Award Category: Project of the Year

Winner: Paseo Verde, Jonathan Rose Companies / APM

This year’s project of the year is truly a modern marvel and represents a real focus on transportation access as a strategy in sustainable building and design. Paseo Verde, a LEED Platinum mixed-use, mixed-income development, is situated directly adjacent to Philly’s SEPTA Regional Rail Line at the Temple University Station, which is the fourth busiest stop in the city and is a five-minute ride from the city center.

Paseo Verde was designed by Wallace Roberts & Todd and developed by Jonathan Rose Companies and Asociacíon Puertorriqueños en Marcha. MaGrann Associates were the LEED providers and energy modelers on the project. Urban Engineers provided site development engineering services. Other members of the Paseo Verde team include CSA group, David Chou & Associates Inc., Pennoni Associates, and Domus, Inc. Together, they created the healthy living environment that some are calling “the most important green building development in Philadelphia.“

Paseo Verde was constructed on a vacant lot that was nearly the size of a city block. The five-story building totals 200,000 square feet and has 120 affordable and market-rate apartments as well as 30,000 square feet of retail space that houses a community technology center. The building, which is the first LEED Platinum ND development in the western hemisphere, is surrounded by three LEED for Homes and one LEED for Homes Midrise Platinum buildings.

Paseo Verde, which translates to “green walk,” provides a healthy living environment for residents through sustainable practices, as well as energy efficiency cost savings. While any project of the year must be more than covering the bases on energy, water, waste, etc.—this building goes well beyond. The blue roof feature can hold up to 20,000 gallons of rainwater, which is slowly released through a drainage system. The building features solar panels, efficient mechanical systems, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and fixtures, low- or no-VOC paints and primers, and formaldehyde-free materials to enhance indoor air quality. The building also has a fitness center, a business center, a community garden, and ground-floor retail.

One of the most important features, though, is the 52 affordable units available for those who earn less than $68,000 per year, and can pay as low as $300 in rent.

Major snaps for those involved in this smart and savvy development for revitalizing real estate in a community that needs it, and providing a comfortable and efficient home for many who may not be able to afford it otherwise.