$42.5 Million Community Center Brings Healthcare Services, Literacy and Recreation Under One Roof

Starting 2016, Philadelphia will have a new community health and literacy center located on a full city block at the intersection of Broad and Morris Streets.

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Starting in 2016, Philadelphia will have a new community health and literacy center located on a full city block at the intersection of Broad and Morris Streets.

CHOP Community Health and Literacy Center – Philadelphia

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and city officials officially broke ground on a new facility that will bring together healthcare services for children and adults, a recreation center and a library. Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the 1.6-acre construction site extending from Broad Street to 15Th Street and from Morris Street to castle Avenue is owned by the city and will be leased to CHOP for a small fee.

Projected to become a model of public and private collaboration, the $42.5 million facility is also expected to draw additional investment opportunities in South Philadelphia. As such, the city has already invested $2.2 million to help CHOP build the facility, while another $8 million in New Markets Tax Credits was awarded earlier this month by Commonwealth Cornerstone Group, a community development entity (CDE) of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. An additional $22.5 million in tax credits was provided by three other CDEs, according to an official statement from the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor.

The 96,000-square-foot Community Health and Literacy Center building is targeted to achieve LEED Silver certification. It was designed by VSBA Architects and Planners and will be constructed by Perryman Building and Construction Services, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

When completed, the three-story facility at 1700 South Broad Street will house CHOP’s Care Network Primary Care’s offices in South Philadelphia, which will take over 22,000 square feet in the building. The city’s Health Center 2 will move from its temporary location at the former St. Agnes Hospital and will occupy nearly 30,000 square feet of space in the new community center, while the South Philadelphia Neighborhood Library will be located on the first floor and, according to the Inquirer, will employ at least one staff member with a healthcare specialty. The DiSilvestro Recreation Center, which used to occupy only 1,600 square feet at 1701 South 15th Street, will double its capacity and expand its existing programs once it moves into CHOP’s new community center.

According to the governor’s office, the development project is expected to have a total economic impact of more than $47 million for the Philadelphia region. It will create more than 230 temporary construction jobs during the construction period and five permanent jobs once completed in December 2015.

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Rendering credits: VSBA Architects and Planner