Funding for new affordable senior residences in Carrick set for approval

Pittsburgh Courier
Original Article Here

The Urban Redevelopment Authority board was set to vote Jan. 14 on loan approvals for a new, energy-efficient mixed-income senior housing building in Carrick, as well as the proposed redevelopment of a vacant building in Beechview.

The URA will vote on $1.2 million in loans to support the $15.7 million development of the Hillcrest Senior Residences, which includes the demolition of a former Giant Eagle store at 2920 Brownsville Road and the construction of a four-story residential building for seniors. It will be built to energy-efficient passive house standards.

The 66-unit mixed-income apartment building will consist of 54 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units restricted to households with at least one household member being 62 years of age or older.

Seven of the units will be for households with incomes at or below 20% of the area median income (“AMI”); 33 units will be for households with incomes at or below 50% of AMI; 16 units will be reserved for households with incomes at or below 60% of AMI; and ten units will be market rate.

Developers at The Community Builders, Inc. (“TCB”), one of the nation’s foremost nonprofit urban development organizations, will construct the new building in accordance with passive house construction standards, which reduce heating and cooling demands for structures and reduce their carbon footprint.

“This development underlines Pittsburgh’s commitment not only to our seniors and to affordable housing, but our goal to provide the very best standards of housing to all,” Mayor William Peduto said.

“This project will be catalytic for the Carrick neighborhood. It is the first multi-million dollar investment right on the main street in decades,” said Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak. “Hillcrest will enable seniors to remain independent and stay in their neighborhood, near family, friends, and the businesses they have patronized all their lives. It’s about providing much needed housing options and preserving the multigenerational fabric of South Pittsburgh.”

Eight units will be handicap accessible and two units will serve the hearing/vision impaired. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh is providing 16 Project Based Section 8 Vouchers to the development to increase the affordability.

The Hillcrest Senior Residences are set to feature a garden area, computer/library room, fitness room, outdoor terrace space, private room for health services, and a laundry room.

TCB has been assembling financing for the project since purchasing the site in 2012. Construction is set to start in early March of this year with a target opening in May of 2017.

“TCB is proud to have been part of the neighborhood revitalization landscape in Pittsburgh for more than two decades. With invaluable leadership and support from Mayor Peduto and Councilwoman Rudiak, and pivotal resources from the URA, TCB secured public and private debt and equity that will enable seniors to have a wonderful place to call home in Carrick. We cherish this opportunity to help fulfill our mission to build and sustain strong communities in one of America’s great cities,” said Rob Fossi, who oversees the Mid-Atlantic Region for TCB.

The URA board is also set today to make way for redevelopment of 1601 Broadway Avenue in Beechview. Currently the site of a vacant three-story structure, Atlas Development Co. plans to renovate it into a mixed-use retail and housing site.

The developer plans façade and interior renovations creating a 1,245 square foot first floor retail space, with a two bedroom, 1,245 square foot apartment on the 2nd floor, and a two bedroom, 844 square foot apartment on the 3rd floor. Estimated costs of the redevelopment are $650,000. The board plans to sell the vacant building for $50,000.

Michael Sorg