Preservation Alliance Honors PHA for Suffolk Manor Restoration

PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 10, 2004) - The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia has honored the Philadelphia Housing Authority with a Grand Jury Award for the rehabilitation and historic preservation of Suffolk Manor Apartments. Kise Straw Kolodner (architects) and Keating Building Corporation were also honored for their work on this development at 1414 Clearfield in North Philadelphia. PHA Executive Director Carl Greene received this prestigious award during ceremonies at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. We saw this as a great opportunity to convert a building which had fallen on hard times into modern affordable housing, Greene said.

John Gallery, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, said the award made to PHA is a good example of the extraordinary diversity of preservation resources in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Mayor John Street, the chairman of PHAs Board of Commissioners, affirmed his administrations commitment to preservation activities, saying they are important to maintaining the Citys character and its tourism economy.

PHA was able to acquire and redevelop Suffolk Manor, an apartment complex built in 1929, thanks in part to historic tax credits. Greene said the property had deteriorated into a state of severe disrepair. PHA sought and received special designation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Park Service making the building a historical site. The agency has made extensive use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to raise capital for new construction throughout the city and did so again in this case. However, Suffolk Manor marked the first time PHA received historic tax credits.

The overhaul of the 137-unit complex cost $24 million, of which $13 million is coming from tax credits. The remainder of the funding was a combination of federal capital grants and the diversion of rental voucher money. The Tudor Revival-styled exterior of the five buildings has been restored to its original beauty while the apartments have been totally renovated with all the modern amenities.

The complex includes 119 one-bedroom apartments and 18 two-bedroom units. Seventy-seven of the apartments are reserved for seniors only. The redevelopment is expected to provide an immediate boost to both the quality of life and the economy in the Fern Rock/Olney section of North Philadelphia. Carl Greene said the complex is a great example of how funds earmarked for public housing can be used to lift an entire community.

About PHA

PHA is transforming public housing in the city of Philadelphia. As the nations fourth largest public housing agency serving more than 76,000 residents, PHA is the first housing authority in the U. S. designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) of the National Association of Realtors as an Accredited Management Organization. This designation is awarded to firms engaged in property management that have met IREMs high standards in the areas of education, experience, integrity and financial stability.

The Preservation Alliance honored PHA at a special luncheon attended by community leaders at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

John Gallery, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, congratulates PHA Executive Director Carl Greene.

Mayor Street, the chairman of the PHA Board, reaffirmed his administration's commitment to historic preservation in Philadelphia.

PHA's Asst. Exec. Director for Real Estate Development, Jemine Bryon, and Carl Greene beam proudly after accepting the award from the Preservation Alliance.