Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of the Alician Senior Apartments
The Harkins team celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Alician Senior Apartments project on Thursday, June 1st in Upper Darby, PA. Elected officials, including Mayor of the Upper Darby Township Thomas Micozzie, PHFA Director of Development Holly Glauser, and Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District Congressman Bob Brady, were joined by residents and representatives from the development team. This building was dedicated to Gabriele Guglielmo and all Upper Darby Veterans, in grateful recognition of their service and sacrifice.
Alician Senior Apartments is an adaptive reuse conversion of the former St. Alice Social Center to a 53-apartment affordable senior housing complex. The main scope of this project centered around the demolition of the façade and substructure. The original exterior aesthetics were acknowledged by salvaging the stone veneer and keeping limited vertical sections of stone façade on the corners of the building. Sections between the stone veneer were finished with Hardie panel and lap siding. Split face CMU was installed at the ground level around the perimeter of the building, which blended seamlessly with the façade.
During demolition of the interior CMU walls, the team discovered that the stone veneer walls were not tied back to the steel structure of the building. The design team and owner quickly devised a temporary shoring design, but this shoring interfered with construction of the building addition, which at the time was on the critical path of the schedule. To mitigate any lost time to the project schedule, Harkins and our framing contractor re-sequenced operations and started framing on the 3rd floor, where there was already a slab to build on.
The design and coordination of the interior finishes also presented an opportunity for creative problem solving. Since the existing steel and new wood trusses left varying heights in the building, the architect came up with a well-designed ceiling plan that utilized Chicago grid ceilings and architectural soffits. In addition, the owner chose many upgrades, such as stainless appliances, subway tile backsplashes, granite countertops, and faux wood window blinds. This gave the project the look and feel of a market rate project, while maintaining the budget of an affordable senior housing complex.
This is the first of three potential phases on the project. The owner, Nolen Development Group, plans to submit Alician II for funding to PHFA in September 2017.
Photo: Members from the Nolen Properties, Kramer & Marks Architects, and Harkins team.