Thriven Design is pleased to share that the Urban Land Institute of Northern New Jersey has selected Barclay Place Apartments, in Paterson, N.J., as the winner of its 2024 Excellence Award in Affordable Housing. The award recognizes the project and its partners for their outstanding and transformational land use development.

Barclay Place Apartments is the first project in New Jersey funded through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s (NJHMFA) Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program, which challenged housing developers and health care providers to co-create communities that would not only provide shelter for the unhoused but also provide on-site access to healthcare, with the goal of reducing both homelessness and reliance on emergency room medical services.

Paterson anchor institutions New Jersey Community Development Corporation and St. Joseph’s Health joined together through the program to create Barclay Place Apartments, with support from New Jersey Community Capital, the NJHMFA, Arc Building Partners, Enterprise Community Partners, the New Jersey Hospital Association, TD Bank, and Thriven Design, which provided architecture, engineering, and interior design services.

The Barclay Place Apartments project reimagined several small parcels of land located on an extremely narrow lot — only 100 feet wide at points— as a vibrant, five-story, 56-unit affordable housing community with an elevated outdoor amenity space and a ground-floor wellness hub. The design called for a mixture of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units with 3,000 sf set aside on the first level for community healthcare. In this space, medical professionals would provide on-site care; give referrals, conduct community wellness workshops, and offer resident support.

The top floor features a common outdoor terrace area to function as rare outdoor amenity space within what would have otherwise been a typical urban site with limited outdoor common areas. The amenity space also softens the building massing towards the surrounding residential neighborhood and showcases the variety of exterior materials, textures, and colors used to establish visual interest.

NJCDC and St. Joseph’s Health were uniquely equipped to gauge the wants and needs of Paterson residents and position Barclay Place Apartments for success as a result of their long history of service to the city. St. Joseph’s Health is the oldest hospital in Paterson. When it celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017, it estimated that it served 1.5 million people a year, including more than 163,000 emergency room patients.

Non-profit community development and social service agency NJCDC celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2024. Since 1994 it has led community building initiatives across Paterson, with a focus on education, youth, and access to housing. Barclay Place Apartments is the latest in a series of supportive housing developments that it has undertaken to support individuals at risk of homeless; individuals aging out of foster care; individuals with developmental or mental disabilities, grandparents raising grandchildren with disabilities, and, in the case of Barclay Place Apartments, those requiring chronic medical care.

When Barclay Place Apartments opened in July, 2023, leasing priority was given applicants with chronic medical conditions, and 18 percent of its units were set aside for residents with special needs. Three units were specifically designed for accessibility and two for the hearing and visually impaired.

In the seven months since its opening, Barclay Place Apartments has been able to provide Paterson individuals and families with what one project stakeholder described as, “two of the most important elements in improving quality of life: safe and affordable housing and access to health services.”

Barclay Place Apartments’ vital contributions have been acknowledged almost immediately, and recognized with a 2023 Smart Growth Award from New Jersey Future; a prestigious 2023 Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award for Excellence in Housing Development; and by a designation as a 2023 Project of the Year by the Supportive Housing Association of NJ. The ULI of Northern New Jersey Excellence Award in Affordable Housing is Barclay Place Apartments’ fourth major award.

Barclay Place Apartments joins two other past Thriven Design projects as ULI honorees.



The Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, Camden, NJ

In both 2015 and 2016, Urban Land Institute Philadelphia recognized The Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden, N.J, as a Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence Finalist. Thriven Design provided interdisciplinary architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design services for this project.

JBJ Soul Homes, Philadelphia, PA

In 2014, Project HOME’s JBJ Soul Homes, for which Thriven Design provided architecture, engineering, and planning services, won ULI Philadelphia’s William G. ‘Bill’ Rouse Award For Excellence.


Each year, the Urban Land Institute and its regional chapters recognize outstanding and transformational land use developments, best practices, and creative visioning. ULI’s award programs honor design on a regional, national, and global level. The nonprofit’s mission is to create more equitable, sustainable, healthy, and resilient communities. To learn more about the ULI, its work, and award programs, visit