Changing the Face of a Local Community
Jan 27, 2014
In 1881, the Keasbey and Mattison Company moved its manufacturing business from Philadelphia to Ambler, Pa., a thriving farming and industrial area. Their company was the lifeblood of the community until its demise during the Great Depression. While the Ambler Boiler House remained standing, the building was left vacant and deteriorating in the 1970s, becoming an environmental hazard and neighborhood blight.
That was until 10 years ago, when Summit Realty Advisors approached The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), a leader in neighborhood revitalization financing. Summit sought the $14 million needed to renovate the Ambler Boiler House into a state-of-the-art office and commercial space.
TRF financed the project through multiple sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s EnergyWorks Program and Bank of America’s Energy Efficiency Finance Program. TRF has a long-standing relationship with the bank, which has benefitted communities in Greater Philadelphia and beyond. In fact, Bank of America is the nation’s largest investor in community development financial institutions and a leading source of funding for energy retrofits.
After a decade of setbacks, the Ambler Boiler House was successfully redeveloped into a multi-tenant, LEED Platinum-certified office building with smart design features like geothermal energy for heating and cooling. Tenants of the unique space include an engineering firm, a company that provides brand management services for the pharmaceutical industry and Summit Realty Advisors.
In addition to the 230 construction jobs the project created, the mixed-use development is expected to initiate a chain reaction of positive growth in Ambler, attracting young employees and residents to the area. Those drawn to the neighborhood will have new housing options to choose from. TRF is currently embarking on a multi-family housing project adjacent to the Boiler House. With TRF’s experience and flexible funding partners like Bank of America, it’s sure to be another success.