Senior housing to break ground in October
by Jen Colletta
Sep 20, 2012 | 3542 views | 2 2 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The proposed LGBT senior-residence project is moving forward quickly, with construction expected to begin next month.

A number of loose ends were tied up late in the summer, including the shoring up of all necessary funders, approvals and collaborators.

Wells Fargo Bank has purchased the low-income tax credits allocated from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority, estimated at about $12 million. At least five national banks bid for the credits.

The additional $8 million in funding is being covered by city and state funding.

The proposed six-story building will be home to 56 one-bedroom units designed for people age 62 and over. A portion of the residences will be dedicated to low-income adults.

This summer, organizers attained zoning, building, environment and other necessary permits, said Mark Segal, PGN publisher and president of the Dr. Magnus Hirschfield Fund, which is spearheading the project.

The Redevelopment Authority, which had been occupying the site, 249-257 S. 13th St., vacated the property last week.

Segal said cleanup of the current property has begun, and plans are underway for its demolition.

“The project is moving forward very quickly,” he said.

The current building will be completely leveled, and groundbreaking, slated for late October, will take place on a clear lot.

Developer Pennrose Properties has chosen Domus Inc. as the general contractor after a competitive bid process.

“We are happy to be working with them,” said Pennrose development officer Jacob Fisher. “They are a class act. Pennrose has worked with them at least 20 times in the past and they have consistently delivered a superior product in the required time frame. They are also a great choice for a high-profile Center City job.”

Fisher said the company has completed “dozens” of projects in the city and is known for its “quality and integrity.”

The search for subcontractors has begun, and Pennrose and Domus plan to make a best effort to utilize LGBT-owned businesses where appropriate.

WRT Design will serve as the architect.

Fisher said WRT was the “obvious choice.”

“They are a leading design firm with a national and international reputation,” he said. “We knew they would bring creativity and skill to the job. We also knew that they have a deep bench of talented architects and that they would have no difficulty producing the design documents on an accelerated schedule.”

Fisher said the job is moving along “faster than anyone anticipated.”

The name of the residences will be unveiled during the groundbreaking ceremony. Details about the ceremony will be available in October.

DMH Fund also added two new board members, former Washington Square West Civic Association president Judith Applebaum and out Court of Common Pleas Judge Dan Anders.

“I’m proud to be part of a premier project that will lead the nation in providing LGBT-friendly, affordable housing for seniors,” Anders said.

Anders noted the building will be a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design property, a federal designation for eco-friendly structures.

Renderings released this week show that the indoor lobby will feature a fireplace and a wall of windows overlooking a 6,000-square-foot courtyard.

The L-shaped building will include 2,700 square feet of rentable space on the ground floor.

Anders said the property is shaping up to be the “crown jewel of architecture in the Gayborhood.”

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September 21, 2012
are they apts.or condos? how much will they cost? questions questions questions
September 23, 2012
They are going to be subsidized (I imagine paying 30% of a person's income towards rent), and I think they are an apartment setting.

It's a major need, LGBandespeciallyT seniors get a lot of crap and hopefully, this will allow them to live their golden years in dignity, no matter whether they are rich or poor.