Illinois Church to Donate Building for Senior Living Conversion

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 29 August 2011

Following a recent trend of converting existing buildings into senior homes (as capital for new construction is still difficult to access), a senior living developer and the Diocese of Joliet team up to accomplish two goals: preserving a historic building and providing affordable senior housing space.

Built in 1882, St. Mary Carmelite Church has not functioned as a church for the past 20 years. According to the HeraldNews.com’s report, “the diocese already was lining up demolition for the church after being unable to find a buyer or user for years.”

But developer Scott Henry stepped in, willing to retrofit the church and rectory into senior housing, while preserving as much of the building’s history as possible. The Diocese will donate the church to Henry and his development team, which includes a Chicago-based architect, Patrick Fitzgerald.

Elsewhere, an old Victorian home in northwest North Carolina was converted to apartments for seniors. Residents of The Elite Living Home live on the first floor; owner-operators Dennis & Tina Pendergrass live upstairs.

In California, renovations are underway at an existing senior apartment complex. Developers plan to transform the apartments into condos, giving the residents “financial advantage” of owning a home.

Unused since 2005, the Gregory Primary School in Long Branch, NJ, will also get a facelift: the 89-year-old school will soon be comprised of one-bedroom apartments for eligible seniors.

There are 2 Comments about this post

  1. Karen Moran says,

    Being from Chicago – It’s heart warming to read this. I know too well from a friends trials and tribulations finding a place for his parents – assisted living in the city is not only scarce but also crazy expensive. It’s nice to see the community giving back to those in need.


    on 29 August 2011 / 4:04 PM

  2. Thanks so much for the comment, Karen! So you’re a Chicagoan? You’re absolutely right though – assisted living in the city is scarce AND expensive. This is a win-win, if you ask me. And I agree – it’s always nice to see the community giving back.


    on 30 August 2011 / 10:18 AM


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