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Transit-oriented development Paseo Verde to provide green path to Regional Rail in North Philly

The land around the Temple University Regional Rail station has long presented a golden opportunity to give North Philadelphia some much-needed development. After all, SEPTA's fourth busiest train station presents the perfect means of travel for a neighborhood accustomed with poverty and reeling with parking woes created by the influx of students at the nearby university. This is exactly what Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM) had in mind when they broke ground on the Paseo Verde residential, retail, and office development on the former PGW lot at 9th and Berks Sts. on Tuesday.

Paseo Verde, which means "green path" in Spanish, is a $48 million development that will include 120 low and moderate-income residential units for rent and 30,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space. The excitement over this sustainable transit-oriented development (TOD) was palpable at the groundbreaking, as Mayor Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, state Senator Shirley Kitchen, and David Walsh, the senior vp of Community Development Banking at JPMorgan Chase all delivered optimistic remarks for this slice of North Philadelphia.

APM was clearly ecstatic to be hosting the groundbreaking for Paseo Verde. Nilda Ruiz, the president and CEO of APM, gushed that the TOD exemplifies a "combination of vision, practicality, and beauty." Jonathan Rose, the head of Paseo Verde’s developer, the Jonathan Rose Company, was also on-hand to serenade the development. Rose told the audience the project would likely be completed in eighteen months, and reiterated his company’s commitment to sustainable development in Philadelphia and across the country.

While the mixed-use development will promote sustainable transportation, it will also be sustainable in other ways. "The building will generate 25 percent less energy than today’s code," said Sara Vernon Sterman, the chief lending officer at The Reinvestment Fund, at the groundbreaking. She added that Paseo Verde will include low-flow water fixtures, solar panels, and white, green, and blue roofs. The white roofs will help to cool down the units, while the green and blue roofs will enable sustainable storm water control. Other sustainable perks will include low-VOC paint and energy-efficient windows.    

Writer: Andy Sharpe
Source: Nilda Ruiz, Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha  
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