PHA Breaks Ground for Oakdale Street Apartments

Oakdale groundbreaking

PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah and City Council President Darrell Clarke (center) led the festivities as the agency formally broke ground for the construction of the Oakdale Street Apartments in the 2800 block of West Oakdale Street. The new development was long sought by Clarke, whose district covers the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. The 12-unit development will be built across the street from the Widener Library.

(Philadelphia, PA - August 12, 2014)  - The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) will convert a longtime vacant piece of land at the northern edge of the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood to productive use.  The agency, joined by elected officials, today formally broke ground for the construction of the Oakdale Street Apartments in the 2800 block of West Oakdale Street.

This modest, 12-unit development will be built across the street from the Widener Library.  The new development will be comprised of 8 two-bedroom townhouses and 4 one- bedroom duplex units ranging from just over 700 to more than 1,200 square feet.  The Oakdale Street Apartments are designed with sustainability and low energy usage in mind, with Energy Star rated appliances and mechanical equipment, and compact fluorescent bulbs throughout.  All buildings will feature conventional construction with a combination of brick and hard board panel systems on the exterior, with grass field rear yards.

"These new PHA energy-efficient homes, and the 37 affordable homes the City has funded in Strawberry Mansion in recent years, are a testament to our shared commitment to this neighborhood," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  "Transforming vacant property into affordable housing will add value to the area.  Our combined investments are key steps in strengthening and revitalizing this community."

"Whenever PHA can brighten a neighborhood with modern, efficient housing, it's a plus for the City," said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. "This is the first of three projects planned for the Strawberry Mansion community, which represents an investment of over $25 million by PHA.  We hope that our investment in Strawberry Mansion will encourage others to take a look at this neighborhood and invest here in quality, affordable housing, whether through new construction or renewal," CEO Jeremiah said.

The new development was something long sought by City Council President Darrell Clarke whose district covers this neighborhood and who is promoting an increase in various forms of affordable housing throughout the City.

"The planning that went into the Oakdale Street Apartments was a long and collaborative process," Council President Clarke said.  "I'm so pleased this lot will soon be occupied with new, energy-efficient housing opportunities for the community.  This wonderful investment shows that Strawberry Mansion is moving in the right direction."

Oakdale Street Apartments is the first of three developments planned for the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. When all the developments are complete, 100 new housing units will have been added to the neighborhood.

Construction of the Oakdale Street Apartments will create 20 jobs and seven of them will be Section 3 hires, where economic opportunities are given to low and very low-income persons, particularly to recipients of government assistance housing.  PHA expects to complete construction of the new development next March with a total investment of $4.55 million.

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