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Work moving ahead on 87-unit Pond on Fulling Mill, for those 55 and older, in Lower Swatara Township

By Laura Hayes

Posted 11/6/19

By Laura Hayes

It’s been three years since the Lower Swatara Board of Commissioners approved the final land development plan for phase one of the Pond on …

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Work moving ahead on 87-unit Pond on Fulling Mill, for those 55 and older, in Lower Swatara Township


By Laura Hayes

It’s been three years since the Lower Swatara Board of Commissioners approved the final land development plan for phase one of the Pond on Fulling Mill.

The Pond on Fulling Mill is a 55-and-older housing development with 87 units on a 16-acre site on the corner of Nissley Drive and Fulling Mill Road.

The developers Sierra’s Glen Partners V LP broke ground on the project two years ago, but over the past several months, work has sped up.

Three model town homes have been under construction since June, and Ian Castaneira, Sierra’s Glen Partners V LP managing member, said he’s hoping to be ready for the official open house the second week of November, although people can tour the models while they’re under construction.

As of Oct. 24, the model that the Press & Journal toured was painted, and Castaneira was anticipating that cabinets would be installed soon and workers were tiling the bathrooms.

Castaneira used to own a stock brokerage. In his spare time, he owned rental properties and built storage units in Lower Paxton Township. But he said he wanted to get into the development side of the business.

“I liked the over-55 because right now the demographic is growing immensely, and it’s under-represented when it comes to housing,” Castaneira said.

He found the Pond, which had been previously approved for an over-55 development. Castaneira liked the Twelve Oaks development nearby, plus it has a good view and is close to Harrisburg International Airport and highways.

Back in November 2007, the Lower Swatara Planning Commission recommended approval of the final land development plan on the site. The plan was submitted by Fulling Road LLC, to whom the deed for the site was transferred in February 2011 for $819,196.

Since 2007, 90-day extensions of the plan were granted 35 times, according to board of commissioners meeting minutes from Oct. 19, 2016. The commissioners granted conditional approval during the Oct. 19 meeting, pending any comments from staff and township engineers.

“We ran into some issues with the banking situation,” Castaneira said.

He said they had funding, but the funding ended up being pulled when the bank got in trouble with the federal government.

“In the last couple of years, we started to get this moving again. Things have lightened up a little bit, and we’re getting a lot of interest. A lot of people like the over 55,” Castaneira said.

In May 2017, the deed for the property was transferred to Sierra’s Glen Partners V LP.

Castaneira is building phase one of the project with the help of his subcontractors SDL Custom Homes.

There will be 87 total units with three types of designs, according to Castaneira.

All three models will have full basements and first-floor master bedrooms.

There will be 71 1,800-square foot town homes. Besides the first-story master bedroom, there are two more masters upstairs.

The second model is called a California quad, or two L-shaped duplexes that intersect with a courtyard in the middle. There will be 16 total units. It’s one story, 1,500-square feet, and two bedrooms.

The third model is a duplex, which will be 2,100 square feet and have three bedrooms. Castaneira plans to have two duplexes with four total units.

According to the land development plans submitted to Lower Swatara, phase one includes 18 town homes and two California quads, which are made up of four units each.

The homes in phase one will be built in the southern part of the site. There will be a one-and-a-half acre pond in the heart of the development, with walking trails around the edge and a gazebo off to the side. Eventually, Castaneira said, they plan to stock the pond with fish.

The model town home that the Press & Journal toured opens with a combined dining and entry way. Near the front door are two staircases, one that leads to the unfinished basement and the other going up to the second story where there are two bedrooms.

Two of the option packages being built in this model home are a wet bar and a ventless gas fireplace on the first floor.

The back of this particular town house will overlook the pond.

Castaneira said he would like to have three town homes under contract before he starts building the rest. People were wondering what happened, but have started to come out once construction began.

According to broker and President of RE/MAX Delta Group Michael Yingling, three properties are under deposit — one duplex and two town homes.

Yingling said the base price for the town home is $299,000, though they are still working on the pricing for others.

Phase two would build the remaining homes. The commissioners granted conditional approval of phase two in July 2018.

“The plan received conditional approval, but they never addressed the comments,” said Ann Hursh, township planning and zoning coordinator.

She said it wasn’t uncommon for plans to be approved before meeting all the conditions because it sometimes takes longer for them to be addressed.

“If the Pond makes significant changes to what was approved, they will have to go back through the planning commission and the board for re-approval,” she said.

Castaneira said they wanted to see how the first units sell, and they are nearly ready to move forward.

“They’re telling us they believe it will be four to eight per month that sell based on absorption rates around here. If that’s the case, then within a year, we’ll be doing phase two,” Castaneira said.

Right off Fulling Mill Road, there are plans to construct other buildings. One of the buildings will be used for a community center. Inside the community center will be a large living room for people to gather in, and there will also be a kitchen. Castaneira said they’re also considering constructing an activity room where activities like pilates could be held.

Some of the retail space will be connected to the future community center, though site plans indicate that there will be four stand-alone commercial buildings, too. According to Yingling, developers are interested in building a coffee shop. On the corner of Nissley Drive and Fulling Mill, Yingling said they’re interested in having a bank lease the space. One of the other retail spaces may be occupied by a medical office.

The commercial land in the front of the Pond is still owned by Fulling Road LLC. Yingling’s office represents the commercial developer, and he said they’re working on leasing the space.