Ten years ago, Lisa Lanterman found herself at a crossroads. Recently widowed and living with multiple sclerosis, she knew she could no longer keep up with the house that she and her husband had shared in Conestoga Woods, just three blocks from the river. She needed an apartment.
A Realtor friend suggested Lanterman check out Steeple View Lofts, a charmingly repurposed tobacco warehouse at 118 N. Water St. in downtown Lancaster. The building, operated by Landis Communities, is home to 36 one- and two-bedroom residences for those 55 and over.
“As soon as she opened the door, I knew it was perfect for me,” Lanterman says.
That initial assessment still holds true today in ways Lanterman could never have imagined when she first set foot in her new third-floor home almost a decade ago.
In keeping with the building’s industrial chic character, Lanterman’s loft-style apartment, like all those at Steeple View, features exposed brick walls and ductwork and oversized windows — a reminder of the building’s historic past.
“They’ve kept as much of the old look as possible,” she says. “I love the old beams. I just love the loft look, the big windows where you can look out. When it’s a sunny day, the sun comes in. It's just a beautiful apartment.”
Lanterman has one of several ADA-compliant apartments at Steeple View. While she had more mobility when she first moved in, she anticipated the challenges to come.
“I knew I would need it eventually,” she says. “My dad had MS so I knew what living with MS was going to become. When I was diagnosed it was maybe two years that I started having serious issues and I had to use a walker. That ended about a couple months ago.”
Now in a wheelchair and largely homebound, Lanterman is still adjusting emotionally to her new normal but she’s continually thankful for the decision she made to move to Steeple View Lofts. From the lower countertops and closet shelves right down to the peephole in the door, the apartment has helped ease her transition into a wheelchair.
“They’ve got everything checked off,” she says. “I’m blessed to be able to still be in my apartment and not have to go into a care facility. … As long as I’m able to take care of myself and stay here in my apartment I’m happy. That’s how much I enjoy Steeple View Lofts.”
All residents at Steeple View also have access to Landis at Home, a licensed home care agency that is part of Landis Communities and offers personal care services, transportation and wellness support.
Starting in early 2023, Landis at Home will be offering a care navigator at Steeple View Lofts whose services will be personalized to meet the unique needs of each resident. The care navigator will be a trusted adviser to residents and families as seniors age, connecting them to resources and supporting their overall wellness.
Perhaps most valuable to Lanterman, however, has been the sense of community at Steeple View Lofts. From holiday gatherings to game nights to resident-planned events, there are plenty of opportunities to socialize within the building's walls. Each floor also has a common area — two floors have lounges with Wi-Fi, TV and a library, and the third has exercise equipment. A second-floor deck is also a popular gathering spot.
But for Lanterman, her Steeple View community has been more than simply a social outlet.
“I still have a lot of good friends around me, including all the wonderful people that live here,” she says. “They're all more than kind, caring. They know all about me. Everyone is … always asking if I need help. There’s not one unkind person here. It’s just a great place to live.”
Lanterman has found at least one way to show her gratitude to all her wonderful neighbors. Every morning, when a stack of the day’s edition of LNP is delivered to the lobby, Lanterman picks them up in her power chair and delivers them to each apartment.
“I’ve been doing it now for at least eight years and the residents are so grateful for just a newspaper to be dropped off at their door,” she says. “After 63 years, I finally have a paper route.”
In addition to their own tight-knit community, the residents also have the vibrant downtown community right outside their door. Steeple View Lofts is not only within easy walking distance of the Fulton Theatre and Central Market, but also Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse and a host of downtown galleries, shops and restaurants. Even closer, Miesse Candies and Ice Cream Parlor is on the first floor of the building.
There are no entrance fees, maintenance fees or association fees at Steeple View Lofts. One month’s deposit is required. An in-unit washer/dryer is included along with other appliances, and pets are welcome. Residents are responsible for electricity, cable, phone and internet.