‘48 on the Park’ luxury condos a hot ticket

By on March 7, 2018
This courtyard sketch of “48 on the Park,” illustrates Oak Tree’s revitalization of the Wilbur Chocolate Factory which includes 26 high-end residences that start at $449,000. Sketch by David T. McNally of RLPS Architects

This courtyard sketch of “48 on the Park,” illustrates Oak Tree’s revitalization of the Wilbur Chocolate Factory which includes 26 high-end residences.     (Sketch by RLPS Architects)

Oak Tree unveils luxury condominium plans at former Wilbur Chocolate factory

Things are about to get rolling on the redevelopment of the former Wilbur Chocolate manufacturing plant.

Oak Tree’s Development Group on Tuesday unveiled what team members devised for “48 on the Park,” condominiums to be built by RLPS Architects, Wohlsen Construction and Simeral Construction.

As part of the Wilbur Chocolate Factory revitalization, Oak Tree is introducing 26 high-end residences located in the historic buildings within the expansion along Broad Street.

“The vision for the condominiums is to provide an upscale condominium option to the local and county market with expanded services in one the best settings in Lancaster County,” Michael O’Brien, president of Oak Tree Development, said. “This will be a very cool place to call home in the one of the coolest places to live in America.”

The name “48 on the Park” comes from the former chocolate plant’s address 48 N. Broad St.

Last may Oak Tree announced plans to renovate the existing building and add upscale, 26 loft-style condominiums, a 74-room boutique hotel, sit-down bistro and small retail shops.

On Tuesday Oak Tree acknowledged the planned condos range from 1,331-square-feet units up to a large-end single residences at 1,892 square feet.

There are three penthouse residences — and some buyers have combined condominiums to create residences — over 3,000 square feet, said Ian Ruzow, one of the project partners.

He said the units have been selling “through word of mouth.”

“Twenty of the 26 residences, have already been reserved without any marketing efforts,” Ruzow said.

Oak Tree said it has provided presentations for prospective buyers during the past three months.

“The excitement around the project has been wonderful and there seems to be a strong market demand for high end condominium living in Lititz,” he said.

In late 2015, Cargill, which owns Wilbur and the Lititz chocolate factory since 1992, had deemed the three-story brick plant at 48 N. Broad St. inefficient.

That resulted in the loss of 130 jobs and the end of manufacturing in a plant that had been producing chocolate at the North Broad Street location since 1900, when the company was known as Kendig Manufacturing.

Wilbur, founded in Philadelphia in 1884 and moved to Lititz in the late 1920s as part of a merger, ended production at the end of January, 2016 — so too did a 115-year-old tradition.

Still, O’Brien hopes to bring a new life and evolve from that tradition, not unlike Ghirardelli Square —built in San Francisco where Ghirardelli’s chocolate factory has been reinvented as Fairmont Heritage Place.

The iconic bold Wilbur lettering nameplate will remain in brick at the former site, O’Brien said.

Prices for the residences start at $449,000.

Prospective buyers have expressed interest in the project from as far away as Seattle.

So what makes this project so desirable?

“First the Wilbur project in general has been met with a lot of enthusiasm by the community,” O’Brien said. “The views of Lititz Springs Park and the ability to easily walk downtown are some of the project’s location advantages.”

The design of the new façade on Broad St. — visualized by RLPS Architects and David T. McNally’s sketches — respects and compliments the existing historic buildings and will offer new retail and restaurant space.

The partial demolition and restoration of the historic building shell, and the construction of the new building shell along Broad Street, should begin by the month or first week of April, O’Brien said.

Wohlsen Construction is tasked with the prep and demolition work, which will be done in phases.

Construction of individual residences will be finished by Simeral Construction.

“Both builders are known for their quality construction and both are based in Lancaster County,” O’Brien said. “The residences will have high end finishes for the buyers to choose from including: high end appliances and fixtures.”

While floor plans have been created for each of the residences, there is an ability for owners to change the layout to fit their lifestyle.

“Both buildings are elevator served and have private entrances for the unit owners,” Ruzow said.

On top of 48 on the Park will be a large private rooftop lounge with bar, serving counters, gas grill and heaters and outdoor lounge furniture in a wonderful space overlooking Lititz Springs Park and Broad Street.

There will be open and shaded areas available but the roof-top lounge is for residents “who can invite friends and family to use it when the resident has reserved it but it is for owner use only,” O’Brien said.

The onsite bar and restaurant will be able to provide services to the rooftop lounge for private functions.

Condo owners will have use of an 800-square-feet wellness facility, valet parking of their vehicles and in-residence dining for breakfast, lunch or dinner provided by the on-site restaurant.

Ruzow said noted that 48 on the Park will offer condominium owners two covered and secured parking spaces included in the purchase of a residence.

The first units will be occupied in the second quarter of 2019.

While most of the condominium residences have been reserved, there are still a few residences available, O’Brien said.

More information is available at  http://48onthepark.com


Patrick Burns is News Editor of the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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