Reposted from City of Philadelphia Blog, April 14, 2010

Philadelphia, April 14, 2010 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller and Nolen Properties, LLC, today celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking for Presser Senior Apartments in the City’s West Mount Airy neighborhood. This 45-unit affordable apartment complex will create jobs while providing much-needed senior housing.

Additionally, the project is an historic renovation of the Presser Home for Retired Music Teachers. The original Presser Home was commissioned by sheet music publisher and Philadelphia philanthropist, Theodore Presser, designed by Philadelphia architectural firm Seymour & Davis, and completed in 1914.

Unfortunately, the home became vacant and fell into disrepair before being acquired for rehabilitation in 2006 by Nolen Properties. With the assistance of Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, this 52,248 square-foot building was included on the National Register of Historic Places that same year.

“This project will not only provide seniors with excellent, affordable housing, but it will also bring more jobs to Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter. “It is another great example of Recovery dollars at work in our city.”

“The Eighth Council District is known for its significant historical sites,” said Councilwoman Reed Miller. “I am proud that Mt. Airy will be home not only to safe and affordable housing for our seniors but also to the first stimulus-funded historical housing renovation in the City.”

All homes will be targeted toward seniors aged 62 and older with incomes of $32,700 or less per year.

In an effort to remain energy-conscious and control costs, all homes will feature individual heating and air conditioning. The apartment complex will also be renovated to include modern amenities while maintaining the historical integrity of the structure.

“Presser Senior Apartments is a unique housing development,” said Deborah McColloch, director of the Office of Housing and Community Development. “In addition to restoring a historical site to its former grandeur and function, Presser Senior Apartments will help address the critical need for quality affordable housing in our city.”

James A.  Nolen of Nolen Properties, LLC said “We are extremely happy to bring this magnificent historic structure back to life while providing affordable housing to the senior citizens and job opportunities for people throughout the community.”

Rehabilitation of the building, which is best known for its terra cotta ornamentation in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Funding for this development was provided by the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and PNC Bank.

Nolen Properties, LLC is a fifth-generation family business based in Philadelphia and focused on urban redevelopment. The company believes in the adaptive reuse of real estate assets to benefit the neighborhoods, infrastructure and environment of Philadelphia.