As we reported back in April, PHA is constructing fifty-one new units on the 2000 block of N. 11th St., which are replacing the demolished Norris Apartments high-rise, a 179-unit building originally constructed in the 1950’s. The new Norris Apartments are located a block from the North Philadelphia Septa station, right next door to the Temple’s soon-to-be-built Diamond Green complex, which we wrote about last week. In the past six months, construction has been ongoing and it appears to be on target for the originally anticipated Spring completion date.

The old building


Another rendering

Movin' along

Looks like market rate housing

View from behind, on Diamond St.

Last week, this project won the “Building a More Perfect Pennsylvania Award” from 10,000 Friends of PA,  an organization committed to smart growth and good land-use policies in the state. The award recognizes PHA’s new approach with this particular development, showing that green building and design standards can be implemented in public housing. With solar-powered water heaters, improved storm water runoff management, energy-star windows, and passive heating systems, these homes are expected to save residents at least 20% on their energy costs. Also, all of the building materials are locally sourced. That’s good news for residents, and good news for the planet.

As anyone who reads this blog has regularly noticed, we don’t hesitate to give PHA the business when appropriate. But we have to give them their due praise for this particular project. Kudos to PHA and architects Blackney Hayes on a development that could really be a game changer for public housing in Philadelphia.

Now, if PHA would just auction off their extremely desirable vacant South Philly properties AND do a better job managing problem tenants, we’ll be friends forever. How bout it, guys?