Green for All

Why Paso Verde is the most important green building development in Philadelphia

For Paseo Verde, APM chose to build on an empty lot that Philadelphia Gas Works employees were using for parking right beside SEPTA’s Temple University Regional Rail station. | Photo by Jeffrey Totaro

On a recent afternoon, Latifa Patton prepares three giant aluminum baking pans full of aromatic macaroni and cheese with vegetables. The kitchen of her three-bedroom townhouse in the mixed-income Paseo Verde development in North Philadelphia is lined with succulents. The living room is an oasis of potted palms, orchids and colorful cushions.

Patton says people ask how she can afford to outfit her home this way. She makes $7.50 an hour at a work-study job; and with the help of student loans, she supports her nine-year-old daughter and two-year-old son while earning a degree in social work at Community College of Philadelphia. “I go to thrift stores. I’m creative,” she says. “I love my house. It’s why I have to make it comfortable.”

Before she was accepted as one of Paseo Verde’s first tenants for its subsidized apartments, Patton and her children were homeless and had been living in a shelter for a year. Now, she pays just $302 a month in rent at Paseo Verde.

Read More

Green Way: Ambitious, mixed-use houising project breaks ground near Temple

Steps away from the Temple University Train Station is another example of how green building can be affordable. Paseo Verde, or “green way,” is a new, sustainable mixed-use rental housing development spearheaded by the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) and Jonathan Rose Companies. APM has already built eco-friendly, single-family homes in the neighborhood—their 13 Sheriden Street Houses are slated for LEED Gold certification.
Read More