By BarbaraOrmsby

Ridley Township commissioners last week approved the land development application of Kinder Park Housing Partnership III, LP for the demolition of 54 existing housing units at Kinder Park and the construction of 56 units on the site.

The housing project, bounded by MacDade Blvd. and Bullens Lane, is owned by the Delaware County Housing Authority (DCHA) and is in the midst of a massive redevelopment program that began two years ago. The 30-acre site includes about nine percent located in adjacent Nether Providence Township. When completed there will be a total of 316 units with approximately 1,200 residents, according to housing authority Executive Director Lawrence Hartley. 

Recent action taken by the commissioners is for Phase Three of a four-phase project. The last phase is for a fourth mid-rise apartment building for senior citizens. The three existing apartment buildings will remain on the site. Hartley said the additional senior citizen building is not yet in the design phase.  A new community building is also part of Phase One and is available to tenants for a variety of uses and activities.

The concept of the redevelopment is to create a more walkable neighborhood. Cost estimates for the entire project is in excess of $60 million, with funding coming from a combination of state, federal and local funds.

To date, 48 new townhouse-style residences are occupied. Hartley said 25 units of Phase Two are expected to be occupied in October and 25 more in November.

“We have all the tenants lined up for those Phase Two units, except for three handicapped units,” Hartley said.

Tenants pay 30 percent of their income for rent, plus utilities. Hartley said the average rent is between $200 and $300 a month. Children who live in Kinder Park are served by both the Ridley and Wallingford-Swarthmore school districts.

Kinder Park was originally known as Overlook Heights when the site was developed in the early days of World War II to house workers who flocked to the Chester area to work in the many defense plants along the Delaware River. When the war ended, Overlook Heights was acquired by the county housing authority and the name was later changed to Kinder Park.

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