In 2022, Tina Daniels, founder of Concrete Rose Construction, embarked on her first multi-unit, multi-phase redevelopment project – sixteen units of affordable housing in Homewood. Phase 1 of the project, which will culminate in four units of newly constructed affordable housing on Bennett Street called “Benedict Dwellings,” is already underway. In fact, demolition of the old structure and framing of the new structure is set to be finished by the end of November. Three of the four units will be reserved for families earning at or below 50% area median income (AMI), while the fourth will be leased to a family earning between 60% and 80% area median income (AMI).
Launched in 2019, Concrete Rose is a full-service Construction Company dedicated to improving single and multi-unit residential structures, with an additional focus on providing affordable housing for low-to-moderate income families through real estate development. Daniels first became interested in rehabilitating and reselling affordable homes to local families after working with community development corporations (CDCs) such as the Hill District CDC and the Hazelwood Initiative, as well as the Urban Redevelopment Authority, on many of their affordable housing projects. She began to wonder how she could further her impact in these neighborhoods by redeveloping additional properties.
Neighborhood Allies is proud to say that we have partnered with Concrete Rose on the Benedict Dwellings project for nearly two years. Tina’s 20 years of experience and expertise as a general contractor, together with Neighborhood Allies’ unique model of flexible investment paired with ongoing technical assistance, is a winning combination that is moving the project from vision to fruition.
“Neighborhood Allies has been integral to this project. I appreciate them so much,” said Tina.
In July of 2022, we awarded Daniels a $10,000 grant for architectural services and other predevelopment costs related to the project. Since then, we’ve provided technical assistance in applying for additional funds; connected Tina to vested community organizations and potential funders; and become a co-developer on the project to apply for the Federal Home Loan Bank home loan, which Daniels was successfully awarded at $500,000 in December of 2022 in partnership with First Commonwealth Bank.
“In order to apply for the Federal Home Loan Bank home loan, you have to partner with a nonprofit. Last year, Neighborhood Allies not only agreed to be my partner, but also became my co-developer. They also committed $250,000 in equity to the project.”– Tina Daniels, founder of Concrete Rose Construction
That $250,000 is made up of a $125,000 recoverable grant and $125,000 equity investment through Neighborhood Capital – a fund that supports transformative real estate projects being led by emerging, minority-owned development companies. Neighborhood Capital was designed to help developers who, due to systemic inequities, do not have the deep pockets or the access to investors that are typically required to be successful in the real estate industry. Support from our Neighborhood Capital Fund also expedited the project’s timeline, allowing Tina to start work on the construction as soon as the funds were disbursed.
Since Tina acquired the property in 2021, the project’s development has been guided by both the Homewood Comprehensive Community Plan and the Homewood Cluster Plan, which were both created with input from community leadership and residents.
“Before they even became co-developers on the project, Neighborhood Allies helped me understand the parts of the process that were new to me, including what it looked like to work with the community. Demi was very helpful in connecting me to the right people in Homewood.”-Tina Daniel, founder of Concrete Rose Construction
Further, the project will incorporate partnerships with two additional community partners. The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh will provide education and employment training to residents of Benedict Dwellings, and Catapult Greater Pittsburgh will provide financial and life-skills training. Additionally, the property is located approximately two blocks from our Digital Inclusion center at the YMCA and adjacent to 4 homes constructed by Habitat for Humanity, a project supported by a grant from Neighborhood Allies in 2018.
Neighborhood Allies investment at a glance:
- $260,000 total dollars invested
- 80 hours of technical assistance provided
- $500,000 additional dollars leveraged
- 12 hours of technical assistance provided through our Get Online Grow Online (GOGO) program to help small business owners with their online presence. Tina focused on social media development.