Manayunk is a neighborhood with many landmark buildings, including the former St. Mary’s Church and School. The church site includes a rectory and a parking lot where the Leibert and Orbert Brewery once stood. The whole site is a block and a half from the Manayunk Regional Rail train station and two blocks from popular Main Street. The St. Mary’s Church and School have been vacant for a while and now American Living Concepts of Manayunk are planning to renovate the complex into apartments and build new apartment buildings on the adjacent parking lot. The St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Project, as it’s being called, has been designed by Campbell Thomas & Co.
The rehabilitation project will renovate the old St. Mary’s Church into eight rental units and the rectory into seven rental units. The church basement will have a fitness center and a meeting room. The old St. Mary’s School will have twenty units and parking in the basement. The former school building will have balconies and its own park in the former schoolyard. The new apartment buildings will be on Carson and Conarroe Streets and will be a series of connected three story buildings. The new buildings will have a total of 66 rental units and retail spaces on Carson and Conarroe Streets. Each three story building will have six units, with three one-bedroom units and three two-bedroom units. The units will have bay windows, roof decks, and the exterior will have “neighborhood friendly finishes”, like brick and stone, perhaps the popular Northwest Philadelphia Wissahickon schist. There will be a courtyard in between the former church and the new buildings. The developers are considering adding green roofs and rain gardens. The entire complex will have 101 rental units and 132 parking spaces, as well as, bicycle storage and a bicycle sharing station.
The St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Project will preserve the past while developing a new community in the heart of the thriving Manayunk neighborhood. The developers hope to begin construction before the end of this year and are still receiving approval from city agencies, while allaying neighborhood concerns about parking.
By, Gabriel Gottlieb