In Squirrel Hill, new improvements to a healthcare facility will coincide with demolition on the 4700 block of Chester Avenue. The Renaissance Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a 123-bed short and long term care facility, will undergo improvements, and a vacant twin Victorian with a third floor exterior facade that resembles a Swiss chalet will soon be no more.

To be demolished

Currently being gutted

Renovations to the nursing home will include improvements to residential space and beautification of surrounding gardens. The property, which stretches between the Chester and Kingsessing Avenues, and is located next to the Chester Avenue Dog Park, was purchased by Nationwide Healthcare in January, according to the West Philly Local. According to public record, the price was over $4M.

View of the nursing home from the parking lot

While it’s good news that this facility is receiving upgrades, the demolition of the twin home on Chester Avenue is a little curious. Representatives from the nursing home insist that they’re only demolishing the building because it’s vacant and dilapidated, and that they have no plans for that site as of now. Area residents are concerned that a parking lot will spring up once the homes are torn down. But that’s only speculation at this time. We’ll be sure to check back here in the coming months, at which point we should find out whether a new parking lot is indeed coming to this location, or whether plans remain unclear.

–Lou Mancinelli