PHA Chooses Contractor for Blumberg Redev.

The housing authority also selects eight diverse firms for small construction services

Blumberg Rendering

Blumberg Phase I will contain 57 new rental units for households whose incomes are 60 percent of area median income and below. The design is consistent with Enterprise Green Communities standards, emphasizing sustainability and energy efficiency.

(Philadelphia, PA - May 19, 2014) - The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) Board of Commissioners has selected a Philadelphia firm to serve as the construction manager for the first phase of redevelopment at Blumberg Apartments in the City's Sharswood neighborhood.

The Board awarded a $20.9 million contract to Domus, Inc. to complete three tasks: the renovation of Blumberg's high-rise tower for senior residents, the construction of 57 rental units on vacant land at the existing site, and the design of new streets in the neighborhood. The new rental units will be a mix of townhouses, walkups, and garden apartments. The two other towers at Blumberg will be demolished, but no date has been set, as HUD approval is still needed.

Established in 1976, Domus is a general contractor with expertise in building and rehabilitating housing, restaurants, retail/commercial spaces, and academic facilities. The company has worked on numerous projects funded by the federal and state government, as well as local governing agencies.

"I am thrilled that we are taking another big step toward renewing this once-forgotten neighborhood," said PHA President & CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. "The transformation of Blumberg/Sharswood is the single most important project PHA has undertaken in the last several years. We are working in partnership with both Blumberg residents, members of the surrounding community, as well as 23 other organizations from the public and private sectors."

PHA has also awarded contracts to eight other firms for small construction management services. The agency will spend up to $15 million over a three-year period.

The action, approved by the PHA Board in April, is part of the agency's strategy to expand and diversify the number of construction firms serving PHA and to better maintain its scattered sites portfolio. The new contractors will be tasked with renovating long-term vacant sites, which will reduce blight by repositioning these non-performing assets.

"PHA's scattered sites properties have become increasingly difficult to manage and can slow community revitalization efforts," said Jeremiah.  "That's why PHA is implementing a scattered sites repositioning strategy and working with small construction firms to rehab properties where feasible. The contractors PHA has selected are nimble and well-equipped to deal with the challenges we face in a timely manner. In taking this action, PHA is reaffirming its commitment to providing contracting opportunities to smaller businesses."

One of the firms awarded a contract is JD Bravo Company, Inc., founded in 2011 by Iraq War veteran James M. Davie. The company operates as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), as well as a Disadvantaged Small Business (DBE).

The other firms awarded contracts are Allied Construction, Bittenbender Construction, Constructionomics/BFW Group, Milestone Construction, Noble Strategy, and Perryman Building Company.  Bittenbender is woman-owned and operated, while Noble Strategy and Perryman Building are minority-owned firms.