September 16, 2014

St. Boniface Redevelopment Project

Norris Square Civic Association (NSCA) is undertaking the multi-million dollar redevelopment project of the former St. Boniface Catholic Church complex located adjacent to Norris Square Park. The redeveloped complex will include a rehabilitated school building, a renovated community center, office space, off-street parking, green space and 15 units of mixed income limited equity cooperative housing. The project will bring much needed recreational and training facilities as well as affordable home ownership opportunities to the Norris Square community.

Community Center at St. Boniface

The rehabilitated Community Center will serve as an incubator for small businesses, primarily those that provide culturally competent goods and services such as the culinary arts, arts and crafts and other goods. Plans for the second floor include employment and training facilities, including four classrooms and a commercial kitchen. Plans for the third floor include facilities for basketball, volleyball, handball and other indoor sports. Additional recreational activities will include space rental for special events, space for performing arts such as theatre and dance, film screenings, community movie nights and community meeting spaces.

School Building at St. Boniface

The school building currently houses  early childhood education classrooms from the NSCA 's Head Start program. The renovated school building will continue to support its current uses.

Offices at St. Boniface

The renovated rectory will house NSCA's administrative and program offices as well as office space for lease to other neighborhood non-profit organizations. The rectory currently houses the Broadband Computer Lab which offers basic digital literacy classes and free computer and internet access to the community.

Homes at St. Boniface

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Mixed income housing for ownership will be built on the site of the former convent and church. Plans include the building of a fifteen unit limited equity housing cooperative with off street parking and green space.The limited equity housing cooperative model has been used successfully throughout the city and the country to provide affordable ownership opportunities to people from various income levels. Housing features include:

  • 1, 2 and 3 Bedroom units
  • 10Yr Tax Abatement
  • Forced Air Heat/Central Air
  • Off-Street Parking
  • Fenced Backyard
  • ADA Units Available
  • Full Appliance Package
  • Hookups for W/D (W/D not included)
  • Access to Transportation
  • Close to Schools


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The St. Boniface Redevelopment Project is funded through federal, state and local public investments. NSCA was awarded a $9.1 million grant by the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP2) through a collaboration of sixteen organizations led by the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB). A $5 million portion of the NSP2 grant will be used for the development of housing on the Convent and Church areas of the complex. The remaining portion of the NSP2 grant will fund the development of the Las Terrazas development, ten single family houses (see the Las Terrazas page for details), and the reabilitation of a minimum of six vacant single family homes on scattered sites throughout the neighborhood. NSCA was awarded a $5 million grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) to rehabilitate the school, community center and rectory. Finally, the City of Philadelphia committed $500,000 toward demolition costs.

The St. Boniface Redevelopment Project is slated for completion in 2013.

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On May 25, 2012, NSCA signed a memorandum of agreement with Councilwoman Maria Sánchez-Quiñones regarding the St. Boniface redevelopment project. In order to gain the Councilwoman's support for the project and to address her concerns about density, the St. Boniface redevelopment plans were amended.

The new agreement includes the construction of no more than eight single family houses on the site instead of the 15 unit cooperative previously planned. Additional housing units will be developed at feasible sites near the St. Boniface development to complete the 15 units proposed for the project. The Councilwoman has in turn agreed to support and facilitate the entire St Boniface development including ensuring the development of offices and the community center; facilitating the acquisition of properties for rehabilitation; lending her explicit support to funding applications to support the project; and assisting in the release of RDA owned lots currently identified for the “Las Terrazas” development on Susquehanna Ave. The Councilwoman has also pledged to help identify and support the acquisition of a half-acre site and to contribute towards the development of the original 15 unit housing cooperative through a $250,000 contribution. The St. Boniface development will now include seven single family homes on the former site of St. Boniface church with an additional eight houses to be developed on scattered sites in Norris Square. In addition, NSCA will still develop a 15 unit mixed income housing cooperative on an alternate site.

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Rendering for New Single Family Homes at St. Boniface


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Illustrative Site Plan for Single Family Homes at St. Boniface

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Rendering for Single Family Homes at St. Boniface

 

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On Saturday June 15th, 2013, NSCA held a ribbon cutting for the Townhomes @ St. Boniface during NSCA's 30th Annual Neighborhood Festival.

For a deeper look at the community input process that shaped the project and the evolving concepts for the site, see the St. Boniface Redevelopment History page.

For more information, contact our Real Estate Department at (215)426-8723.

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