The Hill Community Development Corporation (the Hill CDC) and CHN Housing Partners today were joined by Mayor Ed Gainey and other leaders to celebrate the grand opening of New Granada Square Apartments, a 40-unit, new construction, mixed-use building in the heart of Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District. All 40 units are now leased, the majority of which are to local artists and creatives.
“The completion of this project serves as an important milestone for this neighborhood,” said Marimba Milliones, president and CEO of the Hill CDC. “The addition of new housing to this area of the Hill District is part of a comprehensive revitalization of a full block containing housing, commercial, office and cultural space inclusive of the historic New Granada in the heart of the Hill District.”
The $16.1 million New Granada Square Apartments project is part of the nearly $65 million New Granada Square redevelopment and sits atop 5,500 square feet of first floor commercial space. The 40 residential units include 24 one-bedroom units and 16 two-bedroom units—four of which are accessible units. The New Granada Square Apartments are marketed as artist housing to the Hill District’s low-income creative residents. The Hill CDC partnered with CHN on this project.
“We are thrilled to see the longstanding vision come to fruition and are grateful to the Hill CDC for their partnership on this project,” said Kevin J. Nowak, CHN’s president and CEO. “We look forward to continuing to bring the power of a permanent address to Pittsburgh.”
CHN is a 42-year-old affordable housing developer, housing services provider and residential lender. It has developed over 7,000 affordable housing units and is recognized for pioneering the affordable housing industry’s most successful lease purchase homeownership model. Granada Square Apartments is CHN’s first project in Pittsburgh.
The development offers supportive services, life skills, employment, education, personal finances, and other services coordinated through an on-site resident services coordinator. The building’s community room provides ample space for group meetings and artist exhibits. There is particular focus on resident artists to develop their craft as a viable source of income and to contribute to the Hill CDC’s focused efforts of revitalizing Centre Avenue into a cultural, commercial and innovation corridor.
“New Granada Square is visionary in its aim to provide affordable housing, commercial development and creative impact,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey. “Centre Avenue is one of the key corridors in our city, and the Hill District is home to an important cultural legacy that we need to appreciate, leverage and showcase. We need more projects like this, not just in the Hill District, but throughout our city and communities nationally.”
The target Area Median Income (AMI) for New Granada Square Apartments is 20% to 80%, averaging 60% or less, including 10 project-based Housing Choice vouchers from the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh.
The development received Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency (PHFA) in 2019, which were used to leverage approximately $11 million of equity for the project. Key Community Development Corporation is the investor. Other project funders include the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) and KeyBank. The URA also sold the project twelve parcels, which had been vacant for decades. Additionally, HACP is providing Housing Choice rental subsidy for ten apartments.
McAuley Ministries, First National Bank, Key Bank, Duquesne Light and Congressionally Directed sources will fund the construction of the first-floor commercial space, which is a $1.1 million project in addition to the residential space. The commercial space is wholly owned by the Hill CDC.
The architectural firm Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel designed the building and Mistick Construction was the general contractor.