August 6, 2018

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Situated on the corner of Broad and Morris Streets in South Philadelphia is the Community Health and Literacy Center. Opened in 2016, the Community Health and Literacy Center is the product of a partnership between the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and others.

This project came as a result of City and CHOP leadership recognizing their existing clinics in the area were no longer large enough to meet the demand of the South Philadelphia community. CHOP and the City decided to build upon the existing City clinic at the current site, but also establish other elements connecting the health and recreation facilities of the development. The $42.5 million, 96,000-square-foot LEED-certified facility includes a CHOP pediatric primary care center; Philadelphia Department of Public Health community health center; state-of-the-art Free Library of Philadelphia South Philadelphia Library; and DiSilvestro Playground and Recreation Center.

The Free Library occupies nearly 12,000 square feet, hosting over 150,000 customers annually. It also features child and adult literacy classes, free Wi-Fi, public computers, computer literacy classes, and ESL classes. The DiSilvestro Playground and Recreation Center offers recreational space for community members all year long, as it includes both indoor and outdoor recreation space featuring a playground, a basketball court, green space, and a rain garden.

There has been major success with the community usage of the facility since its 2016 opening. For example, CHOP has served an average of 3,250 people per month for health services, the library has served an average of 12,500 visitors per month, and 1,000 people per month have used the recreational services. In addition, the square foot expansion of CHOP, by approximately 30%, has enabled them to offer additional exam rooms, a waiting area with dedicated space for reading and computer use as well as behavioral health counseling.

PIDC assisted in structuring the real estate and financing elements necessary to execute this initiative. The quality of the project, and the partners involved, allowed PIDC to raise more than $30 million in New Markets Tax Credits from a group of national investors. In addition to these investors, PIDC lead that group with its own investment. Those investors included Chase, Commonwealth Cornerstone Group, and City First Bank.

CHOP and the City have played an incredible role in leading this innovation. PIDC is pleased to have been a strong partner in its success. The Community Health and Literacy Center sets a strong precedent for a new generation of public-private partnerships that PIDC can help structure, finance, and implement throughout Philadelphia.

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Read More About PIDC’s New Markets Tax Credits

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