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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Rendering for New Single Family Homes at St. Boniface
Illustrative Site Plan for Single Family Homes at St. Boniface
Rendering for Single Family Homes at St. Boniface
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.