Currently in Philadelphia, there are fewer than 300 LEED-certified homes, only 47 of them designated Platinum, the highest level in the U.S. Green Building Council's rating system, she said.
Constructing an environmentally friendly development in the Newbold section of the city says the neighborhood is changing, said LPMG president John Longacre, who began working there in 2003 when he opened the South Philadelphia Tap Room at 1509 Mifflin St.
For the design, Longacre enlisted Interface Studio Architects and Postgreen Homes.
"We have three priorities: energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and water efficiency," said Chad Ludeman, president of Postgreen, which allows buyers to customize the remaining homes on its website.
Seven rowhouses, priced from $265,000 to $350,000, have sold, Longacre said.
"It represents smart development and improves the quality of life in that area," City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said.
Longacre said a venture of LPMG acquired the parcel - vacant since 2010, when the Francis M. Drexel School was demolished - about two years ago, but that a combination of public and private liens delayed the project.
"Clearing the title with the city is a long and arduous process that is finally over," he said.
Longacre expects the first few homes to be completed around the new year, and the entire development to be finished within 18 months. The corner retail unit does not yet have a tenant, but a neighborhood-friendly, amenity-based business is desired, he said.
Longacre, who will mark the Tap Room's 10-year anniversary Friday and who owns the nearby American Sardine Bar, said he does not plan to operate another business in the commercial space.
Groundbreaking festivities, including a cookout and a question-and-answer session, are set for 3 p.m.