As part of the Wilbur Chocolate Factory redevelopment, Pleasant View Communities is introducing The Lofts at Lititz—a satellite 55+ community. The location, in the thriving downtown of Lititz, Pennsylvania, shares the former factory complex site with a boutique hotel, marketplace, restaurant and luxury condominiums.
Downtown Hybrid Homes
Minutes from the main campus, the Lofts will offer access to all Pleasant View amenities and services, including its full range of at home and inpatient healthcare services. Residents of the 32-unit hybrid apartment building are just steps away from town parks, restaurants, shops, and special events. Additionally, The Lofts building has a gathering area on each floor including a fitness center, library, and business center. Under building parking is a plus for this micro-urban site, which also works well for the rooftop amenity featuring an outdoor kitchen and seating areas with birds-eye views of the downtown.
Respecting the Site’s History
The Lofts building is designed to emulate the reinvented factory structure using a consistent architectural language and materials so that when completed it will seem as though it has always been there. This building, which replaces former open surface parking, will help the Wilbur complex create a continuous streetscape and further engage with the downtown. Painted stenciled signage on the brick façade will echo the Wilbur Chocolate mark on the original building. Likewise, the residences will maintain an industrial aesthetic, featuring exposed brick walls, wooden beams and flooring, and open floor plans.
Part of Mixed-Use Development
Shared resources such as overflow parking, site utilities, and services maximize the limited site area and ease the impact of these additions into the town. Reinvention of the decommissioned, 100+ year old, chocolate factory complex into a multi-use development will provide an appealing, downtown senior living model that functions as a good architectural neighbor to the well-established fabric of downtown Lititz.Learn More About Hybrid Homes
The first of their kind in Florida, the Emerald Terraces introduced a new hybrid housing model to the Village on the Isle campus. The Emerald Terraces have parking on the ground floor, as well as covered sidewalk access to community center amenities. Each residence functions as a corner unit with multi-directional views and the added benefit of private lanais without visual or noise distractions from neighbors.
A Community within a Community
Each hybrid building includes a top floor community room for residents to gather together or entertain guests. The main clubroom area features a flexible great room space with a catering kitchen, comfortable seating, tables, stackable chairs and a large screen television. A sliding barn door leads into a modest fitness room that provides residents with easy access to wellness equipment. Retractable walls in both the clubroom and fitness area provide a seamless outdoor connection and enable events to spill out onto the large outdoor deck.
Age-Friendly Design for Hybrid Homes
Each building has 23 one- and two-bedroom residences ranging from approximately 1,250 square feet to 1,600 square feet of living space in an open floor plan. The residences are carefully detailed in accordance with universal design principles for people of varying ages and abilities without compromising the upscale residential design aesthetic. Accessibility, from door clearances to space templates, is designed into all homes to accommodate active residents, those who require assistance from a spouse or caregiver, and those who utilize wheelchairs or scooters to maintain their independent mobility. Supportive features such as elevated vanities and extra blocking in walls to accommodate shower grab rails, if needed, are discreetly integrated into the contemporary design.
Sustainable Design Features
Energy efficient, hurricane impact-resident windows and doors, continuous insulation, LED lighting and energy star appliances are just a few of the features built into the homes. Low or zero emitting floor coverings, paints, adhesives and composite woods have been specified as well as recycled content and regionally extracted and manufactured materials. Locating parking on the first floor under the homes offers the additional benefits of less impervious surface space being needed.
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RLPS really takes an owner’s position in the planning and design process—they took the time to understand our needs way before “putting a pencil to any paper.”
Joel Anderson, CEO
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
Hybrid Homes 2.0
Wallick Communities wanted to add a new independent living component to the Oakleaf Village of Toledo community, comprised of a recently introduced memory care residence and a 1980s era building providing licensed residential living and assisted living. The new housing needed to meet consumer expectations for abundant daylight, open floor plans and covered parking while maintaining affordability for older adults in this Midwestern working class area. And it had to fit on a 1.46 acre site. The design result is two parallel hybrid home apartment buildings with a connected dining pavilion between them. These three buildings form The Crescent, a micro-community for active seniors that is securing HUD financing to provide affordable rental housing.
The smaller size of the individual hybrid home buildings compared to a traditional apartment building allowed for more economical wood-frame construction. The individual apartments are relatively small, ranging from 842 to 1,156 square feet, yet the design maintains marketable features such as open floor plans and wood-look luxury vinyl tile in the main living spaces to make the spaces feel larger and spacious tile shower with frameless glass door systems to help maximize the experience of the modest size bathroom. Private garage parking and carport options are available for a separate fee which helps keep the base costs down.
Integrating Amenities for Market Appeal
Recognizing that the minimal amenities in the existing building would not appeal to today’s consumers, the design team was challenged to create a community-within-a-community. Each upper floor of the hybrid apartment buildings incorporates a different activity area including a woodshop, arts and crafts room, and a beauty shop, as well as fitness centers in both buildings and an employee lounge. The main lobby, a dining venue and living room comprise the pavilion building, which can be accessed from inside the hybrid homes or through an exterior landscaped courtyard. The compact 814 square foot living room features a large fireplace and is equipped with a portable bar, projector/screen and flexible seating to allow for a host of educational seminars, cultural and social events and informal gatherings. The dining room is modestly sized at 1,445 square feet and features a bar, multiple types of seating and a coffee station. Both the dining and living spaces open up to a patio, allowing events to flow through both areas.
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Community Front Door
Located in the heart of campus and visible from the adjacent roadway, the new Learning and Wellness Center fills the need for a community front door. Designed to be a bustling center of activity where connections flourish, the main floor houses a bistro and lounge, art gallery, salon and spa, business center, bank, pharmacy, and auditorium to support the community’s Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning® classes and other educational and entertainment programs. Spiritual wellness is encouraged in The Quiet Place, a series of small rooms for meditation. The new center also allowed for a consolidation of administrative offices into one central location.
Fitness spaces are located on the ground floor. This includes a four-lane lap and therapy pool and a spa pool with natural lighting, a state-of-the-art cardio and strength training room with equipment designed for an active aging population and a wellness studio to support group classes.
The Crossings Apartments provide an indoor connection to community amenities and feature a mix of one bedroom plus den, two bedroom and two bedroom plus den apartments ranging from 1,253 to 1,569 square feet. Open floor plans, natural light and abundant storage were the priorities for these residences. This project also includes an interior pedestrian bridge over the campus drive to provide an interior connection between the health care buildings and this campus hub.Learn more about Wellness
Higher density replacement housing
The Parkview replaces aging existing cottages with a desirable higher density independent living option. Each three-story, 17-residence hybrid home is made up of units ranging from 600 to 1600 square feet. The balconies for individual residences are carefully positioned to maintain privacy and views. Parking is provided on the ground floor which also includes two moderately priced efficiency apartment options. Sitting areas on the residential floors provide additional spaces for casual interactions.Learn More About Hybrid Homes
Bring In Outside Community
Renovation of a former café created Health and Harrow—a restaurant, private dining room, bistro, coffee bar, and outdoor patio—to enhance campus life and help to bring the outside community into Pleasant View. This not only provides an additional dining venue for a town that has limited restaurant options, but the extra income also helps to maintain – and even increase – Pleasant View’s benevolence to its residents.
Large storefront windows replace bay windows and a rarely used vestibule just off the patio has been repurposed as two dining alcoves in the front of the bistro. Outdoor connections are highlighted with expanded windows, many with sills less than a foot above the ground, patio dining with a variety of seating options, and a renovated fountain featuring work by a local sculptor.
Hearth and Harrow highlights its local agrarian setting via hand-cut local tiles, local art, textured glass panels from a local glass supplier, reclaimed barn wood, and Edison bulbs inspired by nearby family farms. The name highlights the signature hearth feature and connects back to Pleasant View’s heritage of the family farm reflecting an operational goal to partner with local, Lancaster County food vendors and bring the Farm-to-Table movement to the community.
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
Traditional Neighborhood Development: Pedestrian Friendly, Varied Housing Options, Downtown Connections
Since its founding, Moravian Manor has operated under the premise of blending seamlessly into the surrounding town rather than creating its own insular community. The downtown location became a challenge as the community has thrived and needed room to grow. The purchase of a nearby 72 acre property paved the way for the Warwick Woodlands community.
The design of Warwick Woodlands reflects Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) principles that respond to consumer preferences for an interconnected community—engaging rather than isolating residents from the existing townscape.
Key features are varied types of housing, courtyards and public spaces, and a network of pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks. The first phase included ten freestanding two-story townhomes, 70 duplex carriage homes, and The Woods Building comprised of 56 apartments, bistro, lounge and game room. The limited on-site amenities reflect the intention that the active adult residents will avail themselves of the many resources nearby. Membership to the Lititz Recreation Center is included in the monthly fee and everything else, such as dining and housecleaning, is a la carte so that residents choose the services that fit their lifestyle.
The goal of strengthening connections to the town rather than creating an inward-focused campus resulted in the bistro being open to the public for all meals, as well as design measures to integrate the community into the existing context.
The diverse housing mix has no duplicate materials combinations among the 80 residences, includes minimal signage beyond the required street signs and features direct connections to the Lititz borough streets and sidewalk network. The Woods apartments building façade creates a design aesthetic of interconnected buildings along the streetscape. Landscaped medians further enhance the main street while aiding in traffic calming since the final phase will connect two major arteries running through the town. These measures were a major “selling point” in the Borough’s acceptance of several zoning variances including allowances for higher density residential models.
Apartment residents have access to under-building parking and a rooftop amenity added late in the design process to enhance pre-sales initiatives. The resulting flat roof area nestles between two gables at the main street for views in multiple directions. Mechanical equipment screening acknowledges that there is no “back door” for the building. Phase 2 additional housing is currently under construction and continues the initial premise of integrating the homes into the surrounding townscape.
Award: Senior Housing News Architecture and Design Awards Winner, Independent Living
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
The Villas at RiverMead provide a new hybrid homes™ option that complements the existing cottages and apartments. Taking advantage of the site contours so that the parking level is tucked into the hillside, the four-story hybrid buildings reinforce the residential scale of the campus.
The two buildings include 12 corner villas, four on each floor. Each villa, with its open-concept design and corner orientation, is thoughtfully planned for maximum flow and light. Other features include fireplaces, walk-in closets, laundry rooms and open kitchens. A modest gathering area is included on each floor to provide opportunities for social connections among residents.Learn More About Hybrid Homes
Willow Valley challenged the design team to envision an upscale apartment model that would reflect the community’s high standards for sophisticated spaces that would appeal to active adults. Supportive design was not to be obtained at the expense of a gracious sense of vitality.
The five-story apartment community occupies a prime hilltop location allowing for underground parking as well as commanding views toward the city of Lancaster on one side and surrounding farmland on the other side. The 53 luxury residences are spacious, light-filled apartment homes featuring oversized windows, fireplaces and built-in casework. Generous spaces for gathering and entertaining include a 360 degree rooftop terrace, dining room, library, community meeting rooms and a catering kitchen for residents to use for private parties.
Award: Senior Housing News, Architectural Design Awards, Independent Living Category Winner
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
Renovations included updating the building’s original façade and adding a pergola for a more inviting entry experience and contemporary aesthetic for a consistent exterior vernacular for the community. The 96,000-square-foot addition resulted in 60 new apartment homes, bringing the total number of residences on the campus to 158.
Awards: Publication in Environments for Aging Design Showcase
Photography credit: 2015 Gregory Benson