If you're traveling through Grays Ferry, you might come upon a wonderful old building at the corner of 28th & Morris. That's the former Anthony Wayne School, which several years ago was converted into affordable rental units. The building still strikes an imposing figure, with its exterior architectural features thankfully preserved.
Once upon a time, the school and its playground and parking lot took up half a city block. What used to be the playground, according to CBS Philly, at the corner of 27th & Morris, has been a vacant concrete lot for many years. And it wasn't exactly adding anything to the neighborhood.
Yesterday, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place at this site for the recently completed Anthony Wayne II Apartments, built by the Altman Group with assistance from OHCD. This new building includes forty-six rental apartment units that target low to moderate income seniors. The building has attractive amenities like resident lounges, dishwashers and garbage disposals, off-street parking, on-site social services, and coordinated group outings and activities. We've never lived in affordable senior housing before, but this place seems to have everything a resident could hope for.
We've complained about the execution of affordable housing plenty of times in the past while at the same time acknowledging a need for it in Philadelphia. According to a press release, the project only cost the City $700K, which seems like tremendous bang for its buck. Anthony Wayne II seems to be a very intuitive project at a reasonable price, and we wonder whether this model can be replicated in other parts of town. What do you think?
Update: It turns out the total cost of the project was about $12M, which translates into a remarkably high cost of about $261K per unit. Please ignore our previous comments about anyone getting any sort of bang for their buck.