The Philadelphia Housing Authority opened their new, $45 million headquarters in North Philly last week, officially consolidating the four former offices into one, newly constructed space.
The five-story building at 2013 Ridge Avenue, which was designed by Philly-based firm BLT Architects, aims to help revitalize the Sharswood-Blumberg neighborhood, said Eric M
Rahe, principal-in-charge of the project for BLT.
“It was intended to be an anchor for the neighborhood there,” he said.
That had an effect on the design itself; the architects went for a “forward-thinking,” transparent building with lots of glass and more modern materials. They also focused on creating a comfortable outdoor space for members of the public coming to meet with PHA employees, Rahe said. In yet another contemporary element, the building is designed to meet LEED Certification, with energy-efficient glass, advanced stormwater techniques, landscaping, and a wide roof, according to Johnathan Manza, project architect.
The project has been in the works for years and finally broke ground in 2017. Throughout the design process and various meetings with the public, a lot of the focus has been on how the project will help spur more commercial and residential development in the long-blighted neighborhood.
“This is just one part of a larger plan for this whole area,” Rahe said.
The PHA has been involved in a $500 million project to revitalize the neighborhood for the past six years, with the new headquarters being a big part of that effort. Ultimately, the project aims to bring over 1,000 new residences, and create a retail corridor along Ridge Avenue.
- Philadelphia Housing Authority breaks ground on $45M headquarters in Sharswood [Curbed Philly]