Historic Former Lykens Hotel and Israel Building Redeveloped into 28 Quality, Affordable Rental Homes

Congratulations to our WHF-PA members involved in developing another great project in Pennsylvania!


 LYKENS, PA (July 12, 2016) – Home Leasing, with partner Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority, announces the completion of a $11.1 million housing development in the Borough of Lykens, Dauphin County. The project transformed the former Lykens Hotel and Israel Building, two historic landmarks, into Union House Apartments, an adaptive reuse creating 28 affordable, energy-efficient apartments. Four units are for persons who have physical disabilities or mobility impairment and two apartments are adapted for individuals with hearing and visual impairments.

The former Lykens Hotel is a 4-story brick building of 25,368 square-feet and the former Israel Building is a 13,085 square-foot 3-story building. New features include a new roof, energy efficient windows and doors, an elevator, laundry and community rooms and resident storage space.  It is located near a full-service grocery store, a park, library, family medical practice, pharmacy, gas station, banks, churches, and dining.  Rents are affordable to households at or below 20, 50 and 60 percent of the Area Median Income.

The construction of the former hotel at 600 Main Street completed in 1926 was conceived by the leading citizens of the borough as an economic investment that would help keep Lykens a prosperous community and pushed toward development and financing through the Hockenbury System.  The building operated as a hotel through the 1970’s, then used as a living facility for elderly before vacancy in the mid 1990’s.  The hotel retained few character defining features and finishes and was in poor condition due to previous alterations, deferred maintenance, vacancy, vandalism and exposure to the elements.  Hotel Lykens was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

The former Israel Building, at 601 Main Street, was constructed in 1904 as a commercial building and served as a community anchor in the center of Lykens by providing multiple functions such as retail stores, professional offices, a meeting room, residential and support spaces.  The Israel Building was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

The development team consists of Home Leasing, LLC, of Rochester, NY, the owner, developer and manager; Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority owner/developer; Edgemere Development, Inc., of Rochester, NY consulting developer; Home Leasing Construction LLC, of Rochester, general contractor; SAA Architects, of York, PA architecture; Warehaus (formally known as LSC Design), of York, PA, historic consultant; JP Morgan Chase, construction loan; and Royal Bank of Canada, syndicator.

JP Morgan Chase provided $8,000,000 construction loan

Permanent Funding for the $11.1 million project includes:

$100,000       County of Dauphin Affordable Housing Trust

$200,000       County of Dauphin CDBG Funds

$200,000       County of Dauphin Gaming Funds

$250,000       Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburg

$10.3 million of Investor Equity generated by Historic Tax Credits and PHFA-allocated Low Income Housing Tax Credits

Affordability is enhanced with an allocation of Section 8 Project Based Vouchers from the Housing Authority of Dauphin County.

“Revitalizing and repurposing the historic Lykens Hotel and Israel Building in the heart of Lykens is a major milestone for this tight-knit community,” said Dauphin County Chairman Jeff Haste. “It’s truly been a collaborate effort between the county and the community to redevelop this historic property.”

“For many years, this property along the main corridor in Lykens sat empty, ” said Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries. “Now, with the completion of Union House Apartments, this neighborhood is revitalized and this historic property is, once again, contributing to the local economy.”

“Rather than bulldoze and build on green spaces, this board is focused on making good use of existing sites, such as this, and ultimately revitalizing our communities,” said Dauphin County Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “Today marks the beginning of a renaissance along Main Street in Lykens.”

“Congratulations to Home Leasing and the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority for their work on this project,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “These 28 energy efficient and affordable apartments are a welcome addition to the community, and it’s terrific that in the process they were able to restore and repurpose these wonderful old buildings that have so much history in the area.”

 Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman & CEO of Home Leasing said, “Home Leasing is thrilled to have had the opportunity of repurposing the former Lykens Hotel and Israel Building.  Through the support that came from our partners, including Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Lykens Borough and neighbors, these historic buildings are contributing to the vitality of community once again.”

Rebecca Zeller, Historic Preservationist of Warehaus said, “Warehaus is proud to be the historic preservation consultant for the Union House project. Through the use of historic tax credits, these remarkable historic buildings have been saved from demolition by neglect and returned to service in the community. The Hotel Lykens and the Israel Building are once again an asset to Lykens’ Main Street.”


Rochester-based Home Leasing, LLC specializes in the development, construction and management of high-quality apartment communities.  Founded in 2006 by veteran real estate developer and former co-CEO and co-Chairman of Home Properties Nelson Leenhouts, the company is owned and operated by three generations of the Leenhouts Family.  Home Leasing today employs over 100 people who provide support to or are directly involved in the day-to-day operations of affordable, mixed income and market rate residential communities across New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

With its construction company, Home Leasing Construction, Home Leasing builds quality housing which its team of certified property managers and maintenance personnel efficiently oversee. This unique involvement in projects from concept to operations demonstrates its strong commitment to its mission to improve the lives of our residents.

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