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Senior Housing Development Proposed for Ruan Street

The Frankford NAC zoning meeting on August 11th heard a presentation by the Frankford Group LLC of a proposal for a 5 story, 44 residential unit low income senior housing development.  The group was giving the community a heads up on the plans which are in the development stage.  The site is opposite the former Sankofa Freedom Academy school at 1611-41 Ruan Street and would take up most of the vacant land there now used as parking.

The building, to be called Frankford House, would have a ground floor lobby entrance and parking with the residences taking up floors 2 through 5.  There will be amenities such as a community room, fitness center, 2nd floor outdoor terrace and individual washer/driers. Initial renderings of the building look promising.  They will be coming back to the NAC at a future meeting for zoning approval where more information will be provided.  An optimistic estimate of completion of the project is late 2018 or early 2019.

The owners of 5520 Harbison Avenue presented their case for a variance to use of the former St. Bart’s convent as a mixed use commercial office space and small group home for older children.  The commercial use would be offices on the first and second floor.  The group home would be operated by ChildFirst Services Inc.  The building is now zoned as a single family residence.

Questions posed were related to the size of the facility and ages of the residents.  There was also some concern about whether the children are being placed as a result of criminal history.  The children are in the group home because they have been removed from their own home environment for reasons beyond their control.

This property is on the edge of Frankford but falls primarily within the Wissinoming Civic Association area and they will also vote on the variance.  Only one resident was present at the meeting and the vote was to not support the variance.

The next meeting of the Frankford NAC zoning board will be on September 12th at 7 PM at Second Baptist Church at 1801 Meadow Street.