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Unique Senior Housing Underway In Cherry Hill July 11, 2018

Multifamily developer Pennrose Properties and the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey kicked off construction of a novel combination community for seniors and developmentally disabled adults to be called The Commons at Springdale in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Located at 1721 Springdale Road, the project will include 160 new units of high-quality, affordable rental housing for older adults and adults with special needs.

Construction will begin with an initial 80 rental units. Twenty percent of the total units will be designed to support individuals with special needs by creating four smaller “cottages” out of four 1-bedroom units. The cottages will contain a shared common space where individuals can receive access to services and community programming in a safe setting. All units will be set at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), with at least 40 percent set at or below 50 percent of AMI and at least 10 percent set at or below 30 percent of AMI.

Phase one of the project is anticipated to open in the summer of 2019.

The creative use of tax-credit financing plays an important role in making the dual-purpose communities work, according to Jacob Fisher, regional vice president with Pennrose Properties.

“It can take anywhere from 2-1/2 years and up to get a project started,” he says. “The key to this is putting together all the financing pieces and the Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which is a competitive resource allocated by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Pennrose is committed to improving communities and transforming lives with high-quality, affordable housing.”

The Commons at Springdale Road will offer supportive services to residents and programming options available to residents, such as health and wellness, recreational, and arts and culture programs.

“What we didn’t have was housing for special needs adults over 21,” says Brad Molotsky, a partner with the Duane Morris law firm and former executive vice president and general counsel of Brandywine Realty Trust. Molotsky, a Federation vice president, is the father of an adult special needs son. “Once you’re out of the school system when your kid is 21, that whole support structure is gone. If they can’t work, what are they doing other than sitting around watching TV and eating pizza? And so how do you structure a day, and a week, and then a month, and a life for somebody?”

The project required close cooperation between the nonprofit Federation, developer Pennrose, and county and local government.

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