Church Housing Corp., a faith-based not-for-profit that provides housing and supportive services to people with special needs, families, individuals and seniors with modest means, has broken ground on The Melton Center Apartments, a 51-unit affordable housing development in downtown West Chester, Pennsylvania, adjacent to The Charles A. Melton Arts & Education Center.
Located at 500 E. Market Street, The Melton Center Apartments will be a mixed-income workforce housing rental community that will cater to families that have members with mobility, hearing, and visual impairments.
“There is an increased need for attainable and affordable housing, and the Melton Center’s partnership with Church Housing Corporation not only expands these housing options within our community but connects people in need with job training and services so they can live with dignity and purpose,” said West Chester Mayor Dianne Herron. “I am grateful to the leadership of the Melton Center for remaining true to the mission of service to its community, while simultaneously strengthening its long-term financial position. This is what hope looks like, and it’s just the beginning of the next 100 years for The Melton Community Center.”
The Melton Center Apartments is being developed in partnership between Church Housing Corp., Melton Center, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), finance partners, and The NRP Group, a vertically integrated, best-in-class national developer, builder, and manager of multifamily housing.
“The mission for The Melton Center Apartments is extremely important – it’s an effort to build the community through a community effort,” said Kathryn Evans, Executive Director of Church Housing Corp. “We’d like to thank The Melton Center and The NRP Group for their partnership with this development, PHFA for its faith in our vision, and our finance partners for their considerable support. We’re excited to see the final product and look forward to delivering an affordable, and supportive living environment to West Chester.”
The property will feature 10 townhomes and a four-story, 41-unit apartment building. The townhomes will include three- and four-bedroom layouts, washer/dryer hookups, ample interior and exterior storage space, attached garages and driveways. The apartments will be elevator-serviced and will have a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units. Shared amenities will include a community room, library, laundry, management offices, and on-site supportive services. Residents will also have access to the considerable social, educational, and active lifestyle programming available at The Melton Center.
“The Melton Center Apartments will provide much-needed workforce housing for Chester County and the Philly metro area,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “We’re especially pleased that support services will be available at this location because they’re so important for helping people stay in their housing and succeed in their lives.”
The Melton Center Apartments are situated in a highly desirable and walkable area that offers convenient access to places of worship, full-service restaurants, fast food, grocery stores, boutiques, pharmacies, and outdoor recreation areas and parks. The neighboring Melton Center offers academic skill-building, educational, cultural, civic and recreational programming for adults, youth, families and the elderly. The apartments are also less than one mile from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and just 35 miles from Philadelphia.
“This is our first development in the Philadelphia metro area,” said P. Christopher Dirr, Senior Vice President of Development at The NRP Group. “Given West Chester’s demographics, this development was especially interesting to us, as it’s located in an area that has been experiencing a lot of market-rate and luxury development. The NRP Group has always been dedicated to delivering quality, affordable living options to communities, and The Melton Center Apartments grants us the opportunity to continue enhancing communities in which we are located.”
The Melton Center Apartments is expected to be completed in 2021.
“The Melton Center was founded to help address the unmet needs of citizens who were traditionally marginalized by and disenfranchised from society based on their economic status, gender, or race,” said Lisa Dorsey, Board President at The Melton Center. “It’s been our mission to provide opportunities for revitalization, education and growth to our neighborhood, and we’re thrilled to participate in this initiative.”