Renovations to Immaculate Mary topic of Holme Circle meeting

Residents of Holme Circle may soon learn the full details about proposed renovations to the Immaculate Mary Home at 2990 Holme Ave.

During the monthly meeting of the Holme Circle Civic Association on April 27, the group’s acting chairman, Mike Gould, said that the owner of the home was planning to file construction permit applications with the city imminently and that the owner has been invited to speak at the group’s next meeting on May 28.

The Immaculate Mary Home was one of seven senior nursing and assisted-living facilities sold by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to Flushing, New York-based Center Management Group in July 2014. Early this year, neighbors of the home noticed what appeared to be surveying work on the property and reported it to local elected officials.

In February, state Rep. Ed Neilson and City Councilman Bobby Henon spoke privately to Center’s co-founder and CEO, Charles-Edouard Gros, who, they said, told them that his company’s plan is to expand the home while converting many of its multiple-occupancy units to single-occupancy.

The company also wants to expand its outpatient care and rehabilitation programs, Neilson said. The state lawmaker further told neighbors that the company CEO assured him that the height of the new construction would not exceed the building’s existing four stores and that there would be no new vehicle entrances or exits to the property.

Gould told neighbors at last week’s meeting that he had been informed by Center’s attorney that the company was planning to apply for construction permits last Thursday. If those plans do not conform fully to the city’s zoning code, then the owner would have to meet with the community and appear at a hearing before the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Gould said he is awaiting a response from Center regarding the invitation for the May HCCA meeting.

In other business:

• HCCA member Elsie Stevens reported that she has been trying to find someone who will mow the median of Holme Avenue near the circle. Due to the mild winter, grass has grown higher than expected for this time of year. Usually, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation mows the avenue, but it wasn’t scheduled to do so until later in the season.

To complicate matters, the civic association couldn’t do the job because it couldn’t assume liability for an accident on the busy roadway. Stevens said she had asked the owner of a nearby commercial property if he would arrange for mowing in the meantime. On Friday, Stevens told the Northeast Times that someone had volunteered to do the job anonymously.

• A resident, who asked to remain anonymous, reported that police have begun a crackdown on drinking parties in Pennypack Park. One such party was in full swing at about 4 p.m. on April 23 near the Crispin Gardens Athletic Association when someone called 911 to report it. Police showed up and seized numerous cases of beer, along with a beer keg and tap.

About three hours later, police also took beer from some young people in the area of Axe Factory Road. That day, the 8th Police District’s official Twitter feed posted a photo of a beer keg with a red circle and line pasted over it.

The district also posted the message: “The 8th District has stepped up its enforcement of the Underage Drinking Laws! The party stops now!”

• Stevens reported that PennDOT’s construction of a new intersection at Roosevelt Boulevard and Holme Avenue is two to three months ahead of schedule, despite a recent setback due to the new discovery of underground fiber optic cables. Project engineers had to redesign some landscape elements to accommodate the cables. Work was originally scheduled to continue until August. ••