by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
WinnDevelopment has completed a $14.7 million rehabilitation of Breslyn House in Philadelphia, protecting affordable housing in the city’s rapidly gentrifying Walnut Hill neighborhood.
The extensive renovation work was fueled by a public-private refinancing agreement that also preserves the community as federal Project-Based Section 8 Housing until the year 2034.
“As the owners of Breslyn House since 1983, we are proud to invest in this community’s future as badly needed affordable apartments in a fast-changing neighborhood,” says Gilbert Winn, CEO of WinnCompanies. “This project is another example of our commitment to maintaining the highest possible quality subsidized housing in urban communities.”
Breslyn House consists of 48 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom units. There are 30 units set aside for families and individuals whose household income does not exceed 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) and 30 units set aside for residents below 60 percent AMI.
The renovation effort included energy efficiency and environmental improvements, building exterior restoration, and enhancement of community spaces, including a new ADA-compliant community room and expanded laundry facilities. Each apartment underwent kitchen and bathroom overhauls, including the installation of new cabinetry, appliances, and fixtures. In addition, three apartments have been made ADA-accessible.
“WinnDevelopment’s investment in the revitalization of Breslyn House Apartments represents a vote of confidence in our diverse and vibrant community,” says Pennsylvania State Sen. Vincent J. Hughes. “The Walnut Hill neighborhood has seen a good deal of investment over the past few years, and we’re grateful to companies like WinnDevelopment for ensuring that we have housing solutions for our most vulnerable residents.”
Financing for the project was made possible by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, through tax-exempt bonds and the allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; as well as Bank of America and Citi Community Capital.
Located in the western part of Philadelphia adjacent to the University City area, Breslyn House was built as apartments in 1913 and consists of five, three-story brick and granite buildings with Beaux Arts architectural elements. WinnCompanies converted the property into affordable housing after purchasing it in 33 years ago.
WinnCompanies owns eight housing communities in Pennsylvania totaling 889 apartments. In addition to Breslyn House, the company owns:
The Fred B. Rooney Building, 150 units in Bethlehem;
E.B. McNitt Apartments, 101 units in New Brighton;
Cobbs Creek, 85 units in Philadelphia;
Venango House, 106 units in Philadelphia
Maple Ridge, 91 units in Pittsburgh;
Grant Towers, 60 units in Pittsburgh;
Alleghany Commons, 136 units in Pittsburgh; and,
The Village at Somerset, 100 units in Somerset;
WinnResidential, the company’s property management arm, manages all of those properties, as well as two other Pennsylvania housing communities, totaling 595 units: Governors Square, 291 units in Harrisburg, and Foxwood Manor Apartments, 304 units in Levittown.
WinnDevelopment will begin work later this year on a similar rehabilitation project at the E.B. McNitt Apartments.