KBK Enterprises was awarded as the developer to rebuild the Garfield Heights public housing community where over 325 units existed. We have worked to complete this affordable housing project in four phases on time and on budget with no change orders. While each phase has been relatively small KBK was awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits for all four phases consecutively and has been successful in completing each phase within a year. We were able to develop this multi-phased project now renamed Garfield Commons, while maintaining a strong connection to the community and it’s overall architectural and market relevance. This project achieved high “green” standards established by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, employed a record number of Section 3 employees, hired a record number of MBE/WBE contractors and provided a training site for the local YouthBuild program. We engaged the community by working with the former resident council, Garfield Jubilee, Bloomfield Garfield, the local National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) and the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania along with the community. The total project cost for this development was over $100,000,000 dollars. Below are highlights of The Foundation’s work at Garfield Commons.
- The KBK Foundation sponsors an annual Community Day for the residents of Garfield Commons. This festival is a unique way for residents, young and old to interact, fellowship and meet new residents that have joined the Garfield community. Yearly vendors have included the Allegheny Bomb Squad and Carnegie Library. This fun filled event has included activities such as face painting, rock climbing, line dancing, and basketball.
- Designated the community as a “Drug Free” and “Weapon Free” Zone.
- Achieved a city wide record of 49% Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) participation resulting in over $27 million in construction contracts awarded for Garfield Commons, Pittsburgh, PA. Had the city’s largest number of Section 3 employment of any other project with 54 new hires. Both of these successes were recognized by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, The MWDBE Governmental Committee, the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, and The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh for the largest minority contract awarded, MWBE achievement of Phase 1 of Garfield Commons, MWBE achievement for all four Phases of Garfield Commons, and for the highest Section 3 employment in Pittsburgh, respectively.
- Project Uplift, a technology initiative program, was launched in July 2010 at Garfield Commons in Pittsburgh, PA. Residents of each household who complete a computer class receive a free computer in their household free of charge. Additionally residents receive free internet services at no charge. The KBK Foundation contributed $250,000 to purchase computers for each household along with training classes at Garfield Commons. The Foundation contributed another $250,000 to make the community wireless. The goal of the program is to increase the speed and access by which residents can receive and send information. This program was implemented to bridge the digital divide in today’s world where digital literacy is a prerequisite for professional and academic success.
- The KBK Foundation partnered with The Development Team from the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh to provide services for the residents of Garfield Commons to assist with employment, social networking and community resources. These sessions were held at the Bev Smith Library and Learning Center at Garfield Commons. Representatives from Carnegie Library also participate at Garfield Commons Community engagement events. During the events, residents and their children are able to sign up for library cards.
- The KBK Foundation contributed $50K towards the purchase of washers and dryers for our residents so that everyone would have one in their unit.
- Provided a Summer Food Service Program for youth up to 18 years that included healthy and delicious breakfasts and lunches. The program was designed to fill the nutrition gap when school ends and make sure youth can get the nutritious meals they need.
- Offered fitness classes to senior and youth residents that focused on training components such as cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and balance.