Downtown’s restaurants, shops and more at doorstep of 55-plus apartments
For Don Marquez and Linda Cooke, downtown Lancaster is a long way from home. But thanks to Steeple View Lofts, it has become just like home.
Marquez grew up on Long Island and spent 45 years living and working in Indiana. Cooke grew up in New Jersey and lived in the South for more than three decades.
Both decided to plant new roots in Lancaster city in order to be closer to their grown children. And both chose Steeple View Lofts, a charmingly repurposed 125-year-old tobacco warehouse at 118 N. Water St. that is now home to rental apartments for those aged 55 and over.
Steeple View Lofts, a Landis Communities residence, features 36 one- and two-bedroom apartments on three floors.
For both Marquez and Cooke, Steeple View Lofts was not only a drastic change in location, but also lifestyle.
In rural Indiana, Marquez’s closest neighbors were 200 to 300 yards away.
“I lived out in the sticks for the last 45 years,” he says. “If I had to go anywhere other than the mailbox I had to get in the car.”
Cooke spent the last 30-plus years in the suburbs. “This is my first city experience,” she says.
With a vibrant downtown right at their doorstep, the experience has been a great one so far, they say. From Steeple View, Marquez notes, it’s an easy walk to Central Market or one of the many downtown art galleries.
Also contributing to the vibrancy are the first-floor tenants of this mixed-use building: the Miesse Candies factory and the Friendship Heart Gallery, which showcases the work of artists with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Then, of course, there are the restaurants — perhaps On Orange for breakfast, Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie for lunch, and The Loft or Citronelle for dinner — all within a five-minute walk.
“You could go out to lunch and dinner every night and it would take forever to get through all the restaurants,” Cooke says.
You don’t have to tell that to Dave Bauman. He’s lived in Lancaster since the early 1980s. It just so happened that Steeple View Lofts opened right around the time he sold his city home four years ago.
“When I saw this place and where it was located, I thought I’d give it a try,” Bauman says of Steeple View. “I didn’t think I was going to stay, but I have.”
Living at Steeple View Lofts allows him to enjoy the benefits of city life without the headaches of homeownership, he says. And when he misses his herb garden, he simply walks to Central Market.
“I view downtown Lancaster as an extension of where I live. That is part of my home,” Bauman says. “Every day I check and see what’s going on.”
It might be a Story Slam at Tellus360, live music at Marion Court Room, a Lancaster Barnstormers game or simply a meet-up with friends.
All three acknowledge that they could enjoy many of these downtown benefits living at other locations in the city. But Steeple View Lofts, they say, is special.
“It’s more than the city,” Cooke says. “It’s this place.”
Each floor has a common area — one with a piano and TV, another with exercise equipment, one with games and puzzles — to encourage socializing. A second-floor deck is a popular spot on summer evenings. There are card groups, potlucks and a host of spontaneous gatherings.
“It’s small enough that it lends itself to a sense of community,” Marquez says.
Indeed, most residents not only know one another but look out for one another, too. As an age 55-plus community, Steeple View Lofts is home to a wide range of ages, from those like Bauman, who are still working, to others approaching 90.
“Everybody here, I think, moved here partly because it’s perceived as a community of people,” Bauman says.
This is what Landis Communities was envisioning when it created Steeple View Lofts. Vice President of Community Initiatives Evon Bergey says, “As we listened to stakeholders, we heard two common themes: a desire to experience city living as well as a desire for living options that incorporated community.”
Of course, the loft-style apartments themselves are part of the attraction, too. Ranging in size from 670 to 1,000 square feet, each unit features an open kitchen and living area, with high ceilings, exposed brick walls and large windows that offer an impressive view of the city.
All residents have access to Landis at Home, a program of Landis Communities offering personal care services, transportation and wellness support.
Rent starts at about $1,100 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,400 for a two-bedroom apartment. All appliances are included, and pets are welcome. Rent for each apartment also includes enclosed parking in the Water Street Garage.
One month’s deposit is required. There are no entrance fees, maintenance fees or association fees. Residents are responsible for electricity, cable, phone and Internet.
For more information, visit steepleviewlofts.com. To schedule a tour of Steeple View Lofts, call 413-0078 or email email@example.com.