Sight & Sound Theater in Strasburg Township will soon have some new neighbors.
Keystone Custom Homes Inc., one of the region’s biggest homebuilders, expects to move forward next year with construction of a mixed-use development called Hartman Bridge Village off Route 896, across the street from the theater.
“Things are starting to percolate there,” CEO Jeff Rutt said of the 11-acre project, which has been in the works for more than a decade.
The final plan has conditional approval from the township. The development will include more than 40,000 square feet of retail shops, restaurants and various commercial enterprises, plus 107 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
“We’re definitely looking at spring as a feasible date to have apartments and the retail in line,” Rutt said.
LMS Commercial Real Estate is seeking tenants for the commercial space. The company’s marketing materials suggest the site would be ideal for restaurants, a dry cleaning service, financial institutions, fitness clubs and professional and medical offices, among other uses.
Hartman Bridge Village will be comparable to Keystone’s recently completed Worthington community in Manheim Township, Rutt said. “It will have very strong curb appeal and be a walkable community. We tried to respect the architecture of Strasburg.”
That area is among the busiest places in Lancaster County for tourists with an estimated 900,000 visitors annually. In addition to being near the theater, the area also is minutes away from the Strasburg Rail Road and Rockvale Outlets.
Moving forward, Rutt said smaller mixed-use projects like Hartman Bridge could be good models for future development by the company.
“It evens out the highs and lows as the housing market goes up and down,” he said. “It gives us more stability with retail and residential income.”
However, he expects construction of for-sale homes will continue to pick up as existing market inventory remains “tight” in the region.
Rutt said he doesn’t expect rising mortgage rates will dramatically impact the housing market in 2017.
“There is a lot of optimism in the air,” Rutt added. “Buyer and builder confidence is the highest that it’s been.”