Historic East Side offers best of both worlds

East King Street condos a quiet oasis in heart of downtown; open Sunday, March 17, from 1-3

The common areas and hallways of Historic East Side condominiums are lined with colorized black-and-white photographs that capture the East King Street of yesteryear — from everyday hustle and bustle to crowd-drawing events like a 1902 circus parade.

More than simply decorative art for these modernized residences in the 100 block of East King Street, the photographs serve as a celebration of the buildings’ history and a vibrant city thoroughfare — two of the many qualities that make Historic East Side condominiums an attractive place to live.

The condominiums, a project of Meeder Development Corp. and partner Wohlsen Construction Company, are part of a mixed-use complex born eight years ago from the transformation of three long-forgotten buildings dating to the mid-1850s.

The original complex included storefronts, commercial space and upscale apartments. A second transformation is currently underway, converting those apartments into condominiums.

An open house today from 1 to 3 p.m. will showcase the new residences.

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.

“We think this is a treasure downtown,” says John Meeder of Meeder Development Corp.

Part of the appeal of Historic East Side condominiums is the fact that they offer residents the convenience of living in a bustling part of downtown Lancaster that has enjoyed renewed vibrancy in recent years, thanks to projects like The Excelsior, the Lancaster Chamber building, and the Fulton Bank and Marriott expansions. The location is also a short walk from Central Market, restaurants, galleries and more.

At the same time, life at Historic East Side can feel far removed from that hustle and bustle, if you want it to be.

One of Meeder’s favorite experiences at Historic East Side is standing on the Grant Street side of the complex, where residents park and enter. On a pleasant spring-like afternoon, with no traffic in sight, the only sound you can hear is birds chirping.

“It’s an oasis in the middle of something that’s really busy,” he says.

Inside, the feeling is much the same, thanks to solid brick walls, one of few remnants of a nearly complete structural rebuild that even included replacing the floors.

“It was truly a rescue,” Meeder says of the buildings’ transformation. “Now with the structural components, our goal is to have almost everything you touch new.”

The other advantage of such a complete transformation: The developers were able to design the residences for maximum efficiency.

“They’re all different,” he says. “Every one of them has its own charm.”

The condos at Historic East Side are mostly two-bedroom units ranging in size from 987 to 1,827 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 featuring easy-to-maintain vinyl-based flooring. 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.

“We have outdoor space and we have parking,” Meeder says. “That’s two of the main things people look for.”

Of course, the condominiums have a host of sought-after indoor amenities as well, like hardwood floors, granite countertops, all-new stainless steel appliances, ceramic tile baths, high-efficiency heat and gas cooking, an abundance of closet space, and 9- to 12-foot ceilings. Popular open floor plans include large kitchen islands with bar seating in a variety of configurations.

Unlike refurbished historic warehouse residences, which offer lots of interior space but limited windows, Historic East Side has an architectural footprint that features plenty of exterior walls and an abundance of natural light.

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 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.

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 john@meedcor.com for an appointment, or visit the Open House Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m. at 145 E. King St., or enter from the rear parking lot located off East Grant Street, between North Duke and North Lime streets.