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Groundbreaking on Mixed-Use Transit-Oriented Development
City, APM, & Jonathan Rose Companies Break Ground on Mixed-Use Transit-Oriented Development
Mayor Nutter Arrives by Regional Rail
April 10, 2012, Philadelphia, PA- Mayor Michael A. Nutter arrived by train to break ground on a new Transit-Oriented development in Eastern North Philadelphia. Developed by Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) and The Jonathan Rose Companies, this environmentally friendly initiative transforms an underutilized lot adjacent to the Temple University Regional Rail station into residential and commercial space to create a walkable and sustainable community.
The mixed-use development located at the corner of 9th and Berks Streets, called Paseo Verde, will offer 120 affordable and market-rate apartments and 30,000 square feet of commercial and community service space. The Temple University train station serves approximately 7,700 daily weekday passengers on 12 regional rail lines. This development will capitalize on its proximity to transit and convenience for commuters, while ensuring housing affordability. Fourteen percent of the units will be accessible to persons with disabilities, as is the Temple University train station.
“Paseo Verde represents another step toward Philadelphia becoming America’s greenest city,” said Mayor Nutter. “Once again, Philadelphia and its development partners are demonstrating that affordable can be sustainable.”
Paseo Verde features a holistic approach to urban planning and environmentally-sensitive design. It will:
- Create a housing mix that supports economic diversity
- Maximize development near a key transit location
- Create open space and greenways with stormwater management systems
- Create a pedestrian-friendly link to the Temple University neighborhood
- Incorporate energy-efficient and green building technology
City Council President Darrell Clarke said, "This groundbreaking is the culmination of five years of work and collaboration by so many community partners. I'd especially like to thank Sen. Shirley Kitchen, APM President Nilda Ruiz, and Jonathan Rose for their dedicated efforts and concern for the residents who will doubtless benefit from Paseo Verde."
Joe Casey, general manager of SEPTA, said, "SEPTA is proud to have been a consistent partner in City, community, and University planning efforts that have led to this project. The Temple Regional Rail Station, one of SEPTA’s most interconnected stations, provides students and workers, and soon Paseo Verde residents, with a comfortable and convenient connection to the entire region.”
Paseo Verde will complement City investments in previous APM housing and commercial initiatives. The multi-phase Pradera development created new affordable housing that raised property values, while Borinquen Plaza attracted a bank, a supermarket and other retail options to the community. The Sheridan Street Green Affordable Housing Development recently added 13 environmentally friendly single-family homes to the neighborhood.
APM president and CEO, Nilda Ruiz, said, “APM has been working for over 40 years on building better futures for our community and Paseo Verde is the culmination of that effort. This project will benefit our residents for generations to come by improving their quality of life through financial education, healthy lifestyles in a LEED Platinum ‘green’ environment and increased regional access. Paseo Verde demonstrates what can be accomplished when private and public sectors work together with community input and guidance.”
The green design will seek both LEED for Homes and LEED for Neighborhood Development certifications. Environmentally sensitive features include green and blue roofs, permeable paving, water gardens, solar panels, and the use of recyclable and renewable materials. Materials were chosen that will reduce environmentally triggered health conditions, such as asthma.
“Paseo Verde fills a gap at the hub of a great transportation system, Temple University, and vibrant community. An ordinary project would have filled the space between these elements. But we aspire to create an extraordinary project, which will magnify the contributions that each of these make to the City,” said Jonathan F.P. Rose, president of Jonathan Rose Companies. “Paseo Verde is the result of the deep collaboration between partners. Acting together, here, in North Philadelphia, we will show the world a new green way.”
The community service space will offer a primary care facility operated by Public Health Management Corporation, social services provided by APM, and a pharmacy. An on-site technology education center will provide local residents an opportunity to access state of the art technology.
Paseo Verde was developed with significant community input. APM led regular meetings before and during the planning to discuss community member and stakeholder visions and values for this site.
Senator Shirley Kitchen said, “This development represents a bright future for local residents. It will produce quality housing, offer employment opportunities through new retail, promote healthcare and engage the community. I commend APM and Jonathan Rose for an innovative approach to development.”
The total development cost is $47,273,506. The City provided a total of $5,550,000, with $4,000,000 in HOME funds, $1,500,000 through the Housing Trust Fund, and $50,000 from the Department of Commerce.
JPMorgan Chase is the signature financing partner, providing a total of $41 million through permanent and construction loans, New Market Tax Credits and other investments.
“We are committed to investing in projects that have a positive, sustainable impact on communities where we do business,” said David Walsh, senior vice president, Chase Community Development Banking. “Paseo Verde will provide much-needed affordable housing and community space to the Eastern North Philadelphia neighborhood.”
Other funders include: Hudson Housing Capital, $10,937,922 through Low Income Housing Tax Credits; State of Pennsylvania, $5,500,000 through Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds and $500,000 from DCED; Energy Works, $3,000,000; Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, $520,423 and $2,046,100 in grants. Senator Casey obtained a federal appropriation of $487,000.
The development is set to be completed in Spring 2013.
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