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Development News

Community Ventures working with Parks and Rec. on new affordable housing, park at 16th and Master

We recently told you about the redevelopment spree occurring on Broad St. in North Philadelphia. While the high-value development is mostly confined to Broad St., there is some interesting residential redevelopment being proposed for the streets around it. One of the most promising developments is Ingersoll Homes, an affordable housing complex and park at 16th and Master Sts. Ingersoll is being pushed by Community Ventures, an affordable housing developer that does a lot of work in neighboring Francisville. 

Community Ventures is looking to put up 10 single-family units, eight three-bedroom houses, and two four-bedroom homes, all of which will be owner-occupied, says Steve Kaufman, the executive director of Community Ventures. Kaufman plans on offering the single-family homes for $140,000 each, and they'll only be available to community members who are interested in purchasing. This is to allay community fears about the influx of Temple U. students renting property, which has intensified with the proposed Neighborhood Improvement District (NID).

One of the really unique components to Ingersoll Homes is a developer who's interested in not just housing, but also a park. Kaufman underscores how much the neighborhood deserves a park. A "2015 park expansion plan regards the surrounding area as a high priority for placement of a new park because it is far away from any existing park, is high density, and [is in] an underserved neighborhood (high poverty rate, etc)," says Kaufman. 

Because of Kaufman's affinity for parks, Community Ventures took the initiative to approach the city's Parks and Recreation and Water Departments. He says that both agencies quickly developed an interest in Ingersoll Homes and endorsed Ventures' application to the city's Office of Housing and Community Development for funding. Kaufman reports that the PWD is excited to use Ingersoll Park to manage stormwater that would otherwise flow into the city's antiquated combined sewer/stormwater system. 

Kaufman hopes to begin construction on Ingersoll Homes and Park in late winter next year. He admits that Community Ventures still needs to go through the bureaucratic approval process, which will include Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) variances. Yet, he doesn't anticipate much trouble. "The development has been strongly supported by Council President Darrell Clarke and the surrounding community," Kaufman says.

Source: Steve Kaufman, Community Ventures   
Writer: Andy Sharpe
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