The landscape in downtown Shippensburg has changed dramatically in the course of the last century and a half. Last week officials from Shippensburg, Cumberland County and other entities came together to break ground for a new senior living community that will be constructed on the 2.294 acres site located on Orange Street, the site of the former Beistle Company plant, changing the landscape yet again, adding beauty to the downtown area.

Luminest Community Development is based in Chambersburg but is and always has been interested in expanding their services to communities beyond the Waynesboro-Chambersburg area. With that goal in mind, Luminest Executive Director Bonnie Zehler met with leaders of the Shippensburg community in 2019 to introduce Luminest and inquire if they had a need for affordable housing in the community.

“Their response was very positive and they specifically noted a need for affordable housing for seniors,” Zehler explained. She said they are very excited about this latest project and becoming part of the Shippensburg community.

The new senior housing community, Citrus Grove, will be for seniors 62 years and older and is expected to be a welcomed addition to the community.

“When developing a senior housing community, it is important that services utilized by seniors are readily available and accessible,” Zehler noted. “The location of Citrus Grove is a perfect opportunity to not only be located within one block of downtown and a fixed route bus stop, but also an opportunity to improve the neighborhood.” She said the Citrus Grove development takes a property that was primarily covered in concrete and paving and transforms it into a beautiful building with green spaces. She also noted that the neighborhood has already welcomed Citrus Grove by expressing support and excitement. “The location also provides opportunities for tenants to participate in activities and events at Memorial Lutheran Church, as well as all the services provided under the Katie’s Place umbrella,” Zehler added.

Construction will consist of a three-story building with 40 residential units; 36 one-bedroom and 4 two-bedroom units. All units are visitable, four fully accessible and one unit will be designed for hearing/vision needs. While construction has officially begun, residents of the Shippensburg community will not see any activity for another two weeks, other than site preparation. The construction period is expected to take 14 months.

Zehler said they anticipate leasing the completed apartments in Jan. 2024.

“We will announce the application cycle on our website and with the local service agencies. I expect we will begin receiving applications in late summer of 2023,” she said.

Citrus Grove will have many amenities for seniors including a lobby with a coffee nook, management and supportive services offices, a nurse’s suite for counseling and health screening, a conference room for small groups to meet, and a second floor lounge and two-story community room with a large kitchen. The third floor will house a card room/library overlooking the community and fitness rooms.

Luminest is dedicated to building stronger neighborhoods, better homes and brighter futures and looks forward to this happening in Shippensburg in the months ahead.

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