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Public housing agency to sell off West Philly towers to fund redevelopment at aging complex

Up for sale are the two southernmost towers of the West Park Apartments and a to-be-decided amount of underlying land.

The West Park Apartments, built in 1964, sit on a nearly 12 acres in West Philadelphia.
The West Park Apartments, built in 1964, sit on a nearly 12 acres in West Philadelphia.Read morePHA

Philadelphia plans to sell two public housing towers in West Philadelphia to help pay for the renovation of a third and for the construction of hundreds of new apartments.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority said this week that it has begun marketing the two of the three 109-unit towers that make up its 55-year-old West Park Apartments complex north of 46th and Market Streets.

Up for sale are the two southernmost towers and a to-be-decided amount of land, according to a marketing brochure for the property that offers no target price for the transaction.

PHA plans to retain the northern section of the nearly 12-acre site, where it will renovate the remaining tower into senior housing and build new rowhouses and low-rise apartments to replace the units that are sold.

Residents of the to-be-sold towers will be relocated to other public housing and will have first dibs on the new and renovated West Park units when they are complete, agency spokesperson Kirk Dorn said.

The agency does not yet have a budget for the redevelopment project, which will be designed to restore the isolated complex’s connection to Philadelphia’s street grid, Dorn said.

The marketing brochure — prepared by Vincent Jolly of CVA Commercial Group, and Michael Kane and Les Haggett of global real estate firm CBRE — touts the complex’s proximity to West Philadelphia’s universities and research institutions and to new developments such as Schuylkill Yards and uCity Square.

It also highlights its location in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, through which investors in the project can get big tax breaks.

The brochure suggests that the southern towers site can be revamped into "multifamily apartments, senior housing, student housing, or a mixed-use development.”

“We think taking advantage of the property’s rising value to help meet our need for affordable housing is an ideal solution,” PHA President and chief executive Kelvin A. Jeremiah said in a release.