55-plus apartments boast character, location and sense of community
Sometimes it’s a good thing when dreams don’t exactly come true. Just ask Joyce Kamm.
After the death of her husband, Kamm, 70, decided she needed to downsize from the spacious 2,100-square-foot condo they shared in West Lampeter Township’s River Bend Park.
“The house suddenly felt too big,” she recalls. “I kept trying to adjust … but couldn’t get away from the feeling that someone else should be enjoying the spaciousness of it.”
Then, while on a retreat with people from various states last fall, she introduced herself and shared her plans:
“I grew up on a farm south of Lancaster and I need to move because my house is too big,” she told the group. “My dream is to live in a little cottage in the woods.”
A gentleman who grew up on a farmette and had recently moved to Lancaster city was also on that retreat. He suggested Kamm might want to give city life some thought.
“It suddenly dawned on me that I volunteered in the city with the Anchorage (breakfast) program, went to a Bible study at First Presbyterian Church and services Saturday nights at St. James Episcopal,” she says. “My life was in the city. So, why not live there?”
Earlier this year, Kamm traded in that dream of a cottage in the woods for an industrial chic apartment in Steeple View Lofts, a charmingly repurposed 125-year-old tobacco warehouse at 118 N. Water St.
She’s never looked back.
Living at Steeple View Lofts, a 55-plus Landis Communities residence, means she no longer has the financial worries of homeownership. But for Kamm, it’s the building’s character, residents and location that make it so special.
“I loved it as soon as I saw the high ceilings, industrial look and huge windows allowing lots of natural light,” she says. “I also fell in love with the views from those windows — all the angles of different rooftops, beautiful architecture of St. John’s Lutheran Church, the view of multiple church steeples and the nighttime view of city lights, the Griest Building in particular.
“I like the views that are part of living ‘above’ the city.”
Steeple View Lofts features 36 one- and two-bedroom apartments on three floors. Each floor has a common area — two floors have lounges with Wi-Fi, TV and a library, and the third has exercise equipment. A second-floor deck is a popular spot on summer evenings.
Kamm often finds herself in one of those areas, whether it’s for monthly game nights or if she has difficulty sleeping in the wee hours of the morning.
She says she found it surprisingly easy to downsize to a 740-square-foot one-bedroom apartment, partly because Steeple View Lofts has been so accommodating to her needs and tastes.
“Several times when I made requests, the staff said, ‘This is your home. We want you to add your personal touch,’ “ she recalls.
They replaced her walk-in shower with a tub to relieve her restless leg syndrome. She’s also had the apartment repainted in a warm, soothing color that makes it feel more like home.
“I love the coziness of a small place. Everything is so convenient,” Kamm says. “Each apartment even has its own washer and dryer. I have all I need.”
“It’s residents, like Joyce, that make Steeple View Lofts a special place,” says Vice President of Community Initiatives Evon Bergey. “Residents each have fascinating stories and add their own special touch to the community. “
All residents at Steeple View Lofts also have access to Landis at Home, a program of Landis Communities offering personal care services, transportation and wellness support.
As for adjusting to city life? Kamm says she loves the fact that she is around people every day, and that she can walk out her door and find something of interest in any direction, whether it’s the Fulton Theatre, Central Market, or the host of art galleries and restaurants.
The recent opening of Bravo Supermarket, within walking distance on West King Street, has made grocery shopping even easier, too. “I discovered that if I spend $40 or more, they will deliver me and my groceries back to Steeple View, and even unload them into a cart provided by Steeple View,” she says. “It doesn’t get any better than that!”
And thanks to a fellow Steeple View Lofts resident, Kamm even found a part-time job as an office manager for a local drug and alcohol counseling service.
“It’s a wonderful place to live,” Kamm says of Steeple View Lofts. “My life has definitely changed for the better. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d become a ‘city girl.’ “
Rent at Steeple View Lofts starts at about $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,500 for a two-bedroom apartment. Parking and appliances are included, and pets are welcome.
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.
To schedule a tour of Steeple View Lofts, call 717-413-0078 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.