Potential residents gather in South Philly for Presby’s Cantrell Place lease-up

June 07, 2018

Nearly 100 potential residents lined the sidewalks a day early to apply for Presby’s newest affordable housing community in South Philadelphia.

Presby’s Inspired Life on Tuesday held its lease-up event for Cantrell Place, a new community with 61 units of affordable housing for those age 62 and better. It will open this coming fall at 5th and Cantrell Streets in South Philadelphia.

The line of people formed as early as Monday afternoon as potential residents gathered to apply for an apartment. They lined the sidewalks outside Presby’s Jackson Place community, just a few blocks away from the Cantrell Place site, on a sunny South Philly morning for the opportunity to secure safe, affordable housing.

Jian S. Long was the first potential resident in line. She staked out her spot at 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon.

“I like it here in South Philly,” she said through a translator. “This building will be safe and comfortable. And I just want to stay here in South Philly.”

Cantrell Place lease-up – June 5, 2018

Ralph Lowman, who was No. 4 in line after arriving at 4:30 p.m. Monday, lives only a few blocks away from where Cantrell Place will stand. For him, there are plenty of reasons to move basically just down the street.

“As a retired person with a family, that family has grown up now,” he explained. “I need a clean, safe, affordable living area so I don’t have to maintain a whole house anymore. It’s financially stressful with me being the sole person in it. It would be more economic and it would be beneficial for me to move into a community like Cantrell. Cantrell is a place I know where I can maintain the lifestyle I’m used to without feeling like I’m forced out from a neighborhood I’m familiar with.”

Cantrell Place construction – May 2018

Carmella Butler is a South Philly original. But after bouncing around from Center City to Delaware County the last several years, she waited in line Tuesday because she’s ready to return home.

“I want to live in South Philadelphia. I’m familiar with the area, all my doctors are here, it’s convenient to get to the buses and I just love South Philly,” she said. “The people here are friendly and it’s very affordable. I don’t know what else to say. This would just be perfect for me.”

Cantrell Place, envisioned since 2011, is the result of a grassroots movement involving local residents, community groups and civic leaders to address the critical need of affordable housing for older adults in South Philadelphia.

Sponsored by Presby’s Inspired Life, this innovative urban infill development is transforming 33 blighted vacant lots across two city blocks into the 61 new affordable housing units. The site itself will also feature a garden, parking, a community space, a partnership with a local pharmacy to deliver medications, a social services coordinator to link the residents to vital resources and easy access to public transportation and shopping districts.

A second lease-up for Cantrell Place will be held on Friday, June 15 at Jackson Place (501 Jackson Street in South Philadelphia).

Presby is also scheduled to open Witherspoon Apartments, another new affordable housing community that will offer 60 units of housing for those 62 and better, in Southwest Philadelphia this coming fall.

For more information on both Cantrell Place and Witherspoon Apartments, please call 610-260-1124.