Renters Savor Condo-Quality Features in Whitehall, Pa.

When development of Horizons at The Village at Whitehall began four years ago, the active adult community was envisioned as a for-sale property. But a funny thing happened on the way to sold-out status.

Whitehall, Pa.—When development of Horizons at The Village at Whitehall began four years ago, the age-55-plus active adult community was envisioned as a for-sale property. But a funny thing happened on the way to sold-out status.

That, of course, was the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, as well as a mortgage meltdown unlike any this country had ever seen.

But Larken Associates, the New Jersey-based developer of Horizons at The Village at Whitehall, discovered a way to turn challenge into opportunity. Finding it had an inventory of condominiums exceeding market interest, it has made a number of the units at the for-sale property available to renters.

“It was about two years ago when we decided to rent units,” Larken Associates president and chief operating officer David Gardner tells MHN, adding 77 residences in the 156-unit development are currently rented.

“We’ve been averaging the leasing of six to eight units a month, but the selling has been sporadic . . . The leasing has been strong, and that‘s why we decided to finish the last two buildings, which were completed in the last 45 days.”

Larken Associates reports many in the area are ”buy-shy” home shoppers. But for nominal rental rates, these understandably cautious folks can get a taste of what it would be like to call Horizons at The Village at Whitehall home. Rents of just $1,325 a month net them granite countertops, multiple bedrooms, beautiful grounds and access to an outdoor pool, game/card rooms, community center with state-of-the-art theater, fitness center, billiard room and dance floor.

“We’re offering people a lifestyle in the space and location they desire, at a price they are comfortable paying,” Gardner says. “It’s a great opportunity for renters and a logical solution for us, while we weather the economic storm together.”

This is not the only for-sale development at which Larken Associates is offering rentals. Residences at Warren Heights and Delaware Crossing in Lopatcong, N.J., and at The Village at Maiden Creek in Blandon, Pa. are all available to renters, at monthly rates starting at $1,200, $1,595 and $1,195 respectively.

The former is a luxury condominium community, while the latter two are age-55-plus active adult condominium communities.

Speaking about Horizons at The Village at Whitehall, Gardner says, “We will continue to do a combination of renting and selling of units, in the interest of keeping the development occupied.

“The deal the renters get is spectacular. We have a clubhouse gym with a theater, steam room, a pool in the center of the development . . . It’s a nicely knit-together community, with the four buildings fitting around the pool. It’s a very nice deal for people.”