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Investment spurs affordable housing options in Reading

By , - Last modified: February 24, 2014 at 11:41 AM
PHOTO COURTESY OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP. MIDATLANTIC
A Lancaster agency will rehab the Market Square Apartments in Reading.
PHOTO COURTESY OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP. MIDATLANTIC A Lancaster agency will rehab the Market Square Apartments in Reading.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has awarded $359,479 in annual tax credit funding to Housing Development Corp. MidAtlantic in Lancaster for a $5 million affordable housing project in Reading.

HDC MidAtlantic is a nonprofit, affordable housing provider that will use the credits toward rehabilitating the Market Square Apartments at 801 Penn St. in Reading.

The total cost of the project is $5 million with $359,479 in annual tax credit funding by PHFA. The tax credit equates to about $3.6 million in tax credit equity.

"There's a real need for senior housing, especially as the baby boomer generation ages," Michael Carper, president of HDC MidAtlantic, said this morning. "It's important that we preserve the affordable senior housing that we do have."

Carper described it as a significant investment in the community with $2.5 million in new construction that will occur and the associated jobs it will bring.

The general contractor, Benchmark Construction, is based in Lancaster and will most likely hire contractors in Berks County, Carper said.

Carper said construction should finish by spring 2015.

The 38-unit senior housing complex is a four-story building in need of façade replacement and interior and system upgrades. HDC also will add two fully-accessible Americans with Disabilities Act units to the building, bringing the total number of ADA units in the building to five.

The rehab effort, which should begin by the fall, involves adding multiple renewable energy systems and technologies such as solar photovoltaic renewable electric panels on the roof, water saving devices, energy efficient appliances, lighting and occupancy sensors to further offset utility costs in common area space.

"The entire façade of the building will be removed," Carper said, including all windows. The heating system will move to high-efficiency gas, and many of the lighting fixtures will be changed to highly efficient light-emitting diode fixtures, he added.

HDC MidAtlantic, which owns the building, will continue to be a general partner in the project, Carper said.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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