07.01.2014 — The groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for Kilmer Homes in Edison Township, New Jersey celebrated the commencement of construction for a new 120-unit affordable apartment development designed by Kitchen & Associates. Being built on the former site of the United States Army’s Camp Kilmer, the project from its very inception has been aimed at providing a much-needed affordable housing component to the local community, giving precedence to both veterans and victims of the recent Superstorm Sandy.
In addition to the re-purposing and ultimate redevelopment of the Camp Kilmer site, the Kilmer Homes project will offer up a total of 88 apartments reserved for households with incomes falling at or below the 60% Area Median Income threshold, and will incorporate an additional 30 permanent supportive housing units for previously homeless families and disabled veterans.
The development partners for the Kilmer Homes project include The Edison Housing Authority, The Alpert Group, and Monarch Housing Associates—a statewide non-profit supportive housing development organization. The Alpert Group and the Edison Housing Authority will provide on-going property management services for the development. Triple C Housing Inc., a supportive services partner on the project, will provide case management for the homeless component, as well as coordinate additional support services which will be provided by a wide range of community groups who have partnered to serve the local homeless population and their immediate needs.
Kilmer Homes, when finished, is expected to be a vibrant mixed-income, mixed-population development successfully serving a wide range of households and families, simultaneously promoting tight community integration and support of ‘all’ of its members across the economic scale.
The development is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2014, with initial leasing expected to begin in January 2015.
To read more about this project, and to view photos from the groundbreaking ceremony, you can visit the Monarch Housing website and their coverage of the event at http://wp.me/peqFK-65w
06.19.2014 — On Wednesday, June 18, 2014 the Philadelphia Chapter of the Urban Land Institute handed out its first ever Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence, focused on the organization’s international theme of Building Healthy Places. Out of 28 finalists selected in May, JBJ Soul Homes—a Project HOME facility in North Philadelphia designed by Kitchen & Associates of Collingswood, New Jersey—was one of nine projects to receive this honor.
Located on a unique triangular site at the intersection of North Broad Street and Fairmount and Ridge Avenues in North Philadelphia, JBJ Soul Homes is the most recent in a growing line of successful, supportive housing projects throughout Philadelphia developed by Project HOME, a non-profit, non-sectarian organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty by providing affordable housing and community services to both homeless and low-income individuals. Primarily funded through Low Income Housing Tax Credits, public donations and private equity—including support from the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation and Middleton Housing Partnership, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the City of Philadelphia and FHLBank Pittsburgh—the JBJ Soul Homes facility is a new, four-story mixed-use development including retail space, offices and a total of fifty-five supportive apartment units dedicated to homeless adults currently making the transition into more permanent housing solutions.
In addition to the residential component of the project, JBJ Soul Homes also includes administrative offices and suites for supportive services and Project HOME staff, as well as shared community spaces, a computer lab, laundry room, exercise room and resident storage facilities. A commercial retail component is planned for the ground level in partnership with local community-based groups and organizations. The facility also contains on-site parking spaces for twenty vehicles.
The development evolved into a four-story building with ground floor retail space along Ridge Avenue, helping to fulfill the planned and historic role of that artery as a vibrant commercial corridor in the neighborhood. The retail space continues around the Ridge/Fairmount corner of the site, with prominent exposure to Broad Street, and encompassing nearly half of the ground floor frontage on Fairmount Avenue. The remainder of the Fairmount Avenue side of the building includes the main entrance and lobby for both the residential and commercial office uses on the upper floors, as well building management functions on the ground floor.
The site was historically used for automotive and low-rise residential uses until its acquisition by Greater Exodus Baptist Church (GEBC). In 2007, after gaining control of the land parcels that make up the 1/2-acre lot, GEBC set about the task of demolishing the old and unsafe structures, and the environmental remediation of hazardous materials above and below grade. With the site cleared and ready for development, GEBC began reaching out to potential development partners for the site.
In 2009, GEBC and Project HOME finalized the development plan for the site that would serve both the needs and mission of each organization. Project HOME, bringing over 15 years of experience in this neighborhood with its large mixed-use project at 1515 Fairmount Avenue, would provide the development experience necessary to carry the project to fruition. Between the time of the agreement in 2009 and the groundbreaking in October of 2012, the development partners worked with community members from the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Spring Garden Community Development Corporation to refine the project to meet the needs and goals of these groups and the communities they represent.
For this year’s ULI awards program, a total of fifty-seven projects were submitted, with twenty-eight selected as finalists by a prestigious panel of jurors from around the country. Kitchen & Associates had two projects in the running—JBJ Soul Homes and Cedars Village, an affordable senior residence in the Italian Market neighborhood of Philadelphia. At the end of the night, JBJ Soul Homes would be one of the nine projects to take home top honors. The ULI jury praised this project in particular for its strong integration of “community mission, living space and supportive amenities.” Jury members were also impressed with “how the team maximized [what was] a challenging site”—occupying a narrow, triangular plot at the corner of three major Philadelphia traffic arteries.
JBJ Soul Homes continues the Project HOME paradigm of not only envisioning, but also developing and creating real-world, affordable supportive housing opportunities throughout the Philadelphia area for both homeless and low-income individuals of all ages. On the surface, it might only represent a small step for a neighborhood and city in need of more concrete and tangible affordable housing solutions for those members at the bottom of the economic strata. But at its core this project represents a huge leap forward in how we as a collective society, community and culture think about, design for, and ultimately implement these solutions in a way that not only benefits the individuals these solutions aim to serve, but the surrounding community as well.
Congratulations to the entire Kitchen & Associates JBJ Soul Homes design team who worked so diligently on this project throughout the long, four-plus year journey from the initial evaluation of multiple sites throughout the City of Philadelphia to the ultimate move-in by both the new residents and Project HOME staff. Deserving specific mention for their role on this exciting, award-winning project are Matt Bartner, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, Sean Hill, Keith Johnson, Claire Van Haren, Melissa Mayer, Danielle Sabatelli, Alkesh Taylor, PE, LEED AP, Ryan Wolfe, PE, Ismail Didona, Roger Keyser, AIA and Mary Johannesen, AIA, LEED AP.
The JBJ Soul Homes’ 2014 ULI Award for Excellence was proudly accepted on Wednesday, June 18 by Joan McConnon, Associate Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Project HOME.
For information on all the 2014 Inaugural ULI Award for Excellence recipients, please visit the ULI Philadelphia Award Winners Web Page.
06.12.2014 — Springside School Apartments, an affordable supportive housing community located in Burlington Township, New Jersey, was recently honored with a 2014 Smart Growth Award by New Jersey Future at the organization’s annual awards gala held on June 5, 2014 at the Newark Club’s Metropolitan Room in Newark, New Jersey.
The need for affordable and supportive housing opportunities for senior citizens and adults with mental illness in Burlington Township, New Jersey—one of the fastest growing municipalities in the state—is a need that has not gone unnoticed by agencies and organizations dedicated to providing help to this often underserved segment of our society. In addition, New Jersey, like many states across the country, has begun to de-institutionalize people with special needs, increasing the number of individuals in need of housing that is not only affordable, but also tailored to their unique requirements.
Springside School Apartments—a joint venture development project of Moorestown Ecumentical Neighborhood Development (MEND) and Conifer Realty, LLC is one such affordable supportive housing opportunity that now exists within the Burlington Township landscape. Designated as both a National and State Historic Landmark building, the former Springside Elementary School was originally built in 1915 as a one-room schoolhouse, and known locally to the community as The Mitchell School at Springside. For almost 100 years the school proudly provided the local community with elementary education, finally closing its doors in 2008 after the local Board of Education moved its functions to newer, more modern facilities.
In the fall of 2010, the development partners hired Kitchen & Associates of Collingswood, New Jersey to oversee the historically-sensitive adaptive reuse of the existing school building, as well as the design of a new, two-story attached addition which would ultimately house 43 of the apartment community’s 75 total units aimed at serving low- to moderate-income senior citizens and adults suffering from mental illness. Working in close collaboration with both the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, as well as the National Park Service, Kitchen & Associates was able to successfully integrate the original architectural character of the schoolhouse with the new addition, maintaining consistency and sensitivity throughout the newly designed apartment community.
In order to satisfy the historic preservation design guidelines, Kitchen & Associates, along with the development team, decided to construct a glass corridor between the original building and the new addition, stepping the addition back from the original, and allowing the historic schoolhouse to set the tone for the entire project. Instead of imitating the original building, the architects chose a design that is sympathetic to and compatible with the 99 year-old school structure. As a direct result, the historic nature and character of the original building is clearly dominant within the site, with the addition acting in a secondary and complimentary role.
The program of the new Springside School community offers a fully accessible and contemporary living experience for seniors, providing a full range of modern amenities and a variety of social, medical and community-oriented services. Each apartment unit within the facility features a fully-equipped kitchen outfitted with Energy Star appliances, generous living and dining room areas, fully accessible bathrooms, spacious bedrooms, and individually controlled, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems that meet the Energy Star Homes Program requirements. Building-wide amenities include a large community room in the former school auditorium, an exercise room, social lounges, a computer lab with internet access, a laundry facility, and an office for visiting physicians.
Also included within the program are a variety of non-emergency medical and social services covering everything from assistance with financial entitlement programs and money management; healthcare and mental health treatment; transportation to work, education and off-site treatment programs; daily meal preparation and housekeeping services for the residents; legal referral programs; and a variety of counseling services, including those for nutrition, education, vocation and substance abuse.
The preservation of the Springside Elementary School in accordance with historic preservation guidelines, along with the resulting Springside School Apartment community has become a significant source of pride for the local Board of Education, the Mayor and the Town Council, as well as innumerable local visitors who were students, parents or teachers at the former school. At the ribbon cutting ceremony for the project, one gentleman in his nineties, who had attended the school in the 1920s, remarked that he was quite pleased that his class picture was framed and still hanging in the lobby within a site that holds a great amount of significance and history for many within the local Burlington Township community.
Strategically situated along a major transportation corridor linking the county seat of Molly Holly, through Burlington Township, and on toward the pre-Colonial Era capital of Burlington City along the Delaware River, the project’s historical significance within the Burlington Township fabric is evident. But in the eyes of the township, Springside School Apartments holds a tremendous amount of future relevance as well, as it is expected to act as a major focal point and catalyst for future redevelopment of the area.
06.12.2014 — On Sunday, June 1, 2014, Ranch Hope dedicated the first of its new residential cottages, Campbell House, designed by Kitchen & Associates. This cottage will house up to seven at-risk teens as they complete a year-long program of care and education. Due to rigorous environmental restrictions, Campbell House was constructed on the exact footprint of a now-demolished building that was originally constructed in 1974. In the construction of the new treatment home, great attention was paid to sustainable building practices, offering the resident students a more updated and modern, energy-efficient living environment.
In 2007, Kitchen & Associates assisted Ranch Hope in developing a Conceptual Master Plan to guide current and future improvements in support of the organization and its core mission. The plan addressed growing needs to improve the residential environment and quality of life for those living in the Cottage Housing while developing an architecturally unified campus.
The first phase of the project was the construction of the 4,600 SF administrative building in early 2008, replacing the original building that had been severely damaged by fire. The second phase consists of the reconstruction of three cottages on their original footprints, beginning with Campbell House. The dedication of this recently-finished cottage is the first step in completing the second phase of Ranch Hope’s vision, giving them the ability to continue making a lasting difference in the lives of at-risk youth.
06.10.2014 — The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden, New Jersey was recently honored by New Jersey Future with a 2014 Smart Growth Award at the organization’s annual celebration held on June 5, 2014 at the Newark Club’s Metropolitan Room in Newark, New Jersey. Designed by Kitchen & Associates of Collingswood, New Jersey, the project aims to provide the Camden community with a state-of-the-art facility, offering local residents a variety of community-oriented services, including recreational, social, religious and cultural amenities within its program. The center is expected to open in October 2014.
Upon its completion, the center will open its doors to a city that is perhaps best known for its struggles with violent crime and urban decay. Approximately 45% of families in Camden live below the poverty line, and the unemployment rate as of August 2013 was 16.6%, nearly double the national average. Some of the problems of concentrated neighborhood poverty often include high unemployment rates, rampant crime, health disparities, inadequate early care and education, struggling schools, and disinvestment. Often spanning generations, poverty such as Camden’s can be a difficult, if not impossible hurdle to overcome. But the creation of safe gathering places within the residential fabric for learning, exercising, worship, and community-building, can provide ‘a beacon of hope and an agent of change,’ reflecting both the heart and the spirit of the Kroc mission statement.
In January 2004, The Salvation Army USA announced that it would be receiving nearly $1.6 billion from the estate of Mrs. Joan Kroc, (whose husband founded McDonald’s), to establish community centers similar to the one Mrs. Kroc established in San Diego. Following a competitive, nationwide proposal process, The Salvation Army regional office in the City of Camden received $59 million of funding. By forging new relationships in the community and partnering with corporate sponsors and political leaders, the Salvation Army was able to secure the additional $31 million to fully fund the project.
Camden officials and The Salvation Army representatives chose to locate the community center on a portion of the former Harrison Avenue Landfill site. The 100-acre landfill was owned and operated by the City of Camden from 1952 to 1971. The landfill is now closed, and the land is owned by the Camden Redevelopment Authority (CRA). It is located on the northwest corner of Harrison Avenue and East State Street in the Cramer Hill neighborhood within the Cramer Hill Brownfield Development Area. The selection of this site for the Kroc center made by local stakeholders, city officials and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) was seen as an ideal opportunity to expedite the redevelopment of brownfield sites that border a 2-mile stretch of the Delaware River.
The reclamation of the 24-acre portion of the landfill for the Kroc Center was realized after several phases of remediation. In September 2008, the NJDEP completed an initial $4.1 million publicly-funded cleanup phase which removed approximately 14,000 tons of industrial waste material. Subsequently 221,000 cubic yards of clean infill soil (from a previous Delaware River channel dredging project) was brought to the site from the Palmyra Nature Cove. It was stockpiled on the site, ready to be located under the building’s foundations and to cap the landscaped areas. From December 2011 until February 2013, the remediation work was accomplished and the Palmyra material was relocated once more into its final location. Since then, most of the activity at the site has been construction-related; the remaining site work – surface landscaping and final top cover – will be completed before the Kroc Center opens October 2014.
The Center itself will be 120,000 square feet, nearly 3 football fields in length, and provide recreational, health, educational, cultural, family and spiritual programming for area residents. It will also serve as the hub for Salvation Army services in the Tri-County region. The amenity-laden facility includes both indoor and outdoor recreational spaces. Outdoor facilities include basketball courts, a regulation little league baseball field with lighting for night games, a softball field, and a soccer/lacrosse/field hockey pitch, meandering walking paths, a playground, and a concessions building with restrooms. There is onsite parking for 250 cars as well as bus parking.
The indoor program is divided to three areas serving the Mind, Body and Spirit. The Fitness space includes an 11,000 SF gymnasium with spectator seating, an aquatic center with 8-lane competition pool and an indoor water park, an exercise center with dance studios, a thirty foot rock climbing wall, and comprehensive locker room spaces with showers and dressing rooms. There are social gathering spaces for teens and youths, a senior center, drop-in babysitting, a 200-seat performing arts theater, and a 250-seat chapel. Available social services will include a family life and personal development center, classrooms, art room, computer lab, music room, library learning center, a commercial kitchen, an early childhood education center serving 90 preschool children, and a health clinic run by Cooper Hospital. All of these separate spaces connect via an 8,000 SF indoor ‘Town Plaza’ gathering space and café, situated beneath a spectacular glass skylight.
HOW THE CORPS COMMUNITY CENTER PROJECT ADVANCES THE PRINCIPLES OF SMART-GROWTH
Located Near Existing Development and Infrastructure
Camden officials and The Salvation Army representatives chose to locate the community center on a portion of the former Harrison Avenue Landfill site at the confluence of the Delaware and Cooper rivers in the Cramer Hill section of the city. This site was chosen in particular because it was large enough to accommodate the project, was owned by the Camden Redevelopment Authority, and was/is located along bus routes and a proposed rail station allowing for easy access. The location is also in close proximity to the 12,000 children who reside in Cramer Hill and North Camden.
Creation and Enhancement of Connections to Existing Developments or Plans
As construction moves forward rapidly for the completion of the Kroc Center, remediation and reuse of the balance of the landfill site became a priority at neighborhood, city and state levels. In the fall of 2009, the Cooper’s Ferry Development Association (CFDA) and the Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation (CHCDC) initiated a schematic design process for the remaining 86-acre section of the Harrison Avenue Landfill, in partnership with a variety of agencies including the Camden Redevelopment Authority (CRA), Salvation Army, and other Cramer Hill stakeholders. The design for the Cramer Hill Waterfront Park provides a vision for a new park and multi-use greenway trail that will extend along the length of the Cooper River and Delaware River Back Channel within Cramer Hill. The major investment of the Kroc Center spawned significant initiatives in the neighborhood and primed Cramer Hill for transformation, capitalizing on its natural assets and scenic location for significant economic and recreational development. The various neighborhood plans were developed in close coordination with the Kroc Center development in mind to create a unified vision for the community’s future.
Creation and Enhancement of a Vibrant Mix of Uses
Though the Kroc Center has no residential component, neighboring residences and community members are paramount to its success. A central purpose of the Kroc Center and the Mission of The Salvation Army is to create vibrant activity within the community. Major Paul Cain Kroc Center Administrator has stated, “the Kroc Center project is saving the land and saving lives.” The Center will provide recreational, health, educational, cultural, family and spiritual programming for area residents. It will also be the hub for Salvation Army Citadel services in the tri-county region. It will serve as many as 360,000 members and visitors per year and create approximately 160 jobs.
Protection and Enhancement of Open Space, Farmland, Parks and Critical Environmental Areas
By initiating the remediation of the Harrison Avenue Landfill, the development of the Kroc Center has made great progress toward the eventual goal of reclaiming and utilizing all 100 acres of this vital, waterfront land. Additionally, the built project will include open spaces with ball fields, walking paths and connections to the future waterfront nature trails. Diverting stormwater runoff to existing wetlands adjacent to the project site will enhance them by keeping them charged. A 300-foot buffer zone adjacent to the river is being kept in tact for Bald Eagle foraging.
Increase the Range of Housing Available Options
Though the Kroc Center does not directly increase the housing options, the redevelopment of the landfill into a vibrant community center will encourage infill development in the adjacent community. Excitement generated by the promise and potential of the new community center has also been a catalyst for the creation of new development plans for the Cramer Hill neighborhood that will contribute to the planning of new housing.
Creation and Enhancement of Transportation Choices
NJ-Transit plans to redirect transit bus lines to include multiple stops at the Kroc Center on various bus routes, and the project has provided for a Bus layover lane to accommodate this increased activity. The Kroc bus line will also connect to the Riverline Light Rail station at 36th street, enabling those in the surrounding neighborhood to have more direct access to downtown Camden which could potentially increase employment and educational opportunities.
Through Design Foster and Encourage Walkability, Activities & Personal Interaction at the Street Level
Careful consideration was given to the walkability of surrounding housing and how to best blend access to the Kroc Center seamlessly into the adjacent neighborhood. Crosswalks are being created across Harrison Ave, and about 2,000 feet of pathways on the campus will provide for and encourage safe walking to and around the Kroc Center.
Improve Resiliency to Natural Hazards
The Kroc Center is only 300 feet away from the Delaware River. Because of this proximity to the water, the entire 24-acres of the Kroc Site was raised 6’ above the flood plane to reduce the risk of flooding. The building is designed and engineered with onsite, backup power generation to operate the Kroc facility as an emergency shelter when needed to provide housing, food, and bathing facilities for the community.
Respect Community Character, Design and Historic Features
The Kroc Center has been designed to serve as an anchor for revitalization of the Cramer Hill community, a neighborhood of Camden proud for its village atmosphere and a strong sense of community. By reclaiming a long abandoned but critical vacant property, the Kroc Center will not only provide a key destination for that community but will enhance the northern edge of the neighborhood and reconnect it to its most unique asset, the waterfront. The area offers striking views of the Philadelphia skyline and of Petty’s Island. From an architectural standpoint, the project has, despite its scale, been designed to mimic the adjacent residential streetscape with one and two story structures, setbacks and a wide variety of facade materials including colors and textures.
Utilization of Green or Regenerative Design Techniques and Materials
While The Salvation Army is not proceeding with a LEED application, the project has been designed with abundant sustainability elements. Had certification been pursued, a LEED gold rating could have been achieved. Sustainable features include brownfield redevelopment, aquifer recharging with constructed wetlands and bio-swales, regionally available construction materials, recycled content in building materials, dark sky compliant exterior lighting, Energy Star lighting, day lighting of internal spaces, white roofing to reduce a heat island effect, high-efficiency pool filtration systems that reduce annual water, energy, and filtration chemical consumption, Energy Recover HVAC systems, low VOC materials, waste steam separation, and recycling.
Innovations Stemming from this Project
The $4 million in Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) grant money from NJDEP and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) supported an innovative approach to landfill remediation that removed the municipal solid waste (MSW) from the area of the Kroc Corps Community Center building footprint and allowed for its redistribution under the protective geotextile cap of the surrounding landscaped areas of the Kroc campus. Building innovations are particular noticeable with regard to the holistic interior space designs and utilization of day lighting throughout. The center’s design is both sustainable and economical; the pool space utilizes cutting-edge design and products rarely used in such a setting that will allow for longevity and low-maintenance through minimal water filtration and chemical use.
It is an exciting time for the City of Camden and the coming Kroc Corps Community Center. The $90 million project nears 80% stage of construction with a dedicated group of individuals, private companies, federal and state agencies, and local civic groups and politicians rallying behind the effort. The development has been recognized as the pivotal opportunity for this region to create possibilities for a long-underserved community.
06.09.2014 — On Friday, K&A, the Pennrose development team, and various public and private officials celebrated the Grand Opening of Rush Crossing in Trenton, New Jersey. This five year effort involved the demolition of the former Miller Homes site and the construction of 13 new two to three-story apartment buildings containing homes for 204 families. All buildings are pursuing LEED for Homes certification and are located in a Transit-Oriented District, less than a 1/2 mile from the Trenton Transportation Center. Amenities will include a community garden, playground and community building with BBQ picnic area.
06.04.2014 — Kitchen & Associates (K&A) is proud to announce that its Wincoram Commons project in Coram, New York has been awarded a 2014 Smart Growth Award in the Housing Choices category.
K&A provided master planning and architectural services for the redevelopment of this 16-acre site, originally occupied by a suburban movie theater. The site will be redeveloped by Conifer Realty into a multi-use community with a mix of residential, retail and community facilities organized around the concepts of walkability, improved vehicular and pedestrian connectivity, attractive community spaces and a unique architectural and streetscape character. The development will be implemented over two phases ultimately offering this Long Island town 180 new residential units and 10,000 square feet of retail and commercial spaces.
This was a major effort on the part of the K&A staff charged with leading the project—most notably Claudia Bitran, AICP, PP who led the planning for the project; the architectural team comprised of Mary M. Johannesen, AIA, LEED® AP, Christopher J. Panella and Anthony Noga, RA, LEED® AP; as well as our in-house Engineering and Interior Design departments.
The Smart Growth Awards ceremony will be held on Friday, June 13th, 2014 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, New York.
05.23.2014 — K&A’s Lawnside Senior Meadows project received an award at the New Jersey State Historic Preservation awards ceremony that took place on Thursday, May 22. Awards were given to projects that were judged to demonstrate exceptional merit in the field of historic preservation and were reviewed for compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
Lawnside Senior Meadows is the adaptive reuse of the former Lawnside Elementary School into new affordable senior apartments. The original two-story brick structure is located prominently on Warwick Road adjacent to the Municipal Building and was constructed in 1915 as a primary school with first through eighth grade classes in the community of Lawnside, NJ. The school was expanded in 1922 with an addition to the rear of the building for new classrooms, and expanded again in 1953 with additional classrooms and a new multi-purpose room. Since the early 1980s, the old school has remained vacant.
Today, the historic school building contains 16 new senior apartments constructed in the former classrooms. The apartments are spacious one-bedroom units that preserve the original classroom walls and wood wainscot. New windows that replicate the original window geometry, special detailing of the new exterior wall, insulation, and high efficiency HVAC systems create a comfortable living space that is also Energy Star compliant.
Common spaces were designed to preserve the original layout of the school along with many of the original details including wood wainscot and trim, chalkboards, doors, plaster and exposed brick. The new elevator is discreetly positioned to enhance internal circulation without affecting the historic appearance of the interior.
Successful projects do not happen without an experienced team that has dedicated players, plus a cohesive, unified vision. The vision to restore this local landmark in this historically significant community began with the Mayor and Council. Conifer Realty acquired the property and with the support of the Mayor, Council and the Camden County Improvement Authority, plus funding through Historic Tax Credits and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, created a total of forty new affordable apartments for the seniors of Lawnside.
K&A’s sensitive design, knowledge of the Secretary of the Interiors’ requirements, detailed documentation, plus extensive collaboration and coordination between architecture, engineering, interior design and historic preservation contributed to the successful revitalization of this beautiful and historic landmark.
05.20.2014 — Last Thursday, May 15, Cara Furgiuele joined the K&A team! Cara has over twenty-five years of experience with a wide range of projects, from classroom, auditorium, office and laboratory spaces for universities, to corporate offices, K-12 schools, and residential work. She has extensive experience with design, documentation and construction administration for each of these building types. Cara is a licensed architect in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is a LEED AP. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has worked for SnapCab, FVHD Architects, Pickell Architecture, KSS Architects and Bowers Design Associates. Welcome Cara!
05.12.2014 — K&A’s Roger Keyser, AIA, Dan Garth, RA, and Geno Schiavo, AIA, PP, LEED AP were featured in this week’s Bisnow national Annual Student Housing Summit (BASH) newsletter. Bisnow’s media reach includes 32 online publications — known as “Bisnows” — covering things such as real estate, technology and associations in various cities across the country. Bisnow also holds premier networking events and conferences.
Their second Annual Student Housing Summit drew a crowd of nearly 400 industry leaders at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia. This two-day event touched on the state of higher education and the latest in student housing trends including infill, pedestrian-friendly student housing, the importance of wellness and amenities, urban infill developments, and the complexity of university housing leases.
Stay informed – sign up for Bisnow newsletters in your area!
05.09.2014 — You thought “All-nighters” were done after graduating college ~ Not so.
Lack of sleep won’t stop five of K&A’s determined employees from staying up all night tonight to build an exhibit for CANSTRUCTION® Philadelphia.
Every year, the region’s leading architects, engineers, contractors, design firms and design schools participate in this exceptional effort where teams build structures entirely out of canned food! K&A’s team has been tirelessly volunteering their time over the past few weeks to come up with a concept design, fundraise, purchase the canned goods and test build this years creation. When all is said and done, over 80 hours per person will have been volunteered toward this exceptional cause.
Build night starts at 8pm tonight, May 9th, 2014; wish the team luck and lot’s of Red Bull!
The 2014 Exhibit runs from May 10 through May 18 at the Rotunda at Liberty Place
[1625 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103].
Times: 9:30am – 7:00pm
The 2014 Awards Gala will be Saturday, May 17, 2014
@ 8:00pm, Rotunda at Liberty Place
All contributions and proceeds from ticket sales benefit Philabundance and will be donated at the end of the competition to help drive hunger from our local communities.
Stay tuned for updates and photos
05.09.2014 — Yesterday’s New York Times featured and article about the enormous success Project HOME has had in the fight to end homelessness. The Philadelphia-based non-profit, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has already helped some 8,500 individuals get off the streets and is the city’s leading advocacy organization for the homeless. According to data from Project HOME, Philadelphia has the “lowest number of homeless people per capita among seven large American cities with similar poverty and housing problems.
This week the Philadelphia Inquirer also ran a story on Project HOME and their largest donors, John S. and Leigh Middleton, who were recently awarded the prestigious Philadelphia Award for their continued philanthropic efforts.
04.23.2014 — Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day to (L-R) Ruth Weaver, Tracy Moore, Sarah Emigh, Denise Lorenzo, Megan Murray, and Colleen Reiss (not pictured)!! K&A would not be the same without your dedication and tireless contributions. Thank you for all that you do to keep the K&A engine running smoothly.
04.23.2014 — Yesterday we celebrated the Grand Opening of JBJ Soul Homes – a four-story mixed-use development that includes retail, offices and 55 apartment units for formerly homeless and low-income individuals. The project was developed by Project H.O.M.E. and People for People, Inc. – non-profits that provide Philadelphia’s most vulnerable and economically-challenged population with services and affordable housing to help break the generational cycle of homelessness and poverty. The building is designed to be LEED Silver certified and meet Energy Star Multifamily High Rise guidelines.
With remarks by Project HOME, Jon Bon Jovi, public officials, and community partners, the opening served as the first part of Project HOME’s 25th Anniversary celebration.
04.22.2014 — We recently welcomed Tracy Moore and Caitlin Olvio to the K&A family! Tracy bring valuable administrative experience to the firm and has worked for companies such as Fox Rehabilitation, Campus Apartments, Brown Brothers, Lockheed Martin, and the New Jersey Governor’s Office! Caitlin, an associate AIA member, brings residential, commercial, and retail experience to our architectural staff. We are so pleased to have you both on board – Welcome!
04.18.2014 — Recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Camden Kroc Center.
“The first time I saw Camden’s Harrison Avenue landfill, it had been closed for years. It was also on fire. I’d been dispatched by an editor to check on a report that the grass atop the toxic tundra of buried trash was ablaze again. And so it was, on a hot afternoon in the late 1970s. Last week, I returned to Harrison Avenue to tour the $68 million Salvation Army Kroc Center, which is on schedule for an Oct. 4 ribbon-cutting ceremony.” Read More…
04.11.2014 — This month Principal Geno Schiavo celebrated 30 years at K&A! We held a surprise get-together to celebrate Geno, and honor his immeasurable contributions and longstanding commitment to the firm. The party was complete with good food, family, and friends. Congratulations Geno!
04.06.2014 — Congratulations to K&A Associate Alkesh Taylor P.E., LEED AP for recently obtaining his Building Analyst Professional certification from BPI!! Alkesh is now a BPI certified Building Analyst, Envelope Professional & Multifamily Building Analyst.
Founded in 1993, the Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) has played a pivotal role in shaping the emerging home performance industry by developing technical standards, credentials and quality assurance. Because many state-run energy efficiency and weatherization assistance programs require BPI credentials, BPI certified professionals are in demand now more than ever before.
With this newly acquired certification, K&A can perform energy audits on multifamily facilities for organizations and agencies requiring BPI-certified professionals. This credential is required, for example, by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) when assessing the energy efficiency of existing housing for potential improvements.
04.02.2014 — Yesterday New Jersey Future announced the winners of their 2014 Smart Growth Awards. We are very pleased to announce that the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center and Springside School Apartments will be recognized at the 2014 Smart Growth Awards celebration on June 5! To celebrate, we had a little outdoor gathering for the occasion complete with libations, Philly pretzels, and some much-needed sunshine.
New Jersey Future’s Smart Growth Awards honor projects, plans, and initiatives statewide that demonstrate smart growth principles in action. The awards help to shine a spotlight on individuals, businesses or organizations with the vision to encourage smart-growth values and designs. This is quite a notable achievement given the very large pool of very high-quality entries this year.
Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on these two projects, from conception to completion; The Kroc’s project team is Principal Roger Keyser, AIA, project manager Keith Peacock, RA, project architects Nina Simonetti, RA, and Dan Stoica, interior design team Claire Van Haren and Danielle Sabatelli, and the engineering team of Alkesh Taylor, PE, Milton Smith, RA, Tony Costanzo, PE, Ryan Wolfe, PE, and Bob Price. Springside School Apartments team members are Principal Mary Johannesen, AIA, LEED AP, project manager Chris Panella, project architects Al Deluca, RA, Anthony Noga, RA, and Nina Simonetti, RA, the interior design team Claire Van Haren and Danielle Sabatelli, and the engineering team of Tony Costanzo, PE and Ryan Wolfe, PE.
03.31.2014 — A special groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday for Riverfront Village at Pensauken—a new affordable family housing rental community situated along the Delaware river in Pennsauken, NJ. Principal-In-Charge Mary Johannesen, project manager Chris Panella, and project architect Al Deluca were on-hand for the occasion, as well as Pennsauken Mayor Jack Killion, State Senator James Beach, and Anthony Marchetta, Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.
The three-story residence will contain seventy-five one, two and three-bedroom family apartments in a mix of flats and townhouses. All units will have Energy Star rated appliances and fixtures, tankless water heaters, and central air conditioning. A new freestanding, one-story clubhouse will provide residents with community space, computer room, and exercise and laundry facilities. Management offices and maintenance facilities are also onsite. This transit-oriented development is conveniently located just steps away from the NJ transit River Line, which provides access to Philadelphia, Trenton, and Atlantic City. Estimated completion date is Spring 2015. Congrats to the entire team on this project milestone!
05.18.2014 — Columbia’s design board Thursday approved plans for a 640-bed student housing apartment complex near the Vista.Designs for the complex were presented by the current landowner, local developer Ben Arnold. It is the third time he has brought plans before the board on the project at the busy intersection of Blossom and Huger streets. Read more here.
05.10.2014 — A special ribbon-cutting event was held over the weekend for the Springside School Apartments—a senior affordable housing rental community in Burlington Township, NJ. Principal-In-Charge Mary M. Johannesen, AIA, LEED AP, project manager Chris Panella, and project architect Anthony Noga were on-hand for the occasion from K&A.
This new community is the result of the adaptive-reuse and historic preservation of the Springside Elementary School building and a newly constructed addition. The project provides seventy-five, one-bedroom rental apartments for seniors. The building’s exterior was fully restored to bring back the original architectural character, and the new addition complements the character and scale of the original school. Interior spaces were updated for contemporary senior living and are fully accessible with modern elevators and energy saving features. Congratulations to Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development, Conifer Realty, and the entire project team on this exemplary project!
02.24.2014 — The most recent Journal of Tax Credits by Novogradac features K&A’s Springside School Project. The renovation preserved the historic features of the school, which was originally constructed as a 4-classroom schoolhouse. The developers kept the original doors, replaced the windows, preserved the brick and mortar exterior, and installed new energy efficient systems and modern amenities to meet the needs of today’s seniors. Read the full article here.
02.16.2014 — Check out the latest video of the Camden Kroc Center’s progress courtesy of MageeMedia!
02.10.2014 — Finding it hard to justify “going green”? Read the Appraisal Institute’s latest report called Green Building and Property Value: A Primer for Building Owners and Developers. The guide helps building owners and developers understand the appraisal process and how appraisers use green/high-performance characteristics and data to fully maximize valuation.
02.07.2014 — When coming to work today we were greeted to a warm and fuzzy art installation throughout town. Nearly two dozen trees, poles and other items in the town were “yarnbombed” overnight by a team of yarn artists organized by the Borough. Read more about the installation and the Borough’s involvement here.
02.06.2014 — Good times and even better food were had last week as the winter weather held off long enough for us to hold our 6th Annual Chili Cook-off! Dan Garth and Melissa Mayer took first place for the meat and veggie categories (respectively). And this year the competition was so fierce that we had a 3-way tie for second place in the meat category between Keith Johnson, Truman Benedetti, and Dan Powell. Congrats and a BIG thank you to all of the chefs and to those who held coordinate and decorate for the festivities.
01.13.2014 — Earlier this month, the White House designated Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood as one of five “Promise Zones” nationwide, chosen to receive more federal attention and benefits in a collaborative effort to end decades of decline. One of the primary catalysts to this designation was the 24-month comprehensive community revitalization effort funded by a Planning Grant under HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI).
K&A was both planning coordinator and lead planner for the process. The CNI addressed key priorities identified by residents and local stakeholders, and coordinated public and private investments to ensure, among others, improved access to housing, education, and health services. The ultimate goal being to build a safe environment that ensures positive outcomes for current and future residents. The process helped create the Mantua Civic Association and culminated in the We are Mantua! Transformation Plan as a way to reflect the vision of the community. The Civic Association went on to partner with The City of Philadelphia and key neighborhood stakeholders to apply for the Promise Zone Designation.
01.06.2014 — This week the White House designated the nation’s first five Promise Zones. The communities, located in predominantly high poverty, high unemployment communities across the country, are in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The Promise Zone designation recognizes communities where local governments and stakeholders have partnered to improve economic and education opportunities for their communities. Promise Zones are a higher priority with regard to receiving federal attention, grants, and benefits. The federal government will partner with, and invest in these communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety.
These specific communities have already embarked on ambitious, comprehensive plans that have yielded measurable results. The federal government will partner with and invest in these communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety. “That’s why Promise Zones approach challenges in a different way by working with local leaders to support their vision…HUD looks forward to working with them to ensure that the families in these areas have access to quality, affordable housing.”
11.27.2013 — Check out the latest progress at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center, a 120,000 sq. ft. facility located in Camden, NJ. The property includes an athletic training facility, wellness center, indoor/outdoor recreational facility, gymnasium, aquatic center, fitness center, performing arts venue and classrooms. Available social services will include a family life and personal development center, library, daycare, senior center and food service court. The project is scheduled for completion in October 2014.
11.22.2013 — We are honored to be part of one of the tours this week at the prestigious Greenbuild conference held right in our backyard at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Our very own Matt Bartner guided the tour attendees through a detailed explanation of how and why the building is one of the most exciting projects being constructed in Philadelphia today. We are proud to be partnering with Project H.O.M.E. and People for People, Inc. and for being an integral part of sustainability and affordable housing in Philadelphia. The project is scheduled for completion at the end of the month. Click here to read more about JBJ Soul Homes.
11.15.2013 — The first overhaul of Franklin’s stock of public housing is complete more than 55 years after the city created the homes.
After more than a year since breaking ground, the Franklin Housing Authority on Thursday commemorated the completion of the $8.5 million, Reddick Senior Residence. Read More…
11.14.2013 — Yesterday marked a grand opening celebration for Reddick Senior Residence, the first phase of The Franklin Housing Authority’s (FHA) multi-phased initiative to replace obsolete public housing with modern communities. This phase marks a major step forward in offering quality affordable housing opportunities to Franklin’s seniors and families with low and moderate incomes.
Located on the southwest side of the city, the Reddick Senior Residence is within walking distance of historic downtown Franklin and its blend of attractive shopping and services and offers easy access to the Williamson County library. The three-story elevator building features both one and two bedroom apartments, and also offers ample community space on the first floor where residents can gather for activities and programs.
The 49-unit development includes many “green features,” that will reduce its operating expenditures over the long-term, including Energy Star equivalent appliances and lighting, low-flow toilets and faucets, and environmentally friendly flooring and paints. Native plants that are drought-resistant are the focus of new landscaping.
11.11.2013 — After extensive renovations to the interior of 15 historic buildings, units along Hanover and Academy streets are going up for rent. Read More…
11.07.2013 — The first place you can learn about LEED v4 is at the Greenbuild Expo held in Philadelphia from Nov 20-22. We will be there—will you? K&A is giving you a sneak preview of the new version of LEED. Click on the email below for more information.
10.31.2013 — The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has approved a $1.5 million tax credit allocation for the proposed Riverfront Village housing development in Pennsauken. Read More…
10.30.2013 — A special ribbon cutting event was held yesterday to celebrate the grand opening of Lawnside Meadows – a senior affordable housing community in Lawnside, Camden County, NJ. The new community is the result of both new construction and the adaptive-reuse of an historic school building to provide forty, one-bedroom rental apartment homes for seniors. Classroom spaces in the old school were converted into sixteen senior apartments, and a new twenty-four unit building was constructed at the rear portion of the former school site.
The school building’s exterior was fully restored to bring back the original architectural character while updating the interior spaces for contemporary senior living. The new adjacent building was designed to complement the character and historic charm of the original school. Both buildings are fully accessible and include many energy saving features.
Congratulations to the entire project team!
10.29.2013 — This week we welcomed George Rubino to the engineering group. He is very experienced in drafting designs for HVAC,Plumbing, Electrical and Fire Protection Systems as well as managing LEED and green building documentations and submissions for a variety of market sectors. Welcome George!
10.22.2013 — We are thrilled to announce that the Mantua Transformation Plan won an award today at the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association’s annual conference in Harrisburg. Accepting the award on behalf of the project team were managing principal Steve Schoch and Lead Planner and Associate Claudia Bitran from K&A, community engagement consultant Donna Griffin, and Michael Thorpe, president of Mt. Vernon Manor’s Board of Directors.
“We Are Mantua!” was the comprehensive, 24-month long community planning initiative that targeted the revitalization of Mt Vernon Manor Apartments and the Mantua neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA. The project was funded through HUD’s inaugural round of grants through the Choice Neighborhoods Program in 2011. The application was one of the 17 projects selected out of 119 submitted nationwide. The specific grant allowed for a hands-on planning process with the Mantua community in Philadelphia, Drexel University and other key local stakeholders to create a comprehensive Transformation Plan that addressed distress in the neighborhood with opportunities for safe and affordable housing, better education, services, health, transportation and access to jobs. The first phase was recently completed and consisted of renovating 75 apartment units in 13 buildings, with four units being wheelchair accessible.
The planning initiative won in the category of “Opportunity and Empowerment,” for a plan that improved quality of life for low to moderate income community residents and served as an example of how creative housing, economic development, and private investments can be used to empower a community. For a more detailed article on the Mantua Plan and to download a copy of the final Plan submission visit PlanPhilly.
K&A News Visit News Page
07.01.2014 Kilmer Homes in Edison Township Breaks Ground
06.19.2014 Project HOME’s JBJ Soul Homes Development Receives Inaugural 2014 ULI Award for Excellence
06.12.2014 Springside School Apartments Honored with 2014 Smart Growth Award
06.12.2014 Grand Opening of Campbell House in Alloway, NJ
06.10.2014 Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center Receives 2014 Smart Growth Award
For the first time, Kitchen & Associates has broken into Architectural Record’s Top 300 Architecture Firms list. j.mp/KA-Top300