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Kershaw Commons – The Doors Open to the First Multiple Sclerosis Facility on the East Coast

September 15th, 2011

Kershaw Commons Community GardenSeptember 1st was an exciting day for thirty residents of the new special needs residential development Kershaw Commons in Freehold, New Jersey. This new facility was designed expressly for persons afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Developed by Regan Development Corporation, it is only the third such specialized community in the country.

The genesis of this project began with Ken Regan, Vice President of Regan Development, through his volunteer consulting work for The National MS Society. Together with the President of the NJ Chapter for MS, Mike Elkow, Ken sought to create a residential facility to provide this much needed housing alternative. The ideal site was chosen, less than a mile from CentraState Medical Center’s Multiple Sclerosis Center and the MS Wellness Center.

Kershaw Commons EntranceRegan Development retained BartonPartners because of our knowledge and capabilities in both assisted living facilities and affordable housing. All 30 units have been designed to far exceed the typical handicapped accessibility requirements. Notable design features include: 

  • Automatic key fob actuated 42” wide doors throughout
  • Accessibility clearances designed for powered scooters as well as wheelchairs
  • Every apartment has a fully accessible kitchen with roll-out pantry shelves, and roll-under sinks and countertops
  • Every apartment has a fully accessible bathroom with grab bars and roll-in shower with accessible seat and controls 

Kershaw Commons also provides common spaces that engage the needs of the residents: the Wellness Room features adapted exercise equipment, the community gardens have accessible raised planting beds, and the elevator is oversized to accommodate multiple scooters.

Kershaw Commons InteriorThe project complies with Green Futures, the sustainable green building program of the NJHMFA’s Special Needs Housing Trust Fund. This program mandates intelligent site & land use, improved air quality, moisture control, energy and resource efficiency, and water conservation.

On move-in day Ken remarked, “Working hand in hand with the MS community, the general contractor Del-Sano Contracting Corporation, and BartonPartners, we were able to address all the challenges presented in designing and building a facility such as this, and that is the reason why this building is such a success. BartonPartners’  creative, knowledgeable, and collaborative approach made the design process  smooth and productive for both the developer and the residents.”