Paseo Verde Project Is First to Earn LEED Platinum Rating for Neighborhood Development
April 3, 2014
Paseo Verde, a new transit-oriented and sustainable mixed-use development in North Philadelphia, has earned the distinction of being the first project in the country to earn LEED Platinum for Neighborhood Development certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Building America, a subsidiary of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, provided $5 million in New Markets Tax Credits for the innovative $48 million Paseo Verde complex, which was built 100% union, creating approximately 300 union construction jobs.
Considered the centerpiece in the redevelopment of the low-income Ludlow community, Paseo Verde consists of 120 units of affordable and workforce housing and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, including a primary healthcare facility and other medical services for the medically underserved neighborhood. 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.”
Philadelphia’s Alex Dews, Programs and Policy Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, has high expectations for Paseo Verde. “You can’t lose sight of how ambitious this project is,” he said. “It’s helping to change the character of the neighborhood in a way that respects what’s here already and provides additional amenities that it deserves, all the while achieving the highest levels of environmental sustainability and performance.”
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating is given to developments that create mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods that are easy on the environment and have a positive impact on the everyday quality of life. Platinum is the highest standard in the LEED rating system.