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Paseo Verde, nation’s first LEED ND Platinum project to be featured at Greenbuild 2013

October 23, 2013

Paseo Verde, the country’s first LEED Neighborhood Development (ND) Platinum project, will be featured on a tour during Greenbuild 2013 in Philadelphia. 

LISC invested its first New Markets Tax Credits allocation in Philadelphia of $10 million in the project. LISC also provided the development team with a $1 million pre-development loan, $350,000 pre-development grant, and a $13,500 grant for the LEED ND Platinum certification process. These early investments by LISC made Paseo Verde and its LEED ND Platinum designation possible. LISC is also a local sponsor of Greenbuild 2013.

Train Platform Elevation

“They thought it was pie in the sky,” says Rose Gray of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM), the Community Development Corporation who took the lead on organizing the community input, among many other roles, for the project near Temple University. “We were at the original design charrette at Greenbuild years ago, and all of these experts on LEED ND weren’t sure we could do it.”

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a program of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) that provides third-party verification of green buildings and a green building tool that addresses the entire building lifecycle recognizing best-in-class building strategies. According to USGBC, LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into the first national system for neighborhood design.

“You can’t lose sight of how ambitious this project is,” says Alex Dews, Programs & Policy Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “It’s helping to change the character of the neighborhood in a way that respects what’s here already and provides additional amenities that it deserves, all while achieving the very highest levels of environmental sustainability and performance.”

Just down the street, the Temple North project repurposes a historic building into low income housing. Just a few blocks away, you can find the JBJ Soul Homes project, which is funded in part by local Jon Bon Jovi and in part by LISC affiliate NEF. The 55-unit complex designed to be LEED Silver provides affordable housing and a supportive services complex to formerly homeless individuals.

In Center City, tour attendees can visit Connelly House, a joint venture between Project H.O.M.E., Bethesda Project, and The Archdiocese of Philadelphia that offers 24 SRO units and 55 efficiencies to meet a critical need for supported housing within a high-rent neighborhood. Anderson House, another project, provides an LGBT-friendly, affordable housing alternative for seniors, many who were part of a pioneering LGBT community in Center City.

Philadelphia is leading the way on affordable green housing and community-centered design, and it will showcase all of these projects during Greenbuild 2013. The City of Philadelphia itself will adopt green affordable housing standards for all city projects beginning in 2014. LISC is excited to help Philadelphia lead the way to a greener future.

Original article written by Heather Blakeslee for the USGBC at http://www.usgbc.org/articles/innovative-affordable-housing-city-brotherly-love

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