined by a structure that relates somehow to the activities of that department. For example, the single-family department has a house-like wood pavilion at the center of it. In the middle of the executive branch of the institution is a concrete circular configuration with gears wedged into it. Representing the financial branch is a miniature building that has the look of a traditional bank. A simple steel structure sits in the administrative wing.

The agency’s restored office, which actually has two addresses, at 637 South Clinton Ave. and 650 South Broad St., was a result of the Johnson Jones architecture firm pairing up with another firm, Ford, Farewell, Mills and Gatsch.


The restoration of the giant office building has been attributed to the beginning of a revitalization of the entire 45 acres of the former Roebling complex in Trenton. Already, the revitalization was a catalyst for the development of the Pellittieri Senior Housing community there, which the agency actually helped to finance. The site was chosen for this exact purpose — supporting the agency’s goal of revitalizing urban neighborhoods.
Additionally, the agency’s historic base has been outfitted over time with state-of-the-art green energy equipment, such as a large rooftop solar array that, combined with other technology, has cut costs for the agency’s gas and electric at the building by more than 20 percent over the course of several years.