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Shrine center and senior housing planned beside St. Rita's in S. Philly

A seven-story building is planned beside the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia in South Philadelphia, with a reception center for pilgrims to the religious site and affordably priced senior housing.

A seven-story building is planned beside the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia in South Philadelphia, with a reception center for pilgrims to the religious site and affordably priced senior housing.

Current proposals for the St. Rita Place & Cascia Center project at the southwest corner of Broad and Ellsworth Streets call for 10,000 square feet of shrine-related facilities on the building's first and second floors, said Nancy Bastian of architecture firm Cecil Baker + Partners, which is designing the project.

It also will have 62 one-bedroom apartments accessible through a separate entrance, Bastian said.

The project was presented Tuesday evening to the South Broad Street Neighborhood Association, which will be asked to support zoning variances for the site, now a parking lot, adjacent to the church that houses the St. Rita shrine, she said.

A previous proposal for a one-story concrete facility there fizzled amid complaints that the plan lacked ambition.

jadelman@phillynews.com

215-854-2615 @jacobadelman

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