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Affordable developer's West Philly project is city's biggest recipient of state development grant

Mission First Housing Group receives $5 million for its New Market West project from Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds.

Artist's rendering of New Market West project proposed for the 5900 block of Market Street in West Philadelphia by Mission First Housing Group.
Artist's rendering of New Market West project proposed for the 5900 block of Market Street in West Philadelphia by Mission First Housing Group.Read moreKitchen & Associates

Pennsylvania officials have awarded affordable housing developer Mission First Housing Group a $5 million grant to help build a complex of apartments, shops, offices, and early-learning classrooms at 59th and Market Streets in West Philadelphia.

The New Market West project, slated to cover an entire block, was Philadelphia's biggest recipient of funds from the most recent round of Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program awards, Gov. Wolf's office said Friday. The release did not include an already announced award from the 2017 RACP round to develop Aramark's new headquarters at 2400 Market St.

Statewide, 399 projects sought over $1.7 billion in RACP funding in 2017; 149 received grants totaling $187.8 million. New Market West was one of only 17 to have its complete request satisfied.

The $63 million development is to include 41 dwelling units, nearly 68,000 square feet of office space and 13,700 square feet of ground-floor retail. Tenants will include social services provider ACHIEVEability.

"New Market West will be a game-changer for West Philadelphia and will serve as a springboard for ACHIEVEability to deepen its good work," Mission First CEO Alfredo de la Pena said in a statement.

Throughout Philadelphia and Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Delaware Counties, $55.7 million was awarded, Wolf's office said. Area projects funded include:

  1. The SLS Hotel & Residences hotel-and-condo tower that developer Carl Dranoff aims to build at Broad and Spruce Streets in Center City; it received $1.4 million out of a $19 million request. Dranoff, who was already granted $1 million for the project from last year's RACP round, did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

  2. A New York-based consortium's plan for a district of homes, offices, labs, and start-up work spaces around Amtrak's North Philadelphia station; It was awarded $2.5 million out of a requested $20 million.

  3. The renovation and expansion of the Rhoads Industries facility at the Navy Yard to accommodate upgraded machinery for maritime and military production. The $3 million award — out of $8 million requested  — would accelerate work,  said Rhoads development specialist Joseph Walsh.

  4. Upgrades at the Kimberly-Clark Corp. manufacturing facility in Chester, Delaware County, enabling the plant to switch from coal to natural gas for power generation; it received $6 million of a $28 million request. In a release Friday, State Sen. Tom Killion (R., Chester-Delaware) and Rep. Brian Kirkland (D., Delaware) said the project would yield environmental benefits and help protect 600 jobs.

  5. Acquisition and site-preparation work for a new St. Luke's University Health Network hospital in Milford Township, Bucks County. Out of $5 million requested, it got $2.5 million and is scheduled for completion in 2019.

  6. Boeing Co.'s plan to transform a vacant industrial building at its Ridley Township manufacturing plant into a massive aircraft-modification workshop. It received $1.25 million of a $30 million request.

  7. New York-based Tishman Speyer's plan to renovate its Bala Plaza office complex in Bala Cynwyd, for which it requested $10 million and recieved $500,000.