For 48-725: Real Estate Design and Development
By Afshan Rehman, Rin Namkoong and Xiaron Zhang
Herron Avenue in Pittsburgh, is a local corridor connecting several neighbourhoods. It has the potential to be developed as a mixed-use, community service-based district. In this proposal, we propose a 10-year-long development along the major segment of Herron Avenue - between Wylie and Milwaukee, in which several important buildings are located including churches, libraries and the building housing a design studio.
The proposal includes 5 buildings for development - 3 newly built developments and 2 existing buildings. By proposing a mixed-use development, we aim to add value to the project and continuously attract more development opportunities and funding assistance for the three phase development.

Proposed Master Plan

The proposal included a mixed-use development and a community service development on 2 major intersections: 
- Housing+ Office: at the junction of Herron Avenue and Wylie Avenue to provide a co-living and co-working node.
- Housing + Retail: at the junction of Herron Avenue and Milwaukee Street to form a retail and convenient store node.
- Community Space + Community Office: the reuse of vacant AME Zion Church building as community creativity centre for residents, students and business beginners and a new built community art education centre (proposed in further development) for childcare and community education.
From the detailed building program chart, by developing the project in the next 10 years, we are able to provide the community with the following;
- 20 units of affordable housing including studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedrooms apartment units.
- 6220 sq.ft of rentable office space.
- 3500 sq.ft of rentable retail space.
- 9800 sq.ft of community shared and service space

Building Program Chart

financial analysis
In order to propose a well-balanced development at the two intersections and getting ample funding for each phase, for Phase 1 and Phase 2, we propose developing one newly-built building and one existing building and they are located on the two intersections separately. Phase 3 is a further development suggestion if the community can have enough sources for the new built education centre.

Building Massing Diagram

For the project, 4 types of sources will be considered - Equity, Loan, Tax Credit and Grants. Since CDC is a non-profit with the goal of revitalising the community, there are many options available for grants and government funding. The sources used for this project would be as follows;
Low Income Housing Tax Credit: This can be used for mixed use buildings and we have 3 of those in our proposal. No more than 20% of the income is generated by commercial rents. More than 20% of the housing units are occupied by tenants with an income of less than 50% of the area's median.
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF): This loan will be used to develop the mixed use housing units as the interest rate for non-profits is 0%. As a loan the housing should have a minimum affordability period of 10 years.
New Market Tax Credit: This tax credit is designed to stimulate growth in low income communities. The funding amount is 39% of the equity invested for renovation and new constructions and can go upto 55-60% of the entire project cost.
Private Bank Community Development Lending (Loan): There are several private banks with various lending budgets set aside for affordable housing, community development and neighbourhood revitalisation. A community development loan is considered as a source to fund the project.
PA Department of Environment Protection (DEP): The AMD set aside Grant will be used to abate the abandoned mine under the AME Zion Church and for the operations and maintenance of the existing drainage system built. The entire project will also be insured under the mine subsidence insurance.
The balance between Sources and Uses is given below;

Breakdown of Sources and Uses

The concept of our proposal is Herron For All, which aims at proposing a mixed-used, local service concentrated district along Herron Avenue, in order to provide better working and living conditions, affordable of rental housing and offices, provide food access and create more places for community care and education. At the same time, we aim to attract nearby students and neighbourhoods to work and live along Herron Avenue to form a diverse culture and add connection between The Hill and nearby communities. 
Back to Top