Newly renovated East King Street residences offer chance to own a piece of history
New and revitalized properties are at the heart of Lancaster City’s ongoing renaissance, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the first two blocks of East King Street, where projects like the Lancaster Chamber building, The Excelsior and the Marriott and Fulton Bank expansions have changed the look and feel of the streetscape over the past decade.
Seven years ago, the Historic East Side Suites made their mark on the 100 block of East King Street with a massive transformation that turned three long-forgotten multi-story buildings dating to the 1850s into a mixed-use complex including storefronts, commercial space and upscale apartments.
Now, the project’s developer, Meeder Development Corp., and partner Wohlsen Construction Company is transforming the property yet again, converting the apartments into condominiums.
Today, Historic East Side, a Condominium, offers the opportunity to own not only a piece of the city’s history, but also part of a revitalized neighborhood.
In total, there are 17 residential condominium units, 14 of which will be offered for sale in 2019. In addition to the residential condominium units that are being sold, there are also seven storefronts on East King Street and two office condos that are being retained by the development entity.
“It’s not just throwing apartments into old buildings. We completely reconstructed them,” says John Meeder of Meeder Development Corp., noting the original interior work seven years ago even included replacing the floor system and, in one case, an entire front wall. “I’ve been working in the city since 1985. The first choice is never demolition. The question I like to answer is, can you make something work economically and maintain the fabric of the building?”
The tax credits used to develop the property required that the condominiums be leased for seven years.
“Since we put in really strong bones when we did the reconstruction seven or eight years ago and now that the tax credit programs have expired, we can proceed with the condominium conversion, allowing existing tenants to purchase their units, or selling them to others,” Meeder says. “The upgraded condominiums have been brought back to a high standard including new hardwood flooring, stainless-steel kitchen appliances, brand new washers and dryers, WI-Fi programmable thermostats, accent lighting and more.”
Upscale condos with broad appeal
The condos at Historic East Side are mostly two-bedroom units ranging in size from 987 to 1,872 square feet, making them attractive to retirees and those who want to downsize or simply enjoy the amenities and experience of living downtown.
Some of the condominiums are two-story units that allow for two private decks, and others are efficiently designed one-story condos. The majority of the units have their own private outdoor decks or patios. There are also two units that have the capability of adding a private rooftop deck on top of the building with an outstanding view of the city.
A limited number of units include either a private garage or a carport and are priced accordingly. Residents also have the option of purchasing additional parking lot spaces. Other features include front and rear security cameras, and refurbished common areas featuring colorized historic photos.
Of the 14 available units, half are completely refinished and move-in ready and half are in various stages of the upgrading process. Prices range from $237,000 to $550,000.
A prime location
Location is the difference-maker when it comes to real estate, and Historic East Side gives its residents a taste of both vibrant city living and peaceful seclusion thanks to its frontage on both King Street and Grant Street.
“One of the most unique aspects of this particular property is that residents park off of Grant Street and enter the buildings on the Grant Street side,” Meeder says. “The King Street side of the building is a bustling little block. The storefronts in this mixed-use property are an added bonus, offering convenient services to condominium residents as well as the greater community. But when you enter from Grant Street, during most times of the year, you are greeted by the sounds of nature. It’s just a beautiful, quiet little neighborhood. It’s like an oasis.”
Inside, the condominiums have an abundance of windows, offering plenty of light in both front and rear views – something that is often a challenge with refurbished historic warehouses that have large interior spaces but few windows, Meeder says. The design of the Historic East Side Condominiums also allows for outdoor living spaces directly attached to the units.
And, of course, the location makes for a comfortable walk to Penn Square, Lancaster Square, Central Market, restaurants and more.
“Our greatest amenity is the downtown itself,” Meeder says.
Quality and creativity
The value that comes with owning a condominium at Historic East Side is not only in its location, but also in the quality of construction and design that brought the buildings into the 21st century while maintaining their 19th-century character. Although much had to be reconstructed, pieces of their history remain, including several staircases and wood trim.
In the process of rehabilitating the property, workers for Wohlsen Construction Company discovered a piece of its own history that made its connection with the Historic East Side project even more significant. Written on the back of a door molding were the words “H Wohlsen Company,” a remnant of work the company completed on the property prior to 1900.
“It was quite a find,” Meeder says, “and very rewarding for the Wohlsen team.”
John Meeder, a Realtor and developer of downtown Lancaster properties, specializes in revitalizing and bringing back life to otherwise blighted properties. He will be happy to show you the Historic East Side Condominiums.
Own a part of history!Call 717-394-9500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment, or visit the Open House Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m. at 145 E. King St.