Work begins on Philadelphia mixed-use project

Developers Asociacion de Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM) and Jonathan Rose Companies have broken ground on a $47.2m mixed-use project called Paseo Verde in Philadelphia, US.

Paseo Verde, designed by architect Wallace Roberts & Todd, is being developed on a vacant site in north Philadelphia, encircled by 9th, Norris and Berks streets.

The project will create 120 units of affordable and workforce housing, 30,000ft² of commercial and retail space, and a community technology centre next to the Temple University Regional rail station.

The five-storey building will have a total floor area of 200,000ft², including a 25,000ft² parking garage and a healthcare facility.

The project was awarded an affordable housing program grant of more than $500,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) through bank member JPMorgan Bank & Trust Company.

FHLBank San Francisco senior vice president of legislative and external affairs Lawrence Parks said: "It will transform a vacant lot into a vibrant development of housing, retail outlets and commercial businesses, and create a foundation for the neighbourhood and its residents as the community continues to grow."

Designed for LEED certification, the building will incorporate green features, including green and blue roofs, permeable paving, water gardens, solar panels and the use of recyclable and renewable materials.

APM president Nilda Ruiz said: "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."

In February this year, New Markets Tax Credits by Building America CDE, a subsidiary of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, allocated $5m for the project.

Paseo Verde is expected to be completed by spring 2013.