Mayor, Stakeholders and Community Members Break Ground for Homewood's Newest Housing Development

Homewood Station Senior Apartments Will Provide 41 New Units, Spur Transit-Oriented Development

(PITTSBURGH) Dec. 18, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today, joined by Oxford Development Company, S&A Homes, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and community members, officially broke ground on the Homewood Station Senior Apartments, an $11.5 million, mixed-use development that will provide 41 new mixed-income residential units. Located at the corner of North Homewood Ave. and Susquehanna St., the four-story building will include ground floor commercial space for neighborhood businesses, as well as a café. Completion of this initial phase is anticipated for December 2013.

“Over the last three years, we have worked closely with the Homewood community to prepare a plan for its future,” Ravenstahl said. “Hundreds of residents and stakeholders have come together in a community planning effort, called ‘Bridging the Busway,’ that seeks to harness the power of transit as an engine for neighborhood revitalization. This project is the first major step to put that plan into action.”

The new apartment building will provide adjacent access to the East Busway, along with other amenities including a public plaza and public spaces within the building for socializing. The building aims to achieve LEED certification. All units will be offered to households at or below 60 percent of the area median income.

“This project builds off the market strengths of the community – newly constructed single family housing, Helen Faison School and adjacency to the neighborhood of North Point Breeze – to create multiple paths for sustained economic development,” said Steven J. Guy, president and CEO, Oxford Development Company.

This first phase of five was supported with a $10 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and land sold through the URA, along with a $317,000 URA grant.

“PHFA enthusiastically supports this project that further fulfills our mission of providing quality, affordable housing to Pennsylvanians,” said Brian A. Hudson Sr., PHFA executive director and CEO. “The project is exciting because this senior housing development implements the neighborhood-driven ‘Bridging the Busway’ plan and takes grassroots momentum in Homewood to the next level.”

Four additional phases for mixed-use, mixed-income redevelopment, as well as infrastructure improvements and greening initiatives, are envisioned for the entire one-acre site.

“Our company is proud to be part of the continuing Renaissance in this City, and this development is important to ensure that seniors remain in their neighborhood and their City, in safe and quality housing,” said Andy Haines, executive vice president, S&A Homes.

Over the last few years, Homewood has seen a number of new housing and business developments, and commercial rehabilitations that have spurred interest from investors and community advocates. Newly constructed and rehabbed homes and the brand new Helen S. Faison Arts Academy sit adjacent to the project site and the Homewood Station of the East Busway.

“I want to thank Mayor Luke Ravenstahl for his continued commitment and vision to reinvest in the Homewood community,” said Councilman Reverend Ricky V. Burgess, Pittsburgh City Council, 9th District. “This senior low-rise, probably the most significant project to occur in the community in the last 20 years, will provide seniors with quality affordable housing and world class amenities. This is the first step of revitalizing the business corridor and transforming this neighborhood.”

Grassroots community projects, including a number of real estate interventions, are under way that will help spur additional investment.

“This project is the first step toward a new and improved Homewood,” said Jerome
Jackson, executive director, Operation Better Block.

Additional project partners include BNY Mellon, RBC Capital, Bridgeway Capital, Operation Better Block, and Community Empowerment Association. Pre-leasing begins fall 2013. Contact NDC Real Estate Management at 412-578-7800 for more information.