The cleanup and revitalization of neglected and underutilized properties has been critical in bringing back investment, housing, and job opportunities to under-served communities and neighborhoods across Philadelphia. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grants provide funding for a grant recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites – former industrial or commercial sites where future use is possibly affected environmental contamination.
Managed by PIDC, Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) – a public authority delivering real estate services, tax-exempt financing, state grant funding, and City grant funding – is using RLF funds to provide loans and subgrants to clean up properties in disadvantaged communities. According to the EPA, since 2006, PAID & PIDC have provided six loans and four subgrants totaling $2.85 million to four brownfields in Philadelphia. RLF funds through PIDC and PAID have collectively leveraged more than $200 million in investment, with more than $370 million more planned, creating more than 500 jobs. In 2020, PAID provided a $300,000 loan and $300,000 subgrant to Impact Services, a community action organization, to clean up a brownfield in the Kensington neighborhood. The site is a five-story, 140,000 square foot former historic carpet mill built in the early 1900s that has been largely vacant for the last several decades. The loan and subgrant funded remediation of asbestos, a PCB-contaminated transformer, and an underground storage tank. The sponsor provided $130,000 in equity for remediation and has since executed a $25.8 million redevelopment of the property, converting it into 48 units of affordable family housing below 60% of area median income that began accepting tenants in April 2023. The building will also house a 10,000 square foot commercial condo, with Impact Services occupying a portion of that space.
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