City Selects Developer for Nicetown Redevelopment Stimulus Funds to Support Neighborhood Revitalization
PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Michael A. Nutter today announced the selection of a joint venture of Universal Community Homes and Nicetown Community Development Corporation as the developer for the 4400 block of Germantown Avenue. The $13.2 million development, which the city will support with $4 million in federal stimulus funds, will produce 40 units of affordable housing and 6,000 square feet of commercial space near the Wayne Junction train station.
“This development will not only bring housing and economic development to the 4400 block of Germantown Avenue, it is also another step in the revitalization of the Nicetown community,” said Mayor Nutter. “This development emphasizes Philadelphia’s ongoing commitment to create affordable housing and promote economic opportunity.”
The development, which Universal and Nicetown CDC proposed in response to a request for proposals issued by the Office of Housing and Community Development, will be called Nicetown Court II. It will include both housing and commercial space on both sides of the 4400 block of Germantown Avenue. Its location adjacent to the Wayne Junction train station will provide residents with access to the job centers located along the six train lines that stop at Wayne Junction.
Kenneth Gamble, world renowned music producer and co-founder of Universal Companies, said, “This development incorporates a holistic approach to community development that includes both real estate and economic development. We are proud to partner with Mayor Nutter and Councilwoman Miller to revitalize Nicetown.”
The federal stimulus funds will come from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2). The purpose of NSP is to stabilize neighborhoods with high levels of foreclosure, vacant housing and blight. A total of $43.9 million in NSP2 funds were made available to the city through a competitive application process.
“President Obama’s Recovery Act is making a difference in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia,” said U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah. “The stimulus is working – creating jobs, developing homes, revitalizing neighborhoods and leading us toward economic recovery.”
The development is one of a series of neighborhood revitalization projects that will enhance both public amenities and private property in the Nicetown section of the city near Wayne Junction. In September Universal and Nicetown CDC broke ground on Nicetown Court I, a 37-unit mixed-used development in the 4300 block of Germantown Avenue; the Redevelopment Authority has issued an RFP for NSP2-supported housing in the neighborhood; and SEPTA is planning a $29 million redevelopment of the historic Wayne Junction train station that includes a renovation of the station building and ticket house that promises to preserve the historic integrity of these buildings.
“This project is long overdue and will be transformative for this section of Germantown Avenue. The eighth Councilmanic district welcomes new, affordable housing, and I look forward to seeing Recovery dollars at work in the Nicetown community,” said Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller.
Nicetown Court II will be consistent with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s “Germantown and Nicetown Transit Oriented Plan.” It will fit within the context of the existing neighborhood and help to create a vibrant and walkable urban community.
Pending the award of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, construction on the development could begin in fall 2011 and be completed one year later.
Nicetown Court II is a mixed-use development of 40 affordable housing units and over 6,000 square feet of commercial space adjacent to the Wayne Junction train station in the 4400 block of Germantown Avenue. It will include eight 2-bedroom units in four duplexes, twelve 3-bedroom and twelve 4-bedroom single family homes, and eight 2-bedroom apartments. All residents will earn less than 60% of the area median income ($46,980 for a family of four). Four units will accessible for persons with mobility impairments and 36 units will be visitable.