John C. Anderson Apartments Celebrates Development Milestone with Topping Out Ceremony

The occasion marks the highest point in the LGBTQ-friendly senior housing project's building process.

A rendering of what John C. Anderson Apartments will look like when it's completed. Right now, occupancy is anticipated for spring 2014.

History was made last November when builders broke ground on the John C. Anderson Apartments, one of the country’s first LGBT-friendly, low-income senior housing developments. And tomorrow another milestone will be celebrated when a large panel is hoisted to the top of the building and adorned with an American and Pride flag. Project planners, construction workers and public officials will be in attendance for the “topping out” ceremony, which commemorates the highest point in the building’s construction and opens doors for the leasing process to begin in late-summer/early-fall.

The John C. Anderson Apartments is one of a handful of similar developments cropping up across the country, a trend that, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, needs to continue in a big way. The group estimates there are 1.5 million LGBT Americans over the age of 65, and that number is projected to double by 2030. Housing projects like this will provide a safe, affordable living space for this segment of the population that statistically has difficulty securing an adequate home base. A recent study by the Philadelphia Public Health Management Corporation says that, in Philly alone, 48 percent of LGBT seniors have trouble affording housing, and 13 percent are set up in unstable living environments, like rented rooms, apartments where their names are not on the deed or lease and, even worse, shelters.

The $19.5 million John C. Anderson Apartments will at least put a dent in that number. The Energy Star 3.0 structure is outfitted with 56 one-bedroom units, and offers state-of-the-art amenities like a 5,000-square-foot courtyard, vegetated green roof and a solar-thermal hot-water system. Not so shabby, huh?

Celebrate the building’s progress tomorrow, when the Topping Out Ceremony kicks off at 1 p.m. at 249 S. 13th St. And be sure to stay tuned to G Philly for photos and updates.

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