Paca House Partners, LP, a joint venture among Somerset Development Company, New Community Partners and Volunteers of America Chesapeake (VOAC), has acquired, renovated, and expanded Paca House, an apartment building in downtown Baltimore, across from the Historic Lexington Market. Paca House formerly provided housing for homeless individuals in 76 single-room occupancy (SRO) units and 30 efficiencies. The redevelopment and renovation plan for the Paca House involved reconfiguring and doubling the square footage of the building to its current unit mix of 41 efficiencies and 51 one-bedrooms for a total of 92 units.
Of the building's 92 units, 82 are permanent supportive housing for the homeless and veterans and 10 units are unrestricted housing. Eliminating the out-of-date SROs has significantly increased the livability and quality of the apartments at Paca House. The building's amenities include a computer lab, library, lounge, two community rooms, on-site laundry facilties and free Wi-Fi in the building's common areas.
The redevelopment of Paca House included a mix of rehabilitation and new construction, working within the footprints of three existing buildings and incorporating two new additions. Now that construction is complete, Paca House contains double the affordable square footage as it did previously. One of the building's additions will fill in a vacant parcel along North Paca Street, restoring the urban fabric of that block. The project will also meet Enterprise Green Community Standards for energy efficiency and incorporate a photovoltaic system on the roof.
All 82 units of permanent supportive housing are subsidized using Project Based Vouchers from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. Of the 82 vouchers, 19 are reserved for Veterans and 63 will provide housing for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. All of the building's affordable units will be leased with a preference for Veterans. On-Site case management and a robust set of supportive services tailored to the needs of the building's residents are being provided by VOAC.
The redevelopment was financed using an allocation of 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by the Maryland Community Development Administration (CDA) and syndicated by Boston Financial Investment Management. A new first mortgage and bridge loan were provided by Capital One National Association, which is also the tax credit investor. Soft loans were provided by Maryland CDA, the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development, Volunteers of America National Services and VOAC. Grants to the project were made by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, Fulton Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation financed by Northrup Grumman and Citi Community Development. The City of Baltimore granted a Payment in Lieu of Tax Agreement to the project.
The project architect was Kann Partners, now Waldon Studio Architects. The general contractor was Harkins Builders. The photovoltaic system was provided and installed by Solar Gaines. Energy modeling and construction oversight was provided by Pando Alliance. Legal Services to the partnership were provided by Gallagher Evelius and Jones.