Oxford Mills, Philadelphia, Penn.

The $38 million Oxford Mills project in a low-income neighborhood of Philadelphia will use historic tax credits to carefully convert a mostly empty factory complex into affordable housing for the city’s public school teachers, and office space for education and social service nonprofits to facilitate collaboration among educators.

Erected in seven stages (between 1873 and 1913), Oxford Mills was once the largest dye works factory in the South Kensington neighborhood, and the largest recycler of surplus cotton (modern day cotton “recycling”) in Philadelphia.

The complex, totaling 170,000 square feet, represents a significant era in Philadelphia’s textile history. After decades of industrial productivity comprising a wide variety of uses, the buildings will undergo a historically-certified restoration using sustainable design and building methods.

Sixty-eight rental units are designated as affordable for new teachers who will receive discounts on the rent. Teach for America, a strong supporter of the two-building project, will occupy 14,000 square feet of the east building's office space with several other nonprofit organizations. 

John Leith-Tetrault, President of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation said, "Oxford Mills is a great example of how the federal Historic Tax Credit can be twinned with the New Markets Tax Credit to adaptively reuse an industrial building to serve communities in need of economic development. We have seen this concept of an office/housing project that focuses on the needs of urban school systems work in other cities, and we are excited to be a financial partner."