Here’s some updates on the new building project- some good news and some not so good news (at least a delay). And a further image of what the new building is shaping up to look like!
We submitted for subsidy from the City’s Division of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) for $2,500,000 and unfortunately, we did not receive this funding award. We have a debriefing scheduled with the Director of DHCD on January 7th and we will share their feedback with you.
We also submitted an application to the Philadelphia Housing Authority for operating subsidies for each unit. We are happy to say that we did receive an award for operating subsidies and the commitment is good for three years, which means we will not have to apply again next year for this source. These subsidies do not meet the entire operating subsidy needed for the project but it’s a big step.
We also did not submit the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) application to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), since we were not competitive for tax credits without the $2.5M in City subsidy. We plan to apply for LIHTC in fall of 2020.
As we have shared many times, PHFA and City funding is extremely competitive and we were already doubtful that we would receive LIHTC funding on the first application. While the City award is disappointing, it is important to note that this is not a setback. We made HUGE progress over the last year with historical commission and zoning approvals, which will last for three years before needing to renew/reapply for them.
Here is a link to an updated design by OZ Collaborative (formerly BWA Architects). 2019_11-25_CV-OFR_PHCreviewSet-DRAFT-R1.pdf Please note that the design is not final and we still have plenty of time for JVMT and congregational input. This design is the architects response to feedback from the historical commission, JVMT, and CV and the result of further discussions with their consultants on details (including Passive House, structural, HVAC systems, etc) needed in preparation for the LIHTC application. The package is what we would have submitted to PHFA for the tax credit application.
CV & OZ also met with the Historical Commission staff on Friday, 12/6 and received very positive feedback about the current design including the solar panel “cornice” (described below). We will be meeting with local historical commission staff and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in early January to discuss the project with the state since we will also need state review and approval for the project too. We also discussed the possibility of going back to the Philadelphia Historical Commission in spring/summer of 2020 to ask for full approval of the entire development.
Here are few descriptions of the current design for you to understand as you look at it:
- The blue element on the roof of the building is an “exaggerated solar panel cornice”. CV felt like this would be a great way to accentuate the sustainable elements of the project in the design and add a “modern” cornice to the building. Attached are a few photos of built projects with similar/inspirational solar panels.
- Materials – the materials are the same as previously discussed with a mix of brick, metal panels, cast stone, and EIFS/stucco.
- Brick coverage – the design team figured out how to structurally support the brick on the upper levels
- Metal panels – are located on the bays and the angled portion of the building (colors are open to change)
- Cast stone – primarily used on 2 story portion adjacent to relocated 151
- EIFS/stucco – will primarily be used in the rear of the building
- Floor plans – you will see that the floor plans are much more detailed than previously but the overall layout hasn’t changed. Also note that one or more of the storage spaces in the basement can be used for Old First storage.
The JVMT will be meeting with CV and with DePaul USA in January. If you have any questions or suggestions, please speak with a member of the JVMT (Megan, Bob R., Kathy, Beth, Jackie, or Michael).