MEND and Conifer are ready to lease space at the renovated Duffy School: Move-in scheduled for May

FLORENCE, NJ—MEND Inc. of Moorestown, NJ and Conifer Realty, LLC of Mt Laurel, NJ are now taking applications for the 53 new affordable senior housing apartments at the historic Duffy School located at 203 West Second Street in Florence, NJ. They plan to start moving residents in by the end of May, 2015.

In just one year, Conifer LLC, and their non-profit partner MEND (Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development, Inc.), is completing a total renovation of the historic Duffy School turning classrooms into apartments for seniors 62+ years of age (including those with special needs) who meet the income requirements. Those interest in applying should call 609- 227-4433 or email duffyschool@mendinc.org.

According to Matthew Reilly, MEND President and CEO, “This project is a wonderful example of preserving our history by saving this facility and repurposing it in a manner that will serve the community. The Florence region needs affordable housing for our seniors so they can continue to comfortably live in in a high-quality apartment they can afford.”

Built in 1870, the Florence School No.1 only consisted of four classrooms and was the first public school in Florence. It was expanded several times, first in 1924 and again in the 1950’s, turning it into a K-8 school to accommodate the growth in the community. The building was shuttered in 2007 and has sat empty for the past eight years.

In April of 2014 MEND acquired the school from the Township for a $1 and partnered with Conifer. Together they were able to secure the $14.9 million needed to restore the historic property and turn it into a new ratable for the community, making it a win-win for everyone.

This $14.9 million dollar project is being funded with the help of $12.9 million in low-income tax credits awarded by the NJ Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency; a $1 million contribution of Municipal Housing Trust funds from the Township; and a $300,000 HOME loan from the Burlington County Community Development Office. During the construction phase, the project has created 133 construction jobs and the completed project will generate two new positions on location.