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MVI breaks ground on Braddock Church Residences

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The groundbreaking of Mon Valley Initiative’s $2.9 million residential development was celebrated on August 18, bringing together community leaders, funders, government officials, and other stakeholders.

The event marked the beginning of the transformational project that will bring eight units of mixed-income housing to Braddock and restore a church built in 1893. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was on-hand to speak about the project, as well as Mon Valley Initiative CEO, Laura Zinski. Attendees were offered tours of the church following the presentation.

The Braddock Church Residences will provide 8 one- and two-bedroom apartments units, six of which are reserved for individuals at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) and two of which will be market rate, while preserving the unique character of the building.

The church was acquired in 2018 at the request of church leadership who believed that MVI would properly preserve the space. In 2019, the building was listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

“MVI and our development partners have fully embraced the adaptive reuse of this historic building,” Dave Yargeau, MVI Senior Real Estate Developer, said. “We wanted to preserve the key elements that make the former church a historic landmark while acknowledging that a change of use was absolutely necessary. We have made plans to preserve the stained glass, chandeliers, and much of the original woodwork which will provide a unique experience for our future tenants while also being respectful of the past. MVI’s goal is to preserve the characteristics that make the former church an architectural gem while adapting the building to meet the needs of the 21st century.”

The units will be next door to the Braddock Carnegie Library, an important community institution, and a block from Braddock’s primary business corridor. The extensive renovation of the Braddock Carnegie Library is taking place simultaneously, and MVI had previously developed single-family homes located in the same area. This latest project builds upon the transformation of the block by providing important affordable housing opportunities, adding to those that MVI already owns across the region.

To view coverage of the groundbreaking on KDKA, including an interview with CEO Laura Zinski, click here.

Funding for Braddock Church Residences is being provided by First National Bank through tax credit investments, with additional financial support from Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities Program and Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, United States National Parks Service Historic Preservation Tax Credits, Krupp Family Foundation, Allegheny Foundation, Dollar Bank Foundation, Hillman Foundation, and Mon Valley Initiative.

Mon Valley Initiative