Industry Publication Highlights Paseo Verde as One of the Country’s Top Mixed-Income Projects

March 19, 2015


The Urban Land Institute recently published an article in their February magazine discussing the challenges of finding affordable housing for low- and middle-income households in urban areas. The article features Building America, and its Paseo Verde project as one of ten recent projects that creates housing for individuals and families earning a range of incomes. This type of development is especially crucial since affordable housing becomes more difficult to create as wages stagnate and housing costs rise. Mixed-income developments can help by providing market-rate units that are able to subsidize affordable ones. The affordable component of these projects can help tap additional sources of funding or generate density bonuses.

The Paseo Verde development located in Philadelphia was a brownfield site and was used as a municipal gas utility parking lot adjacent to the Temple University regional rail station and the Temple campus. The surrounding community is low-income, distressed and currently undergoing a revitalization drive fueled by strong public and private collaboration. The multi-building $48.2 million development features 120 units of affordable and workforce housing. Fifty-three units are affordable to families with household incomes between 20% and 60% of the area median income (AMI). The other 67 units are targeted to low-income families making less than 100% of AMI. The project’s 30,000 square feet of commercial and retail space includes a primary care health facility, pharmacy, and social services office.

Paseo Verde’s innovative design has many green and sustainable features that contribute to a healthier lifestyle for residents and a more energy efficient footprint for the neighborhood. Its location adjacent to the SEPTA Regional Rail Temple University Train Station provides residents with easy commuter access to employment centers and services in downtown Philadelphia or in the local suburbs, reducing the need to drive. The new development also helps reconnect the Ludlow neighborhood with the more affluent Temple University community.

“Paseo Verde stands out as a model for smart neighborhood design, and we are very pleased that it has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council with this LEED Platinum rating,” said Eric Price, HIT Executive Vice President and Building America CEO. He adds that the project “is helping change the way people think about affordable, sustainable, and healthful living in urban centers.”