11.08.2016 — The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) recently designated The Verge in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio LEED® Gold Certified. Opening its doors in August, this six-story, 495-bed, mixed-use development is aimed at offering new housing opportunities to the local University of Cincinnati student population, whose campus is located directly adjacent to the site. In addition to its residential component, The Verge provides ground floor retail, two landscaped courtyards, a state-of-the-art amenities center, and a two-level, 385-car parking garage. Almost fully-leased after only two months of opening, the project is expected to complement the growing need for off-campus housing at this burgeoning downtown university.
Please join us in congratulating Gilbane Development Company on this exciting new project, and their ongoing commitment to green building practices, energy conservation and sustainable design.
You can see more of The Verge project on our website here.
11.08.2016 — Promise House, a 10-unit supportive housing project aimed at people struggling with mental illness located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, recently received a 2016 Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) at their annual Governor’s Conference held at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. The project was honored by NJHMFA in the Leading Supportive Housing Development category. We are proud to have been a part of this important project and extend our congratulations to Triple C Housing, Inc. for this honor.
You can read more about the award at MyCentralJersey.com—http://mycj.co/2fwAmQM
10.19.2016 — The Pennsylvania Apartment Association (PAA) recently honored three Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) projects with their annual ‘Best in Apartment Living’ award, with two of the projects selected designed by K&A. Nellie Reynolds Garden, a senior living development in North Philadelphia, and PHA’s first completely green building, received the Bronze Award for Maintenance. And the new Queen Lane Apartments, a certified LEED® for Homes community in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, received the Gold Award for Community Presentation.
K&A congratulates PHA and is proud to have been a part of each of these exciting projects.
You can read more about the awards here—The Philadelphia Sun Online
10.13.2016 — K&A will be hosting the next ARCHICAD users’ group meeting at the Zane School Offices in Collingswood, New Jersey on Monday, October 24th from 6:00-8:00PM. At this meeting GRAPHISOFT BIM Consultant Zoltan Toth will give attendees a first-hand, under-the-hood look at all of the innovative new features in ARCHICAD 20, including a brand new graphical UI with graphical favorites, a new way of authoring/sharing/managing information, and much, much more. Refreshments will be served.
08.22.2016 — 100 Monitor Street, a five-story mixed-use development situated adjacent to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey received unanimous approval Tuesday night from the city’s Planning Board. When complete, the project will offer 308 units of new market-rate rentals, in addition to 85 parking spots in an interior garage structure, as well as commercial office space that will be the new home of the Jersey City Redevelopment Authority. Construction is expected to commence in early 2017.
You can read the full article here—NJ.com Online
07.19.2016 — K&A gathered with Pennrose Properties, the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA), as well as many elected state and local officials to celebrate the grand opening of the fourth and final phase of the Gloria Robinson Court Homes in Jersey City, NJ. The 70 new rental apartments and on-site Head Start facility are the final phase of a decade-long community transformation, providing a total of 274 new units of workforce housing.
Congratulations to Pennrose Properties and the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) on this successful feat!
You can read the full announcement on Pennrose’s website here—Pennrose Properties Online
05.27.2016 — On Friday, May 20th, K&A, one of the largest ArchiCAD user groups, partnered with GRAPHISOFT to host Firm Night. After two days at the AIA convention, this was a chance for people to unwind, eat, drink, and see how ArchiCAD is used in our office.
As part of the AIA Convention in Philadelphia, a collaboration between GRAPHISOFT North America, Kitchen and Associates and AIA West Jersey was formed to challenge Architecture students from around country to utilize ArchiCAD to turn a simple cargo container in a Mobile Visitor Center.
The winner was announced at Firm Night and first place went to Alessandro Pupilo, from Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL class of 2016 for his extension of the Race Street Pier Pavilion. State and National AIA leaders were in attendance to celebrate the students work. Attendees from Firm Night earned three HSW AIA Continuing Education credits.
05.25.2016 — On May 19, 2016, K&A, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Wincoram Commons in Coram, NY. This ceremony capped off nearly 6 years of K&A collaboration with Conifer to redevelop a long-vacant movie theater site in the center of Coram to transform it into a vibrant mixed-use community. Conifer in partnership with the CDC of Long Island redeveloped the blighted site to workforce housing, utilizing the Town of Brookhaven’s “Blight to Light” program.
You can read the full article here—CDC Long Island Online
“Come discover how two of the country’s largest community centers—separated only by a river and eleven miles—have helped to transform their local communities. Both centers are part of a larger national program and boast over 130,000SF of innovative and sustainable programming. The Salvation Army’s Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers in both Philadelphia and Camden represent two unique design approaches to establishing one organization’s mission.”
—Excerpt from the 2016 AIA Convention Tour Guide
05.22.2016 — A Tale of Two Krocs: K&A and MGA Partners hosted two Educational Tours of the Kroc Community Centers at the recent 2016 AIA National Convention held in Philadelphia this summer. The tours, led by K&A’s Keith Peacock AIA and MGA Partner’s, Amy Stein AIA, LEED® AP, offered participants a look inside of how two of the country’s largest community centers helped transform their local communities.
05.21.2016 — K&A’s design for Philabundance’s annual CANstruction event at The Shops at Liberty Place in Philadelphia was inspired by the Force this year. CAN2D2, along with fifteen other designs will be on display from now through next Sunday. K&A’s 2016 CANstruction team included Truman Benedetti, Shane Bryson, Tyler Cooney, William Eichenwald, Svetlana Filiche, Katie James, AIA, LEED®AP, Megan Murray, NCIDQ, Ana Peña, Michelle Perez, and Alfio Racite.
You can see all of this year’s designs here—CANstruction 2016
05.16.2016 — Pennrose Companies’ construction on Sacred Heart Residences, an affordable senior living development in Allentown, PA is on track to become the first mid-rise apartment building in the state of Pennsylvania to meet Passive House certification for energy efficiency. Given the additional costs associated with Passive House design, the Sacred Heart project is one of seven Passive House developments currently underway throughout the state that the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) will be monitoring for both overall energy savings, as well as any tradeoffs associated with the higher costs of passive versus conventional building.
You can read the full interview here—Affordable Housing Finance Online
04.21.2016 — Gilbane Development Co. broke ground last week on West Edge, a new 621-bed student housing community located directly across the street from the University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus. The new development will offer residents the latest in modern university living, including a washer/dryer, walk-in closets, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and flat screen TVs in every apartment. Each resident will also have their own private bedroom and bathroom. Additional amenities at West Edge will include a rooftop sky lounge, a clubhouse, academic study rooms, a tech center, fitness lodge, a heated saltwater pool, a landscaped courtyard with sun decks, an outdoor kitchen area with grilling stations, and outdoor lounges with community fire pits. The project is expected to open its doors to the public in August 2017.
Congratulations to Gilbane Development Co. for this exciting project that will offer much-needed housing units for a university community and student population growing much faster than expected.
“Accessibility to housing—regardless of race, age, religion or disability—is a cornerstone of American life and is something many take for granted. While attention is often focused on the high-profile, anti-discriminatory provisions of the Fair Housing Act (FHA)—also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968—the measure also provides construction requirements for most multifamily buildings or complexes with more than four units for sale or rent. And depending on the size of the building and how many units are involved, the ramifications for noncompliance can be costly for developers and owners.”
—Excerpt from The Civil Rights of Construction Codes: Lessons from Harsh Consequences of FHA Noncompliance, by Kim Slowey
02.29.2016 — Stephen L. Schoch, AIA, LEED®AP BD+C, and Managing Principal here at K&A, recently spoke to Construction DIVE’s Kim Slowey on the accessibility to housing, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the ramifications of noncompliance.
You can read the full interview here—Construction DIVE Online
01.29.2016 — Please join us in congratulating the recent certification of Anthony Noga, RA, LEED®AP as a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC®), the first architect on staff to achieve this certification by the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS). Anthony brings 18 years of experience in the field, working on all phases of design and construction for multifamily senior residences. As a dedicated professional, Anthony is accomplished in the design and construction of multifamily residential developments, small and mid-sized commercial facilities such as retail, office, warehouse, and storage facilities. This new certification will allow Anthony to assist our team in making the right design decisions on any project pursuing Passive House certification.
The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center Wins 2015 Governor’s Conference Award for Leading Public-Private Economic Development Partnership
11.02.2015 — The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden, New Jersey, recently received a 2015 Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) at their annual Governor’s Conference held at the Waterfront Conference Center at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. The project was honored by NJHMFA in the Leading Public-Private Economic Development Partnership category for the ongoing impact it is making in the Camden community. We are proud to have been a part of this very important project and extend our congratulations to The Salvation Army Camden Citadel Corps for this honor.
“This year’s award recipients have all shown dedication and commitment to strengthening communities across the state and forming a foundation for economic growth.”
— DCA Commissioner Charles A. Richman (The Trentonian, 29 October 2015)
Nearly three football fields in length, and encompassing over 120,000 square feet, the new Kroc Center provides recreational, health, educational, cultural, family and spiritual programming to area residents, while simultaneously serving as the hub for Salvation Army services in the Tri-County region. The facility includes both indoor and outdoor recreational spaces—including basketball courts, a regulation little league baseball field with lighting for night games, a softball field, a soccer/lacrosse/field hockey pitch, meandering natural walking paths, a playground, as well as a concessions facility with restrooms. On-site parking has been provided for 250 cars, as well as additional space for bus parking.
The $90 million state-of-the-art Kroc Center project in Camden is one of twenty-seven similar community centers nationwide, funded in part through a $1.6 billion gift to The Salvation Army from the estate of Mrs. Joan Kroc, wife of the late McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. In the design and construction of these facilities throughout the country, The Salvation Army aims to create safe and vibrant gathering places within their respective communities, offering local area residents, both young and old, a place where they can come together for the purposes of education, exercise, worship, community engagement, health and social services, and a variety of other activities and civic amenities aimed at strengthening the social fabric. Ultimately, these centers are intended to act as catalysts in the revitalization of their respective cities. A central theme and guiding purpose throughout the entire project in Camden, from its inception through final completion, and a fundamental tenet in The Salvation Army’s mission in building these centers: provide to the local community A Beacon of Hope and an Agent of Change.
In partnership with a variety of agencies, including the Camden Redevelopment Authority (CRA), The Salvation Army, and other Cramer Hill stakeholders, a vision of the Cramer Hill Waterfront Park was born—providing a multi-phase plan for a new park and multi-use greenway trail, adjacent to the completed facility, that will extend along the length of the Cooper River and Delaware River Back Channel within the Cramer Hill neighborhood. In addition to plans for a new waterfront park, the major investment signified by The Kroc Center has also spawned a number of initiatives within the community aimed at preparing Cramer Hill neighborhoods and residents for the inevitable future growth and development to come.
Capitalizing on their natural assets and scenic locations for significant economic and recreational development, a number of neighborhood plans were drawn up in close coordination with the nearby Kroc Center development, creating an even more cohesive, intelligent and unified vision for the community’s approach toward future growth. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) played a critical role in the Kroc Center project by providing both ongoing technical and logistical expertise, as well as $26 million in funding aimed at the remediation of a 24-acre portion of the former Harrison Avenue Landfill—a 100-acre landfill owned and operated by the City of Camden from 1952 through 1971, and the selected future site for the Salvation Army’s planned Kroc Corps Community Center.
From the first day the Kroc Center opened its doors to the public in early October 2014, the center has been a vibrant, dynamic locus of community activity, with local residents enthusiastically taking advantage of the variety of recreational, social and cultural services offered. Youth athletic programs are occurring at night. The basketball courts outside are replete with neighborhood children playing pick-up games. The chapel is busy. The water park full. And the Health Clinic is open and providing much-needed, critical services to the community. As of February 26, 2015, only five months after opening, the center reports over 4,900 registered members, and over 55,000 unique instances of those members utilizing services at the facility.
You can read more about the Salvation Army project, as well as view more pictures of the completed facility, here.
11.02.2015 — Rush Crossing, a new affordable housing community located in Trenton, New Jersey, recently received a 2015 Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) at their annual Governor’s Conference held at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. The project was honored by NJHMFA in the Leading Housing Revitalization category for “advancing the vitality of the neighborhood and strengthening local economic growth.” We are proud to have been a part of this very important project and extend our congratulations to Pennrose Properties for this honor, and building another successful New Jersey community.
“This year’s award recipients have all shown dedication and commitment to strengthening communities across the state and forming a foundation for economic growth.”
— DCA Commissioner Charles A. Richman (The Trentonian, 29 October 2015)
Developed by Pennrose Properties and designed by Kitchen & Associates, Rush Crossing provides 204 units of new affordable living opportunities for Mercer County residents and their families. The project, partially funded through a $22 million HOPE VI Revitalization Grant from the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development, replaces the former Carl Miller Homes public housing project—a previously blighted, and once crime-ridden complex that had stood vacant and neglected for years.
An important part of the city’s Trenton Station Redevelopment Area Plan, the planning and redevelopment of the Rush Crossing community aimed to take advantage of the site’s proximity to key transportation nodes within the urban fabric of the city, including the Trenton Transportation Center, located only a half mile to the south, providing easy access to Philadelphia, New York City and beyond.
Offering affordable rentals in one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom modern apartment units and townhomes, the new Rush Crossing community is thoughtfully designed to visually fit in with the character of the surrounding neighborhood. Amenities include a community room, community gardens, recreational areas for small children, outdoor plaza areas for resident gatherings, and on-site maintenance facilities. There is on-site and dedicated street parking available for residents. The project is a New Jersey Energy Star Development and is certified LEED Silver by the United States Green Building Council.
You can read more about the Rush Crossing project, as well as view more pictures of the completed community, here.
10.30.2015 — Please join us in recognizing the recent promotion of Alkesh Taylor, PE, LEED®AP to Senior Associate. A licensed Professional Engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, and both a certified HERS and PHIUS+ Passive House Rater, Alkesh has over 18 years of experience in the design and project management of building MEP systems, and has been a leader within our firm when it comes to the principles of energy conservation, sustainable design methodologies, and our ever-growing portfolio of Energy Consulting Services.
10.30.2015 — Please join us in recognizing the recent promotion of Tammy Schiavo, RA to Associate. A registered Architect and seasoned Project Manager, Tammy has over 25 years of experience in the design and project management of a wide variety of project typologies. From new construction to rehabilitation, renovation and historic preservation, her attention to detail and consummate knowledge of the building codes has made her one of our firm’s most effective project managers.
10.30.2015 — Please join us in recognizing the recent promotion of Matthew Bartner, AIA, LEED®AP BD+C to Senior Associate. A registered Architect and LEED Accredited Professional, Matt has over 20 years of experience as a designer and project manager, and has a passion for integrating elements of energy-efficiency, green and sustainable design into every project he is a part of. He designed the first LEED Silver on-campus student residence in the state of New Jersey, and recently completed a LEED Silver flagship supportive housing facility in Philadelphia—the first project in the state to earn the US EPA ENERGY STAR™ Multifamily High Rise designation.
10.30.2015 — Please join us in recognizing the recent certification of Melissa Mayer, NCIDQ, the second designer on our Interiors staff to achieve certification by the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications. Melissa brings over 7 years of experience designing interiors for a variety of different market sectors and building typologies. As a talented young designer, with an unmatched sensitivity to material, color, space and interior detailing, she has proven her ability to create interior environments that are both functional and aesthetically appropriate to their intended use and specific context.
02.09.2015 —For the third consecutive year, Team Kitchen & Associates is entering CANstruction Philadelphia on April 17th, 2015. In order to purchase the THOUSANDS of cans needed to build our can structure, we need to raise several thousand dollars. Please help us in our fundraising effort. Every dollar counts! Thank you!!
“Each year, the AIA Philadelphia Associate Committee in conjunction with the Philadelphia Center For Architecture invites Philadelphia’s leading architects, engineers, contractors, design firms and schools of design to participate in this unique effort. CANSTRUCTION® is an international community service event, where design teams compete to build structures entirely out of canned food!
At the end of the CANstruction, all the food collected is donated to Philabundance. In the past 5 years, Philabundance has collected over 175,000 pounds of food for needy families from CANstruction alone.” - CANstruction.org
01.21.2015 —Stephen Finkelman, PE, LEED®AP BD+C, CEM, Principal and Director of Engineering at K&A, was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Northeast Chapter of the Building Commissioning Association (BCA). Steve will act as Secretary for the organization for a period of one year, and we are confident that his participation and contributions will only help to further strengthen this already important industry organization.
The Building Commissioning Association (BCA) is dedicated to developing a common industry-wide understanding of what constitutes effective building commissioning. Its goal is to achieve high professional standards, while allowing for diverse and creative approaches to building commissioning that benefit the profession and its clients. For this reason, the BCA has historically focused on identifying critical commissioning attributes and elements, rather than attempting to dictate a rigid commissioning process.
01.20.2015 —Kitchen & Associates is proud to announce that our very own Alkesh Taylor, PE, LEED®AP, and associate of the firm, has successfully completed his PHIUS+ Rater Training and is now a Certified PHIUS+ Rater. His certification further strengthens K&A’s core energy consulting services group, and continues K&A’s proud tradition of providing leadership in performance-based engineering and design.
The Passive House Institute US’s PHIUS+ Certification Program for North America Passive Houses combines extensive design review with a rigorous on-site quality assurance program. PHIUS+ aligns with the quality assurance protocols of Energy Star 3.0, as well as DOE Challenge Home, while including additional tests and checks specific to the PHIUS+ program. For more information regarding the PHIUS+ Certification Program, please visit the Passive House Institute US website at www.phius.org.
01.08.2015 — K&A is proud to announce the election of one of our very own, Megan McGinley, to the Community Design Collaborative’s Board of Directors. Megan is a registered architect and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED®AP). Her work with the Collaborative extends back over a decade, having volunteered for a variety of projects and committees with the non-profit. Megan’s term as a director on the board will last for three years, and we are confident that her participation and contributions will further strengthen this already important community organization.
The Community Design Collaborative, based in Philadelphia, is a community design center that provides pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations throughout the greater Philadelphia area. The Collaborative offers important volunteer opportunities for design professionals, and is committed to raising awareness about the importance of design in neighborhood and community revitalization efforts.
12.01.14 – A brand new laboratory for learning opens in Camden, New Jersey—K&A’s LEAP Academy S.T.E.M. Charter School, integrating both new construction and the adaptive re-use of an historic mansion, is featured in the November 2014 Architectural Portfolio issue of American School & University magazine.
To read more about this project and to view photos, you can visit our LEAP Academy STEM Charter School page.
11.05.14 – JBJ Soul Homes (JBJ), a four-story, mixed use, supportive housing facility operated by Project HOME in the Francisville neighborhood of Philadelphia, was recently designated as an Energy Star Multifamily High Rise building by the US Environmental Protection Agency—the first of its kind in the state of Pennsylvania, and only the 76th project to be certified nationwide. The facility offers a total of fifty-five studio and one-bedroom apartment units dedicated to homeless adults making the transition from the streets to more permanent housing solutions. In addition, the building provides a variety of other residential amenities, as well as supportive services, administrative offices for Project HOME, and ground-floor retail space.
To achieve Energy Star certification, a variety of energy-conscious features were designed into the program of the building. The wood-framed walls at JBJ have R-21 fiberglass batt insulation, and there are 4” of R-25 rigid polyisocyanurate insulation at the roof deck. Vinyl, double-paned, argon-filled windows reduce overall heat gain and energy loss, and the ductwork serving the apartment units, as well as the building envelope, were well-sealed in order to pass Energy Star testing standards. All apartments have in-unit forced air heating and cooling provided by Energy Star-certified condensing gas furnaces and split system air conditioning. Ventilation at the restrooms is provided by Energy Star-certified bathroom exhaust fans, which run at a continuous low-speed and can boost to higher speeds when occupied. Low flow faucets and shower heads simultaneously reduce overall water and energy consumption. Compact fluorescent lighting and Energy Star-certified refrigerators have been installed in each unit.
Outside of the individual apartments, occupancy sensors for lighting have been installed throughout the majority of the building’s common spaces, further reducing on-site electricity use. Additional green strategies utilized on the project include enhanced commissioning, a 5,000 square foot vegetated roof, a variety of recycled content materials, 90% diversion of construction waste from landfills, and power purchased from renewable resources. Energy modeling estimates for the JBJ Soul Homes facility project a 23% annual energy cost savings compared to baseline, minimum standards.
To read more about this project and to view photos, you can visit our JBJ Soul Homes page.
10.09.2014 — Springside School Apartments, an affordable supportive housing community located in Burlington Township, New Jersey and developed in partnership by both Conifer Realty, LLC and MEND, Inc., was recently honored by the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey with a 2014 Supportive Housing Project Award in the Large-Scale Development Category.
The need for affordable and supportive housing for older adults and adults with mental illness in Burlington Township—one of the fastest growing municipalities in the state—is a need that has not gone unnoticed by agencies and organizations dedicated to providing assistance to these often underserved populations in our communities. In addition, New Jersey, like many states across the country, has made a determined effort to de-institutionalize people with special needs, increasing the number of individuals seeking housing that is not only affordable, but also tailored to support their independence.
Springside School Apartments—a joint venture development project of Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development (MEND) and Conifer Realty, LLC is one such affordable supportive housing opportunity that now exists within Burlington Township. The combination of an historic elementary school with a new building addition, this residence offers a total of 74 apartments aimed at providing affordable living solutions to low- and moderate-income seniors, frail seniors and adults with mental illness.
Partnering with the Lester A. Drenk Behavioral Health Center—a local non-profit organization providing mental health services in the region since 1954, as well as a variety of other social outreach organizations, the development team was successful in creating a fully-accessible, sustainable and contemporary living environment, with a variety of on-site social, wellness and resident-focused services, allowing the residents to live independently, with dignity within the larger community, and to receive the critical services that are essential to their well-being.
By successfully integrating supportive housing with senior living, encompassing both historic preservation and smart growth within an established community, Springside School Apartments is a testament to the long-term vision of Burlington Township as it addresses the demands of increasing growth and the resulting needs for quality, affordable housing for its more vulnerable residents.
All of this year’s awardees will be honored at the organization’s 16th annual NJ Supportive Housing Conference 2014 to be held on Friday, December 5th, 2014 from 8-4PM at the Renaissance Inn Woodbridge located in Iselin, New Jersey. There will also be a workshop at the conference dedicated to the award winners, giving each of them the opportunity to discuss areas of innovation, development, tenancy and service delivery when it comes to designing for Supportive Housing and Special Needs.
10.09.2014 — The Beck House, a special needs supportive housing project located in Hammonton, New Jersey and developed by The Arc of Atlantic County (The Arc)—a non-profit organization providing the customized support and training necessary for special needs residents to become self-sufficient and integral in the communities they call home—was recently honored by the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey with a 2014 Supportive Housing Project Award in the Small-Scale Development Category.
A four-bedroom therapeutic residence serving people with special needs, the Beck House was developed under the Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program (SNHPLP)—a new state initiative in New Jersey aimed at increasing opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to find permanent supportive housing options within their local community. As one of the first projects in the state to be developed under this new initiative, The Arc, through SNHPLP financing, was able to acquire a 3-bedroom single-family ranch home in a well-established, affluent neighborhood in close proximity to Hammonton Lake. In concert with a variety of key stakeholders, public agencies, the township, and Kitchen & Associates (K&A), who was retained to provide architectural design services for the project, The Arc was able to successfully convert the acquired, unassuming brick ranch home into an accessible, four-bedroom special needs residence.
The development team was able to think within the box, so-to-speak, in order to provide for the additional bedroom, accessible living areas and support service spaces the program required—all within the confines of the existing home’s exterior walls, and all within a very limited developmental budget. The new home was designed in a manner that clearly delineates both private and public spaces. Original living spaces and service/office areas were relocated to newly created interiors within the existing garage, and existing common space was reused in the facility’s new program, servicing the newly-created bedrooms and bathrooms. Wherever possible, modern, durable and sustainable materials were utilized in the project’s design to minimize overall maintenance requirements, decrease long-term operational costs, and improve the indoor air quality for the residents. Additionally, an expansive outdoor patio offers residents the ability to not only enjoy each other’s company, but the fresh air as well.
Partnering with the New Jersey Department of Developmental Disabilities, The Arc, during the design phases of the project, was able to identify four individuals with special needs from developmental centers and waiting lists around the state. Identifying these future residents during the design process allowed for the renovations to be catered specifically to the particular needs of each resident.
All of this year’s awardees will be honored at the organization’s 16th annual NJ Supportive Housing Conference 2014 to be held on Friday, December 5th, 2014 from 8-4PM at the Renaissance Inn Woodbridge located in Iselin, New Jersey. There will also be a workshop at the conference dedicated to the award winners, giving each of them the opportunity to discuss areas of innovation, development, tenancy and service delivery when it comes to designing for Supportive Housing and Special Needs.
10.01.2014 — Associate Keith Peacock, RA and Project Architect Dan Stoica will be presenting The Kroc Center at DesignDC. DesignDC is the premier A/E/C education and networking event in the Washington DC-Baltimore region, bringing together over 700+ architects and design professionals to take part in more that 60 educational sessions and tours. This year’s conference theme – Smart Synergies – focuses on the integral role that skillful collaboration plays for architects, planners, landscape architects, and other design professionals.
K&A’s session, “The Kroc Center-Camden: Overcoming Complexity with Teamwork”, blends seamlessly with the Conference theme of synergy and collaboration. The $90M project, on a 24-acre former municipal landfill, required vast interdisciplinary collaboration to acquire funding and maintain project momentum through site remediation, design, and construction. By assuming the role of BIM model coordinator; K&A better protected the design intent, streamlined the shop drawing process, and fostered a team environment with the CM and subcontractors.
This year’s conference is produced by AIA-DC, AIA Northern Virginia, AIA Baltimore, CNU-DC Chapter, Potomac Chapter of the ASLA, IIDA-MAC, and the Nation Capital Area Chapter of APA.
To read more about this project and to view photos, you can visit our Camden Kroc Center page.
09.15.2014 — Representing the third project designed by Kitchen & Associates (K&A) to receive a 2014 Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award, the Van Sciver Supportive Housing development, located in Closter, New Jersey, was a recent recipient of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s (NJHMFA) annual award, which celebrates the best in housing revitalization, public-private economic development partnerships, and supportive housing developments throughout the state. Developed by Vantage Health System, Inc. (VHS), Van Sciver Supportive Housing provides permanent affordable housing, along with a variety of much-needed supportive services, to low-income individuals with mental illness, including the chronically homeless. Winning in the category of Leading Supportive Housing Development Through Creative Partnerships, the Van Sciver project was honored by NJHMFA for “providing housing and supportive services for individuals with special needs that are well-integrated into the community, improving the quality of life and independence of residents.” This year’s honorees will receive their awards at the 2014 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development on September 22-23, 2014 in Atlantic City.
In perfect alignment with this year’s category of Development Through Creative Partnership, the completion of the Van Sciver Supportive Housing community represents the successful and comprehensive collaboration between a variety of key stakeholders and partner organizations. VHS provided the leadership, vision and assistance with funding for the project, K&A provided the design, and the Borough of Closter—committed to the goal of providing affordable housing opportunities throughout its community—donated the land. Additional partners on the project included The State of New Jersey, Monarch Housing, the Bergen County Division of Community Development, the Housing Authority of Bergen County, the Corporation of Supportive Housing, Integrity Build, LLC and Haven Homes. The financing for the project was also a collaborative effort, with funding secured by VHS through a number of state and federal sources, including NJHMFA’s Special Needs Trust Fund, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addictions, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
From the outset, Van Sciver Supportive Housing was conceived and designed to provide a full range of services to low-income individuals with mental illness including case management, recreation and socialization, community integration, transportation, advocacy, and crisis intervention. The design of the facility, with sixteen individual studio apartments and a variety of common gathering areas, offers the residents an intimate and supportive environment that both respects individual privacy while simultaneously encouraging community integration and socialization. Each of the units includes a full kitchen with breakfast bar and a combination living/sleeping space, all designed to provide residents with an overall sense of personal autonomy and dignity within their own living environment. Shared spaces, such as the centrally-located common gathering area, activity room, laundry room, lobby and exterior patio area, encourage residents to come together, interact and socialize. In addition to creating amenities internal to the site, the project team carefully selected a location that was also in close proximity to the local town center, municipal bus lines and public facilities, allowing Van Sciver residents easy access to the local library, houses of worship, restaurants, shops and a variety of other local resources.
The Van Sciver development achieves high sustainability performance in a variety of areas including water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and site development. Energy efficient features of the new development include “low-flow” plumbing fixtures with dual flush toilets, fluorescent ENERGY STAR® rated lighting fixtures, photo sensor/timer-controlled lights and fans, exterior lighting with cut-off shields to reduce light pollution, and ENERGY STAR® appliances in each individual apartment. And to underscore the project’s significance when it comes to green and sustainable design principles, Van Sciver Supportive Housing was the first LEED® Gold-Certified supportive housing project completed in the state of New Jersey.
09.08.2014 — Phases I and II of Dr. Walter G. Alexander Village, a new transit-oriented, affordable housing community located in The City of Orange Township, New Jersey recently received a 2014 Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). Designed by Kitchen & Associates of Collingswood, New Jersey, the aim of the first two phases of development at the Walter G. Alexander site was to replace aging and outmoded public housing infrastructure with high-quality, affordable rental opportunities for both families and seniors, and act as a catalyst toward the future redevelopment of the local Orange community. For these efforts, the project was recognized by NJHMFA as a leading example in housing-related redevelopment throughout the state, winning in the category of Leading Housing Revitalization (Rental). This year’s honorees will receive their awards at the 2014 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development on September 22-23, 2014 in Atlantic City.
The original public housing community, known as The Alexander Public Housing Towers, was an obsolete high-rise apartment development built in the early 1950s and managed by the Orange Housing Authority until the site’s demolition in June 2010. The properties consisted of two seven-story apartment buildings containing a total of 140 units of low-income affordable housing. Throughout the resident population, the buildings were notorious for rampant crime, violence and drugs, and were considered one of the most dangerous areas within the local community. Distressed by the unrelenting crime and associated vandalism, the Orange Housing Authority, along with a number of motivated public stakeholders and private development partners, worked with Kitchen & Associates to formulate a long-term, multi-phased revitalization plan for the neighborhood. The plan’s intent was to replace the two aging buildings with a new, lower density, mixed-use/mixed-income housing community that would offer affordable rental opportunities to families, workforce and senior populations.
Building upon the strategies developed in the revitalization plan for the neighborhood, the new Dr. Walter G. Alexander Village replaces the two towering apartment complexes with a lower density community. This new community is designed in three-story townhome configurations in an architectural style that is in keeping with the surrounding neighborhoods. The first phase of the project focused on the creation of 66 new affordable family rental units in both one- and two-bedroom configurations, while the second phase provides 48 new affordable housing units devoted to seniors. Both phases received their certificates of occupancy in April of 2012, and were placed into service shortly thereafter. A third phase of the project, expected to offer an additional 42 units of family and workforce housing, recently received Planning Board approval and is anticipated to be completed within the next 18-20 months.
With a final cost close to $27 million, the newly redeveloped site, now known as Dr. Walter G. Alexander Village, was made possible through an initial award of $23.3 million in financing and tax credits from NJHMFA, and represents the first affordable housing complex to be built by the City of Orange since the 1950s. The new community is located in what is known as the Transit Village District East district of the City of Orange Township, as established in the city’s recently adopted Central Orange Redevelopment Plan. The adjacent neighborhoods consist predominantly of single-family homes with a sprinkling of small-scale commercial properties, including local businesses, civic organizations, places of worship, and a school—the Oakwood Avenue Elementary School. Due to the site’s proximity to the Central Avenue Commercial Corridor district, as well as a variety of transit options, including the Orange Transit Station and Brick Church Station in neighboring East Orange, it is anticipated that the Dr. Walter G. Alexander neighborhood and surrounding area will serve as a cornerstone to the long-term, multi-phased revitalization efforts of the Orange community.
Manitou Park Neighborhood Revitalization and Homes For All Receives 2014 Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award
09.08.2014 — The Manitou Park Neighborhood Revitalization project, a new affordable housing community located in Toms River, New Jersey, recently received a 2014 Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). Designed by Kitchen & Associates of Collingswood, New Jersey, the Manitou Park project was divided into two phases, and when complete, will offer the local community a total of 166 newly-constructed or rehabilitated units of affordable housing intended for homeownership. The project was recognized by NJHMFA as a leading example in housing-related redevelopment efforts throughout the state, winning in the category of Leading Housing Revitalization Award (Homeownership). This year’s honorees will receive their awards at the 2014 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development on September 22-23, 2014 in Atlantic City.
“Breaking the cycle of poverty begins by working to provide some of the basic necessities of life, including decent and affordable food, housing and water.”
—Water 2000, The US Department of Agriculture
The Manitou Park Neighborhood is located in an historically depressed area of Toms River, New Jersey, and for years had suffered from a lack of investment in both the local housing stock and infrastructure—with failing septic and well water systems a common occurrence throughout the community in the early part of the 2000s.
“It all started with a glass of water,” Mayor Jason J. Verano said, referring to the revitalization efforts undertaken by the Berkeley and Toms River Townships targeted at the Manitou Park neighborhood and surrounding community, and the watershed moment that led them there. While Homes For All employees were installing a newly donated heating system in a local resident’s home, they were surprised to see that the water this homeowner offered them to drink was gray and murky. Further research led Homes For All to discover that the majority of wells in the area were failing or on the verge of failing, and results from subsequent water testing revealed that the water quality throughout the community was marginal at best.
In reaction to these findings, Homes For All—a Toms River-based non-profit affordable housing developer—sought to do something about the lack of modern utilities in the community. Recognizing an opportunity to make a difference for many local residents, Home For All worked to assist in the re-connection of much of the neighborhood to these basic and essential services, as well as aid in laying the groundwork for a longer-term, more profound revitalization of the area. In partnership with the local townships of Berkeley and Toms River, as well as New Jersey Natural Gas and the United States Department of Agriculture, Homes For All led a two-phase process over four years to reclaim this once-blighted area and reintegrate it, on both an infrastructure and psychological level, with the surrounding Toms River environs and local community. Phase I of the project was aimed directly at reestablishing connectivity of the neighborhood’s existing properties with local utilities, and upgrading those services to modern standards. It also focused on the creation of 52 new single-family homes, as well as the rehabilitation of 23 existing properties. Phase II of the project built an additional 30 residences, along with the rehabilitation of 61 existing homes.
At a cost of nearly $20 million, and over a decade in the making, the revitalization of the Manitou Park Neighborhood represents what can be achieved when public and private agencies work together to solve real-world issues affecting the quality of life of residents within their local communities. Manitou Park is making a real difference in the lives of close to 200 families, offering them new, modern and affordable housing opportunities, as well as the possibility of a brighter future for their children and generations to follow.
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 into three areas meant to serve the Mind, Body and Spirit. The Fitness space includes an 11,000 square foot 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.
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11.14.2016 Gilbane’s The Verge Achieves LEED® Gold Certification!
11.08.2016 Promise House Wins at 2016 Governor’s Conference
10.19.2016 Two Out of Three PHA Projects Recently Honored Designed by K&A
10.13.2016 Discover ARCHICAD 20 at Next GRAPHISOFT User Group
08.22.2016 Planning Board Unanimously Approves 100 Monitor Street
K&A's, Steve Schoch, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a contributing author to the current issue of YAF Connection. issuu.com/youngarchitect…