News Michaels Hosts “Groundbreaking” at Wister...
Michaels Hosts Groundbreaking At Wister Apartments


Event Marks the Start of Major Renovation and Preservation of Critical
Affordable Housing Community in North Philadelphia

The Michaels Organization, a national leader in residential real estate and the largest private sector owner of affordable housing in the country, will mark the renovation and preservation of Wister Apartments with a small ceremony with city and state leaders and residents. Congressman Dwight Evans, who represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd District, was among the dignitaries. Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass was represented by her Chief of Staff.

“We are very grateful to the Wister community, especially our residents, as well as all the community stakeholders, and Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for their support of this important preservation effort,” said Andrew Davenport, Michaels’ Vice President of Development, and the lead developer on the renovation. Better Tomorrows, a non-profit organization that provides supportive services to Wister residents and other Michaels’ affordable housing communities, served as the co-developer.

Developed, owned and managed by Michaels since 1981, Wister provides 200 affordable apartments to families in North Philadelphia. The renovation includes major upgrades to the community’s exterior, as well as new building systems. Interior upgrades include new kitchens, floorings, and bathrooms.

“This is a special moment in the life of this development because the property will be renewed with the work that starts today,” said Robin Wiessmann, CEO of the PHFA, in a written statement read at the ceremony. “Located adjacent to La Salle University, Central High School, and the Wister stop of the Chestnut Hill Regional Rail Line, it has been a critical housing resource in this neighborhood for almost 40 years,” Weissman said.

Financing for the $39 million renovation includes equity raised from the sale of 4% federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. M&T Bank invested in the Tax Credits, which were syndicated by Berkadia. Michaels Construction is serving as the General Contractor and Kitchen and Associates is the architect. Michaels Management will serve as the property manager and Better Tomorrows will continue to provide supportive services.

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