More than 500 housing units proposed for Lancaster City in three new projects

Cris Collingwood//May 19, 2022

More than 500 housing units proposed for Lancaster City in three new projects

Cris Collingwood//May 19, 2022

Plans for two housing projects and a retirement community were presented to the Lancaster City Planning Commission Wednesday night, potentially adding more than 500 housing options for residents. 

Proposed development for Queen and Frederick streets in Lancaster. Photo by Cris Collingwood

Willow Valley Communities presented its final lot consolidation and land development plan for a retirement facility. 

The 20-story building to be located at 17 W. Vine St. will have 146 independent living apartments along with amenities including a pool, ballroom and restaurant for residents. 

Craig Smith, principal for RGS Associates Inc., architects for the project, outlined the final plans for the project across Vine Street from Southern Market. He said he is hoping for conditional approval at next month’s meeting. 

The building will replace the vacant former LNP Group building and will connect residents to Steinman Park, allowing access to Central Market.  

The historic Yeates House, 24-26 S. Queen St., will be incorporated into the project, Smith said. 

Final Land Development plans for 244 residential units, a medical building and a parking garage in the 500 block between Prince and Queen streets were presented by Hankin Group and Lancaster General Health.  

The project, to be built, owned and managed by Harkin Group, combines nine parcels into two larger lots with a three-story 32,833-square-foot medical building to be leased by LGH, a four-story multi-family building with a pool in the courtyard, a five-story multi-family building with retail space and a parking garage. 

The project includes renovation of a tavern and carriage house on Prince Street. Neal Fisher, vice president of engineering for Harkins Group, said the four-story building was designed so as not to overshadow the tavern, keeping the historic property visible.  

The residential units for this project will be leased for between $1,000 to $2,500 a month, he said, depending on the size of the unit. The buildings will offer efficiencies, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. 

Maxine Cook, a member of the Planning Commission, expressed concern that no affordable housing was included in the project. Fisher said he is all for affordable housing, but this project is not intended for that purpose.  

Bureau Chief of Planning Doug Smith pointed out that the city needs all types of housing and said the project offers the city a lot. “The historic preservation measure makes this project special,” he said. 

Final approval was granted. 

Another residential plan for 202 N. Queen St. was presented for informational purposes. The plan calls for a 12-story, 142 residential unit building with 2,800-square-feet of retail space on the Chestnut Street side. The original plans, which called for a 14-story building, has since been redesigned.  

ELA Inc. Hopes to submit final plans for the property in the coming months.