2017-01-04 / Home

Housing for seniors, special needs takes a major step forward in SNJ

By DAVID PORTNOE Voice Editor


An architect’s rendering of the Jewish Federation’s planned housing for seniors and supportive housing for adults with special needs. The project was approved unanimously by the Cherry Hill Zoning Board at its Dec. 19 meeting. An architect’s rendering of the Jewish Federation’s planned housing for seniors and supportive housing for adults with special needs. The project was approved unanimously by the Cherry Hill Zoning Board at its Dec. 19 meeting. The Jewish Federation’s plans to build 128 independent living units for low- to moderate-income seniors and 32 units for adults with special needs took a major step forward as the Cherry Hill Zoning Board voted unanimously to approve the project at its Dec. 19 meeting. The next step in the project at 1721 Springdale Rd. is awaiting the approval of state tax credits.

In casting their votes, Zoning Board members spoke about how beneficial the project would be to Cherry Hill and the community. “This is a wonderful development and a great asset to our community,” said Marlyn Kalitan, one of the Board members.

The Zoning hearing featured a presentation by the Federation, which included remarks by CEO Jennifer Dubrow Weiss as well as representatives from the architect and developer; several parents of children with special needs who spoke in favor of the project; as well as several neighbors who aired concerns about traffic, parking, landscaping and other issues.


Brad Molotsky, Jewish Federation vice president and parent of a special needs young adult, testified at the Zoning Board hearing on the “massive need for senior and special needs housing.” Brad Molotsky, Jewish Federation vice president and parent of a special needs young adult, testified at the Zoning Board hearing on the “massive need for senior and special needs housing.” In testifying before the Zoning Board, Weiss spoke of the Federation’s 95 years in the community and its “incredible array” of services for seniors and those with special needs. She noted the fact that Federation, through its Jewish Senior Housing & Healthcare agency, operates three apartment buildings for seniors as well as Lions Gate, a continuing care retirement community. Federation also offers Aleph, a home health care agency, as well as a range of programs through other agencies.

Weiss also noted that Federation had made a special effort to reach out to the neighbors of 1721 Springdale through two open houses. She said the informational meetings were warm and positive.

Attorney Richard Goldstein, who served as counsel to Pennrose Properties LLC, the developer, said that Federation would be building a small community building and one 80-unit building in Phase I and a second 80-unit building in Phase II. As part of the project, there would be buffers, double the amount of required open space, energy efficiency, and significant upgrades to the property.

Jacob Fisher, a senior developer for Pennrose, said that Pennrose is expert in the field, having developed 15,000 units in 12 states. Pennrose has been working on the 1721 project with Federation for the past 1 1/2 years. He said that Jewish Federation would be delivering the services to the seniors and special needs residents.

Among others testifying about the project was Stephen Schoch, managing principal at Kitchen & Associates, an architecture and engineering firm. He said that the buildings would be apartment buildings designed for seniors and people with disabilities to live full and independent lives.

Mindy Rosen, whose son works at Cherry Hill East and works out and attends programs on the Jewish Community Campus down the road from 1721, said that his whole life is in Cherry Hill. “He has a disability, and right now there is nothing for him in the area,” she said, referring to supported living opportunities. Currently, he lives at home, but he would need the kind of supportive housing the project at 1721 Springdale Rd. would offer.

“This would give him the opportunity to live in his community, be more independent, with the amazing supports provided through the Federation,” said Rosen.

“We, without hesitation, trust the Federation,” said Linda Newman, who spoke on behalf of the project. Chocking with emotion as she spoke, she said that she wanted her son Max to have the possibility of a full life in the area he calls home.

Brad Molotsky, a Federation vice president, spoke about the importance of the project at 1721 Springdale to people like his 22-year-old son, who has special needs. “There is a massive need for senior housing and special needs housing,” he said, pointing to the large number of people in Camden County and throughout the state who need housing, and the dearth of senior and special needs housing actually being built.

Molotsky also reiterated that the Jewish Federation reached out to the neighbors living near 1721 Springdale. “We tried to create a collaborative environment,” he said.

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