Willow Valley Communities Announces Plans for First Urban Location

June 20, 2019

LANCASTER, PAWillow Valley Communities announced plans for a multi-story, “mixed-use” building that will be built on the site of the former Lancaster Newspapers Production Building in downtown Lancaster. The building will be an expansion of Willow Valley Communities’ existing operations in Lancaster County, and it will be the organization’s first urban development.

The building will feature up to 150 age-qualified residences for people aged 55 and above, offering a new option to the growing number of active adults who want to live in a city. The building will also feature private residential amenities, as well as street-level amenities that will be open to the public, including restaurants and retail venues.

“Ever since U.S. News & World Report designated Lancaster as the #1 place to retire in the United States, there has been a national spotlight on our city,” said John Swanson, CEO of Willow Valley Living, the management company for Willow Valley Communities. “We are thrilled to be building our first urban community in our own hometown and to offer the Willow Valley Communities experience in a downtown setting.”

In addition to the new residential building, Willow Valley Communities also announced that it will partner with Lancaster Equity Community Development Corp. to revitalize a neighboring structure—Lancaster’s Southern Market—one of the City’s architectural and cultural gems, which has been mostly dormant for the past several years. Both property sites are located at the intersection of Lancaster’s Queen and Vine Streets.

“The proposed restoration of Southern Market will feature a bustling food hall, and other amenities will only enhance the downtown living experience for our future residents as well as City residents and visitors to downtown Lancaster,” Swanson said.

The new residential building is in the preliminary planning process. Timeline and details will be established once plans are approved, and construction is expected to take approximately two years from project approval.

Willow Valley Communities is one of the nation’s leading retirement development organizations, and its communities are home to more than 2,400 residents from 37 states. Located in Lancaster, PA—the #1 place to retire, according to U.S. News & World Report—Willow Valley Communities offers beautifully designed homes, resort-quality amenities, and the assurance of Lifecare. Now in its 35th year of operation, Willow Valley Communities is one of only five communities of its type in the U.S. to score an “A” or better from Fitch Ratings.

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