Boston – Multi-family industry developer WinnCompanies announced it has acquired Carl Mackley Houses, built in the Great Depression as the nation’s first federally funded housing complex, and has started a $23.7 million project to completely renovate the historic 184-unit affordable housing community in northeast Philadelphia.
The top-to-bottom renovation will include the restoration and stabilization of the historic brick facades of the buildings and the installation of modern energy conservation systems to reduce utility consumption and promote resident comfort. Sidewalks and walking paths will be improved, and efforts will be made to address erosion and drainage issues.
The rehabilitation effort will modernize apartment kitchens and bathrooms in four residential buildings, install central air conditioning in all units, replace all windows and roofs, upgrade common areas, renovate 19 apartments to make them fully accessible for persons with mobility impairments, and adapt eight units for use by people with sensory impairments.
In addition to expanding the on-site management offices to create a computer lab for residents, the construction will create an office for a full-time, bilingual community coordinator who will work to connect Carl Mackley residents to services and resources that promote sustainable, positive outcomes for the community.
WinnCompanies acquired the property on Jan. 29 and secured the financing needed for rehabilitation on April 1 with the support of an array of public and private partners, including the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, which partially subsidizes rents and insures the permanent mortgage for the complex, and U.S. National Park Service, which oversees the Federal Historic Tax Credit program.
The renovation work will be performed by union labor. WinnDevelopment, the development arm of WinnCompanies, will lead the 18-month renovation with Domus, Inc., serving as general contractor and Kramer + Marks Architects, PC, serving as architect.
Carl Mackley Houses will be the first multifamily community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to launch the HUD Family Self-Sufficiency Program. On March 11, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved a plan put forth by WinnCompanies, Compass Working Capital and the Carl Mackley community to support individuals and families in building assets and financial capability as a pathway to greater economic opportunity and out of poverty.