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Las Gladiolas Mixed-Finance Redevelopment

From left, Edna Rivera, Chief Financial Officer - Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration; Domingo García, HUD San Juan; Juan Miranda, HUD Miami; Dennis González, Eng. - Deputy Secretary Of Housing; Puerto Rico Department of Housing.

Rethinking public housing in Puerto Rico

The former Las Gladiolas public housing complex adjacent to the Financial District of San Juan, is about to start its second chapter as a brand-new development with 140 apartments.

Six years ago, the four towers of the old Las Gladiolas public housing development that once housed more than 670 families came down by a programed implosion. This mixed-finance development represents the first endeavor of the Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration (PRPHA) Asset Repositioning Strategic Plan, developed by the PRPHA, with assistance from HUD. The plan projects a ten-year redevelopment strategy with an investment of approximately one billion dollars. The result will be more than 10,000 new or refurbished affordable housing apartments, encompassed within PRPHA’s Five Year Capital Improvements Plan.

The first apartments are expected for October of this year. The one, two and three-bedroom units have all needed appliances, A/C and ceiling fans. Each apartment will have electronic keys and five percent of the apartments are being reserved for persons with disabilities. The common areas will include a community center, gym, children playground, and walking paths. The project will have commercial space, that some dream will be ideal for residents’ micro enterprises.

The mixed-finance, mixed-income development will have 56 units for public housing, 28 for Section 8 housing choice voucher, 27 for low income tax credit and 29 for unrestricted market rate. Funding for the project required $166 million, of which $44 million are government funds. The site is being developed by McCormack Baron Puerto Rico Developer, LLC (MBPR) under a HUD approved public-private partnership model with the Puerto Rico Department of Housing and the Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration.