On March 22, 2023, The Michaels Organization, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), announced that it has broken ground on a new affordable rental housing redevelopment project on vacant infill land in the Sharswood neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
At the same time, Michaels is rehabilitating an affordable housing community in Sharswood that it has owned and managed since developing the community 23 years ago.
“We are excited to reinvest in our Sharswood Townhouse community, preserving this critical affordable housing resource for Philadelphia families while creating new affordable housing opportunities in this rapidly changing community,” said Michaels Vice President Andrew Davenport, who is serving as the lead developer on both the renovation as well as the new development.
“We are also grateful to the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) and the Philadelphia Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) for their support in bringing new additional affordable housing to this neighborhood,” he continued.
Both projects are part of the PHA Sharswood Blumberg Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan.
“Sharswood is taking yet another important step forward,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President and CEO of PHA.
“To remain affordable, Philadelphia will need comprehensive plans to repair and renovate existing housing units and communities. This plan preserves affordable housing while adding contemporary units that provide residents seeking to live in Sharswood with desirable housing options. I want to thank Michaels for their commitment to affordable housing and to this community,” he added.
Sharswood Townhouses, located at 1450 N 21st Street in North Philadelphia, was first developed by Michaels in 2000. The community features 71 apartment homes affordable to households earning 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income.
The community will be completely renovated, with major building upgrades for long-term sustainability, as well as interior and exterior improvements. These units will be preserved as affordable housing for the residents for decades to come.
“We’re proud to celebrate and support the rehabilitation of existing affordable homes in the Sharswood, and the construction of dozens of new affordable homes as well,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke, whose 5th Council district includes Sharswood.
“With every development, every groundbreaking and ribbon cutting, PHA and all our committed partners, we are reinvesting in a proud, historic neighborhood community in Sharswood in the heart of North Philly. It’s a terrific day,” he continued.
In conjunction with the renovation work, Michaels will develop a new community offering 43 affordable rental units on vacant land next door to Sharswood Townhouses. The new community will offer two- and three-bedroom apartments to be developed across 24 stacked flat and townhome-style buildings.
A total of 12 fully accessible units will be created — four at Sharswood Townhouses and eight in the new community. The new development will also feature a community room, offices for on-site management, and an expanded common laundry facility, which residents of both communities can use.
Completing the rehabilitation and new construction work in one development phase allowed for innovative financing for this $33 million project. The majority of the funding is sourced from federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, allocated by PHFA, which raised more than $13 million in private equity.
In addition to the tax credits, PHFA provided $5.8 million in permanent debt and the PHA provided a $3.5 million soft loan. The development also benefits from nearly $6.2 million in funding from the City of Philadelphia.
Urban Practice is serving as the Architect and Michaels Construction is serving as the General Contractor. Berkadia syndicated the tax credits. Michaels Management will provide property management services, ensuring that both communities remain long-term neighborhood assets.
Construction is expected to be completed in March 2024.
Photo courtesy of The Michaels Organization.