Oxford Mills - Center for Educational Excellence
Developer: Seawall Development LLC, D 3 Development LLC
CDEs: ESIC New Markets Partners Limited Partnership; Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; National Trust Community Investment Corporation
The 2013 award for Real Estate QLICI of the Year goes to Enterprise Community Investment and its CDE, ESIC New Markets Partners Limited Partnership, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and National Trust Community Investment Corporation for helping Seawall Development Company renovate Oxford Mills into an affordable housing complex for teachers in the city of Philadelphia, Pa. The 170,000-square-foot former factory will be converted into a mixed-used development. The property will feature 144 quality, affordable housing units and a supportive environment to attract and retain new teachers, as well as below-market rent commercial space for nonprofit organizations.
Currently, Philadelphia’s poverty rate is 25.1 percent, and fewer than 60 percent of the students graduate from high school in four years. Oxford Mills, also called the Center for Educational Excellence, is intended to help alleviate Philadelphia’s educational obstacles by offering below-market rate housing to the 150-200 Teach for America teachers that begin working in the city each year. The property’s office space will also house the Philadelphia Teach for America Office. Seawall Development Company believes that teachers that live in safe and comfortable environments can provide better educational outcomes in terms of improved graduation rates and allow students to achieve great success. In addition, Oxford Mills will bring economic activity into the surrounding neighborhoods. The renovation will create more than 200 construction jobs. Seawall Development Company also expects the property to create 100 permanent jobs with commercial tenants, and two property management positions.
Seawall Development Company faced significant obstacles in financing Oxford Mills, including a significant funding gap caused by low market rents that limited the amount of conventional debt the developers could borrow. Oxford Mills would not have moved forward without $34 million in NMTC allocation authority. Oxford Mills received $10 million from Enterprise, $15 million from Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and $9 million from the National Trust.
Congratulations to Enterprise, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the National Trust and the Seawall Development Company for their commitment to supporting teachers and educational excellence.