Senior Living to Rise at Former St. Bart’s School

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NewCourtland Senior Services recently acquired the former St. Bartholomew Catholic School in Wissinoming/Frankford. The site, located at 5364 Jackson Street, will become a seven-story independent living apartment complex for seniors, featuring a LIFE Center on the ground floor which provides healthcare and supportive services for low-income seniors with long-term care needs so that they can remain in their homes for as long as possible.  The building is part of a larger commitment by NewCourtland to expand its model of affordable housing throughout the city, and to give low-income seniors the chance to age in their own homes with the help of the LIFE Program.

“We’re excited to expand our footprint in Northeast Philadelphia,” says Gail Kass, President and CEO of NewCourtland Senior Services. “This unique combination of housing and LIFE services will effectively help frail seniors who want to live more independently, outside of institutions and with the healthcare and supportive services they need to stay healthy and happy.  The LIFE model has successfully supported seniors for the past 40 years, and with this development, we are expanding this popular option while meeting the demand for affordable senior housing in the Northeast.”

The acquisition also mirrors Governor Tom Wolf’s recently unveiled plan which connects affordable housing with services, like LIFE, to give Pennsylvanians more of a choice in where they live and how they receive needed support.

“NewCourtland has created an excellent model of senior housing and services in the Southeast region,” says Ben Laudermilch, Executive Housing Director, Office of Social Programs, Department of Human Services.  “This project exemplifies the Commonwealth’s 5-year strategy of combining high-quality, affordable housing with services, like the LIFE Program, to keep people in the community and out of institutions.”

The completed project will include 42 one-bedroom apartments with a preference for seniors in the LIFE Program, as well as on-site parking and the LIFE Center. Additionally, the building, designed by Blackney Hayes Architects, will feature sustainable elements that promote energy efficiency and conservation.

The project is supported by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sanchez, who says, “This affordable living with healthcare option for seniors is a welcome addition to Northeast Philadelphia. It helps our seniors live the lives they want, right in their neighborhood.”

The project is also supported by the Wissinoming Civic Association, the Frankford NAC and has been approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustments, the Civic Design Review and the Philadelphia Planning Commission.

The St. Bartholomew Catholic School building had most recently been home to a charter school, which closed in October 2014. The building has been vacant since then.

The project is expected to open in 2017.