A ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon marked the monumental grand opening of The Fairthorne, Roxborough’s new independent senior apartment building located at 6763 Ridge Ave.
The apartment complex, which was sponsored and developed by Journey’s Way, the aging division of Intercommunity Action, Inc. (Interact) is comprised of 40 one-bedroom units available to seniors of 62 years and older who qualify for affordable housing.
“Our organization believes that a safe, comfortable home is an essential part to maintaining a fulfilling life, and this is especially true for seniors,” said Interact President and CEO, David Bolin.
“We should have built a bigger room” laughed Bolin, as guests spilled out into the hallway during Thursday’s reception.
The event included facility tours, refreshments and public addresses by several politicians and key players in Fairthorne’s development, including State Rep. Pam DeLissio, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Roxborough Development Corporation’s Executive Director, James Calamia, and Patti Brennen of the Ridge Park Civic Association (RCPA).
Support and community action from the RPCA played a pivotal role in the decision to develop 6763 Ridge Ave into affordable senior housing. The project broke ground just over a year ago in a vacant lot that had previously been a car dealership.
“This is proof that a community organization really can make a difference,” Brennen said.
“With a project like this there were an awfully lot of people involved serving differing roles, some visible and some not, and we wanted to take the opportunity today to acknowledge all those who made this project possible,” said Bolin.
Project funders include: the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD); the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); The Reinvestment Fund (TRF); the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA); Redstone Equity, LLC; and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Fransisco. The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) provided financing assistance for the development; and the building was designed by Bob and Zach Torres of Studio Torres Architecture and Design and built by Domus, Inc.
Just before the ceremonial ribbon cutting, future Fairthorne resident, Shelley White shared her story.
“Sometimes life doesn’t turn out as we expect it to,” White said as she explained how divorce, personal illness and family tensions caused her to lose her dream home in Mt. Airy and be without a place to call her own for several years.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to live at Fairthorne,” White said. “I feel like my life is beginning all over again.”