Adaptive reuse comes to the 'burbs – in the form of a sports complex
I was excited to read the latest news regarding the interestingly named Spooky Nook sports complex rising in East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County. The place is simply HUGE – in its former life it was an Armstrong World Industries distribution center, but now it shapes up to be the largest indoor sports complex in the country.
Although the scope of the thing is out of this world, what most impresses me is the simple idea that developer Sam Beiler had to reuse a facility past its prime in a way that captures where culture is today. Anyone who has kids in sports knows what I'm talking about (hey, I coached my kids' baseball team this year). Sports fields are in high demand throughout Central Pa., especially nice ones. Again, parents know what I mean.
Spooky Nook (named after the area the facility is in, BTW) is taking a real estate development theme that usually focuses on the historic downtowns of the region and literally bringing it to the 'burbs. The nearly 600,000-square-foot building will be about 50 percent reused in the first phase opening approximately March 2012. Tons of sports fields plus rec and play areas, a full sports medicine facility in cooperation with Lancaster Orthopedic Associates and lots of amenities – not hard to imagine with all that space to utilize.
As someone who appreciates reuse efforts in real estate, from saving farmhouses and barns to reimagining city lofts and warehouses, this project is after my own heart. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services, based in Lancaster City, with 10 offices in eight Central Pennsylvania counties. Jeff lives in East Petersburg, where he also serves as mayor. Jeff has been actively involved in local government and business and has been used as a source by local, regional and national publications.