60th Street Corridor revitalization project highlighted as Lisa Jones wins Service to America Medal
Philadelphia, September 21, 2016 — Reinvestment Fund-financed 60th Street Corridor revitalization project featured by the Partnership for Public Service as it honors Lisa Jones, manager of the CDFI Fund Bond Guarantee Program (BGP). Ms. Jones is a 2016 recipient of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, or Sammie, which celebrates outstanding federal employees. In profiling Ms. Jones’ work, the Partnership showcased select projects from across the country that have benefited from the BGP. Among them is the 60th Street Corridor revitalization project, which Reinvestment Fund financed using BGP funds.
“Congratulations to Lisa Jones and her team at the CDFI Fund for this well-deserved recognition,” said Don Hinkle-Brown, CEO of Reinvestment Fund. “Her leadership and guidance helped launch and implement the BGP, which enables CDFIs to provide attractively priced, long-term capital, which many smaller independent entrepreneurs working in low-income communities, cannot typically access.”
The 60th Street Corridor project involved the substantial rehab of 45 properties located along six blocks south of the 60th and Market Street SEPTA station—the third busiest station in the SEPTA system. The properties were storefronts on the lower level with housing on the upper level as is typical along West Philadelphia’s commercial corridors. For West Philadelphia Real Estate (WPRE), a small developer and sponsor of the 60th Street project, the BGP capital was key to helping this mixed-use project work by providing attractive, long-term financing for both the rental housing and commercial components.
Reinvestment Fund provided two permanent loans through the BGP funds to support the housing and commercial units. The BGP financing allowed Reinvestment Fund to offer a fully amortizing 15-year $1.6 million permanent mortgage at a lower interest rate for the housing units. Reinvestment Fund also used BGP financing to provide a $600,000 permanent loan that fully amortizes over 20 years for the commercial units. This loan’s low-interest rate enabled the borrower to lease the units at affordable rates to local small businesses, some of which are featured in a video the Partnership created to profile the awardee.
The small businesses occupying the commercial units bring an array of services to the neighborhood. The businesses have together also formed a merchants’ association, further strengthening their presence and commitment to the neighborhood.
All residential units are rent restricted to those making at or below 60% AMI, and, given the demand for affordable housing, have fully leased up. The rents are below market rates for superior quality units.