Options for senior living
Associated with Landis Communities, Steeple View Lofts is a new 55-and- older community on Water Street in Lancaster. By Paula Wolf, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Tired of the work involved in owning a home, Julia Kohler is ready for apartment living.
She's also determined to remain in Lancaster city.
Mrs. Kohler, whose late husband owned a business in Lancaster, has lived in the city most of her life. So as soon as she learned that Landis Communities and a Pittsburgh developer were going to turn the former Radel & Stauffer location at 118 N. Water St. into Steeple View Lofts, she decided to check it out.
In a few months, Mrs. Kohler will be among the first residents in the new apartments, for renters 55 and older. She knows several other women who will be moving there, too.
"I think it's been very well done," she said of the project.
Also, "it's a wonderful location" that will allow her to walk to art galleries, Lancaster Central Market and other downtown attractions, Mrs. Kohler said.
Steeple View Lofts features 36 units -- with rent packages from $900 to $1,600 a month -- on the upper three floors of the brick building, while the first floor will be occupied by Miesse Candies and the heART of Friendship ART Gallery.
The $9.5 million project is being jointly developed by Landis Communities, an umbrella organization that includes Landis Homes Retirement Community and other entities, and Pittsburgh's Zamagias Properties, which purchased the building last year from the John Staherski estate.
For years, Landis Communities has been aware that seniors want more living options, and that residing in Lancaster city is one of those, said Larry Guengerich, director of communications and church relations.
So when the opportunity arose to collaborate with Zamagias, it made perfect sense, he said.
Landis Communities is master leasing the top three floors -- about 10,000 square feet each -- from Zamagias, and will then lease the apartments to the tenants, Guengerich said.
Residents of Steeple View Lofts will be able to access Landis at Home, should they need home-based health care services, he said.
The 19th-century structure that houses Steeple View Lofts was once the Osborn and Co. silver-plating factory, Guengerich said. While the first floor was most recently Radel & Stauffer giftware -- now at 332 N. Queen St. -- the upper levels of the building were vacant for some time, he said.
The project utilized historic preservation tax credits as well as the New Market Tax Credit Program. EGStoltzfus is the general contractor, LeFevre Funk Architects Inc. is the architect, and RGS Associates Inc. is the site planner.
The building's exterior looks largely the same, with some improvements added -- including new thermal-pane aluminum replacement windows.
Most of the brick inside was already painted, and the first residents who move in get a choice of colors for repainting, Guengerich said.
Steeple View Lofts consists of 24 one-bedroom apartments, from about 650-700 square feet, and 12 two-bedroom units, from 950-1,000 square feet. All have 12-foot ceilings, and the second and third floor units boast exposed beams. Three rentals -- one on each floor -- are specially designed for handicapped access.
Every apartment floor has its own community room, too.
While rents range from $900 to $1,600, most units are from $1,000 to $1,500.
The rent includes "everything but electric and cable,' said Daryl Peifer, director of business development for Landis Communities.
Rents also cover the cost of a space in the Water Street Parking Garage. A tenant who doesn't need the space will receive a rent deduction, he said.
Pets are welcome, too -- except for reptiles.
Each apartment features a separate heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, Peifer said.
Kitchens are equipped with a refrigerator, dishwasher, flat-top stove, microwave and garbage disposal.
The apartments are well-equipped, but the intention is not to install expensive amenities such as Sub-Zero refrigerators, Guengerich said.
It's to take advantage of the downtown location.
"People want to walk to the Fulton [Theatre], to Central Market, to the Ware Center," he said. Local merchants also have been very supportive of the project, Guengerich said.
Nine of the apartments are rented, and the residents-to-be will gather at a "meet-and-mingle" April 9. A model unit at Steeple View Lofts will soon be open to the public.
For a tour of Steeple View Lofts, call Daryl Peifer at 413-0078.