Celebrating Union Labor at Philadelphia’s Paseo Verde Project

May 22, 2013

Eric W. Price, CEO of Building America and Executive VP of the HIT, with President Clinton

Philadelphia, PA – Building America CDE, Inc., a subsidiary of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, joined with state and local building trades to host a lunch in honor of the union construction workers who are building the $48 million Paseo Verde project in North Philadelphia.

Building America allocated $5 million in New Markets Tax Credits to help finance the transit-oriented, mixed-use development, which is designed to revitalize North Philadelphia’s distressed Ludlow community. The project is being built 100% union, creating over 300 jobs for members of Philadelphia’s building and construction trades unions. 

"This project was very important for our members,” said Bernard Griggs, Jr., Business Representative for the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, who attended the event. “It’s a really big deal, a project that employed about 125 workers on a daily basis.” He added that the Building Trades Council was looking forward to working with the HIT on more projects. 

The new development, whose name means “green way” in Spanish, will consist of 120 units of sustainable affordable housing and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail and community services, commercial space, and parking. It will also bring a primary healthcare facility and other medical services to this medically underserved area. The project features many environmentally sensitive building techniques and is seeking Gold certification under the LEED Neighborhood Development and LEED for Homes programs. The low-income development is seen as a cornerstone of public-private collaboration to revitalize this low-income community.

Building America is working closely with the project’s two co-developers. Jonathan Rose Companies specializes in producing “green” affordable housing in urban communities, while Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha is a local community developer with a focus on providing social services. When completed, Paseo Verde will help reintegrate the Ludlow community into the surrounding area and expand economic opportunities for its residents. 

"Thanks to jobs like this, guys like me are getting back to work,” said Phil Senter of IUPAT Local 690. “It's a good thing we're doing here, and hopefully everybody will be working again soon. Thank you, guys.“