Joseph F. Berenato
Senior Living cuts ribbon uptown
HAMMONTON—New Standard Senior Living of Hammonton, located at 308 S. White Horse Pike—the site of the former Econo Lodge—held their official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. on September 29.
Trisha Kaylor, Executive Director of New Standard Senior Living of Hammonton, told The Gazette that construction is ongoing but nearing completion.
“We’re thinking to be done with the base of the construction in two or three weeks. They’re sheet-rocking, they’re painting and they’re putting the floors down now, so we’re getting there.... With inspections with the town and the state, we’re looking to move people in in December,” Kaylor said.
The $27 million project will feature more than 150 units when it opens.
“Our assisted living community is a low income housing project that has a rental portion of $800 and then the levels of care start at $3,500. We do accept Medicaid waiver as well,” Kaylor said.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony included live music from the Hammonton High School Jazz Band, as well as food provided by Tacos Al Carbon and coffee from Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery.
Andrew Fritz, Executive Director of New Standard Senior Living at Egg Harbor Twp., acted as master of ceremonies.
“We waited for this perfect day to have this affair, and it has arrived,” Fritz said.
Councilman Thomas Gribbin was the first to address the crowd.
“I want to thank New Standard Senior Living for their investment in our community, and this beautiful new building right here on the White Horse Pike, which we hope will add to the expanding business community that we have here in Hammonton. We wish you much success, and, again, thank you for your investment in our town,” Gribbin said.
Gribbin was followed by Assemblyman Bill Spearman (D-5), the Deputy Whip of the New Jersey General Assembly. Spearman said that, while he loves New Jersey, “it costs a lot to live here.”
“Let’s face it; as our population gets older, not everybody has assets that they can sell to pay $8,000 a month to live in an assisted living facility. For those of us who don’t have those assets, we have a place where our seniors can age gracefully, that provides the services that they need at a reasonable price. That’s what New Standard does,” Spearman said.
New Jersey Senator Dawn Addiego (D-8) said that New Standard Senior Living of Hammonton will be “the kind of place where folks can maintain a high level of independence and quality of life; a place that fosters a culture that enriches and fulfills residents and staff.”
“Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring—all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Here, life is enriched by your commitment to the New Standard Senior Living’s value of respect for the individual,” Addiego said.
Addiego also presented Kevin Fiore, a partner with New Standard Senior Living, a resolution from the New Jersey Senate that said that this facility “is enhancing the quality of life in the neighborhood by decreasing blight and creating 150 temporary union construction jobs and full-time employment for 100 healthcare professionals.”
“Though there are 350 market rate assisted living facilities in our state, none focus on Medicaid recipients, lower income frail elderly or veterans with physical disabilities, a challenge New Standard Senior Living is addressing by providing 162 units in a state-of-the-art building, as well as nursing, dietary, pharmaceutical, social work and therapy services in an array of superb amenities, including a common space, restaurant, physical therapy rooms and an internal courtyard,” the resolution stated.
The resolution also stated that New Standard Senior Living “has established a model to emulate and set a standard of excellence toward which others might strive.”
“This house lauds New Standard Senior Living, pays tribute to the meritorious record of service and commitment demonstrated by its leaders and staff, and extends sincere best wished for the success and vigor of its new facility in Hammonton for all the years to come,” the resolution stated.
Atlantic County Commissioner-at-Large Caren Fitzpatrick (D) spoke after Addiego. She said that New Standard Senior Living is “serving a need by filling a gap” of services for people who cannot afford expensive living facilities.
“People are getting those services here: high-quality health and wellness care, mental wellness care. Nobody’s mentioned the fact that New Standard is building these units in an environmentally conscious way, with LED lighting, high-efficiency heating and materials, and we do appreciate that here in Atlantic County, where our environment is so sensitive—and we are acutely aware of that,” Fitzpatrick said.
Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler (D) echoed Fitzpatrick’s sentiments.
“It really is an incredible time for Atlantic County, for our state, when we’re actually filling a gap and meeting needs of individuals that desperately need it. Before New Standard, this population didn’t have this opportunity. Why is there a cop standing up here and talking to you? In order to create safer communities, you have to create healthier communities. I think New Standard is actually addressing that,” Scheffler said.
Scheffler was followed by Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2), who noted that facilities like New Standard Senior Living are important “as we continue to age in our country.”
“My mother, who just passed away in August, one of the things she always said to me was, ‘I want to die in my home and be comfortable.’ Thank God we had the means to do that in our family. For those who don’t have the means, this is a prayer answered to them and to their families,” Mazzeo said.
Assemblyman John Armato (D-2) said that he admired New Standard Senior Living’s commitment to senior citizens and to veterans.
“What I’m very impressed about, being a veteran, I understand that veterans have another disability that they can’t overcome, and that’s housing. In the state of New Jersey, there’s over 2,000 homeless veterans; obviously this is unacceptable. What I strive for is to not only look out for our senior citizens—me being one of them—but also look out for our veterans, so I commend you for that,” Armato said.
Fiore closed out the ceremony by expressing gratitude to the town of Hammonton.
“This town has really embraced us, and we really do appreciate it. It’s not easy to develop in the state of New Jersey, but you guys have made this process very attractive for us ... The way we financed this building was through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits, and this is the first time this type of facility was ever done in the state of New Jersey like this,” Fiore said.
Fiore thanked the guest speakers, those assembled and all those responsible for the project, but made sure to note that the most important guests were the facility’s future residents and their families.
“We really appreciate the trust that you’re putting into New Standard. To the family members, you can count on us. We will make sure your family members are cared for. We hope the housing meets all of your expectations, and I promise you that the services and the care that we provide will be everything that we told you it will be. Hopefully, we’ll be open soon and we can get your family members in very quickly,” Fiore said.
For more information about New Standard Senior Living, call (609) 541-7718 or visit newstandardsl.com.