Presby Holds Witherspoon Senior Apartments Grand Opening Celebration

December 13, 2018

Local leaders and residents joined Presby officials to celebrate the opening of the new Affordable Housing community in Southwest Philadelphia.

On Thursday afternoon, Presby’s Inspired Life, along with local officials including State Representative Joanna McClinton and Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Jonshon, celebrated with residents as Witherspoon Senior Apartments, an adaptive reuse of a former nursing home, officially opened its doors in Southwest Philadelphia with a grand opening celebration.

The new community offers 60 units of affordable housing to those age 62 and better, a demographic in great need of safe and affordable housing in Philadelphia.

A majority of these new Witherspoon residents waited in line overnight to receive an application. Almost all of Presby’s senior Affordable Housing communities boast wait lists twice, sometimes triple, the number of units available.

“Finding safe Affordable Housing has been and continues to be an ongoing issue for so many Philadelphians — especially the senior population who want to stay in the neighborhoods where they were born and raised,” said Judee M. Bavaria, President & CEO of Presby’s Inspired Life.

“At the heart of Presby’s ministry is its service to older adults of limited financial means. Witherspoon Senior Apartments is fulfilling a critical need for quality Affordable Housing for older adults in Philadelphia, and we are able to do this with help from local officials and organizations like Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Philadelphia Housing Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We are thrilled to say that these residents have a new ‘home for the holidays.’”

The celebration also included remarks from McClinton, Johnson, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Joe DeFelice, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency East Region Director Nancy Twyman and Philadelphia Housing Authority Senior Executive Director Lopa Kolluri.

Witherspoon is the fourth community on Presby’s 58th Street Campus in Southwest Philadelphia. The campus, which is composed of almost an entire city block, features three other low-income Affordable Housing communities managed by Presby – Ann Thomas Apartments, Greenway Apartments and Mary Field Apartments. After today, the entire campus will serve more than 300 adults aged 62 and better.

In addition to Witherspoon, Presby is also opening Cantrell Place in South Philadelphia, a new construction project, at the end of 2018, with a grand opening event scheduled for January 2019. The site of the new buildings that make up Cantrell Place will revitalize a city block by transforming 33 vacant lots into 61 units of Affordable Housing for seniors.

Presby was awarded tax-credit funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in July 2016 to develop both new properties.