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Affordable housing project breaks ground at former Norris homes

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The third phase of the $30 million project near Temple brings affordable rental homes to North Central Philly.

Renderings by KSK Architects Planners Historians

The third phase of a $30 million project to revitalize the North Central neighborhood, broke ground Monday, promising to deliver a group of new rental apartments just blocks from Temple University.

The Norris Apartments Phase III project will bring 50 affordable rental units to the corner of 11th and Norris, replacing the 1950s Norris homes complex that once sat at the site. It’s the third of a five-phase Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) project, which will eventually see 267 affordable rental units and 30 affordable housing units brought to the neighborhood by the end of 2019.

The project was made possible by a $30 million Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Design (HUD), which provided funding for the city and PHA to address residents’ concerns over affordable housing, job opportunities, blight, and safety in the North Central neighborhood. The goal of the new construction is to provide nicer—but still affordable—homes for North Central residents.

The approximately families who are moved out of the old Norris homes will be relocated to the new apartments once the project is completed, according to the PHA.

Plans for Phase III’s 87,789-square-foot development were approved by the Civic Design Review last year. The plans outlined a project with two, three, four, and five-bed townhouses, as well as one-bed apartments. On the street side, passers-by could expect to see brick, stone, and metal facades, while the backs of the properties would be covered in vinyl, according to the 2017 proposal.

The construction also aims to be sustainable, and plans to seek LEED certification.

PHA estimates that the project’s third phase will take just over a year to complete, with a tentative opening date scheduled for November, 2019. The second phase of the overall project, which brings 89 homes to vacant lots in the area, is much closer to the finish line. It’s scheduled to open next month.

“Norris Phase III - and the Norris Development overall - is a great example of the kind of great outcome the City and PHA can accomplish together, especially when we listen to the community for what they think a choice neighborhood should include,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement on the project.

  • New affordable housing to replace old Norris homes near Temple [Curbed Philly]

Temple University

1801 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 215 204 7000