For two decades, Reinvestment Fund has partnered with Neighborhood Restorations to revitalize and strengthen West Philadelphia. During this time, Reinvestment Fund has helped finance 850 of the more than 1,150 homes Neighborhood Restorations has developed, along with nearly 64,000 square feet of commercial space.
This project supported the substantial rehab of 45 properties located along the 60th Street commercial corridor in West Philadelphia. Development took place on the six blocks south of the 60th and Market Street SEPTA station—the third busiest station in the SEPTA system.
The project created 81 total units, including 60 units of affordable rental housing and 21 first-floor store front commercial properties. The commercial properties are below the LIHTC residential units, and are consolidated on the first three blocks south of the train station.
Reinvestment Fund supported the development of these units by providing a revolving construction loan in 2013. In 2015, Reinvestment Fund provided a permanent loan through CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP) funds to support the housing and commercial units. The BGP financing allows Reinvestment Fund to offer a fully amortizing 20 year loan at a lower interest rate. In addition to Reinvestment Fund, the commercial portion included financing by a City of Philadelphia Commerce Department Facade Grant. The financing will help the developer pay down the construction loan for the $14.57 million project.
The 60th Street Corridor revitalization project was featured by the Partnership for Public Service when it honored Lisa Jones, manager of the BGP in 2016.
While the immediate area has a solid residential base and is one of West Philadelphia’s historic neighborhood shopping centers, the commercial corridor is in considerable need of reinvestment. This project repaired vacant properties and built new mixed-use properties on vacant parcels. The development is expected to have a significant revitalizing and stabilizing effect on the corridor and surrounding neighborhood.
All residential units are rent restricted to those making at or below 60% AMI, and, given the demand for affordable housing, have nearly fully leased up. NRLP has a proven record of leasing residential properties in the West Philadelphia rental market where there is strong demand for quality, affordable housing. The rents are below market rates for superior quality properties compared to others in the area. Units include washers and dryers, central air, full kitchen amenities, security systems, private yards, basements, and low cost internet services. As with the recent NRLP projects, all residential units are to be LEED certified.