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Pond on Fulling Mill developer shows interest in Williams farm

Posted 11/6/19

The developer of the Pond on Fulling Mill — a 55-and-older residential community at the corner of Fulling Mill Road and Nissley Drive — said he’s interested in the adjacent 239-acre …

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Pond on Fulling Mill developer shows interest in Williams farm

Posted

The developer of the Pond on Fulling Mill — a 55-and-older residential community at the corner of Fulling Mill Road and Nissley Drive — said he’s interested in the adjacent 239-acre Williams farm.

Ian Castaneira is the managing member of Sierra’s Glen Partners V LP that is building the 87-unit Pond on Fulling Mill.

“We’ve talked about buying the Williams property and extending the commercial along the edge, extending the over 55 in the middle, and extending a Twelve Oaks-style neighborhood across the street, which I think everyone would be the most happiest with because obviously you wouldn’t have trucking and all that kind of thing,” Castaneira said.

Castaneira said he would maintain the Williams’ 1777 farmhouse as a community center.

He said he needed cooperation with Lower Swatara Township “where I can feel comfortable in risking $30 million, then we may do that.”

He said he asked the township about sewer needs for the tract.

In the summer of 2018, Tim and Tiz Williams put their Lower Swatara farm on Fulling Mill Road up for sale in four parcels, including land surrounding John C. Kunkel Elementary School.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that most of the land was under contract. The potential developer, NorthPoint Development, ended up saying it would not pursue rezoning the land and dropped its contracts on the property after the company heard from residents that its plan wasn’t supported by the community.

“The township hasn’t received any formal or informal notice from anyone since NorthPoint, including Ian. I’m under the impression that several years ago, Ian may have expressed interest in the farm, but I don’t know of anything recently,” said township manager Betsy McBride.

Castaneira said he had talked with the Williamses.

The Williams’ Realtor, Jim Koury said, “I have spoken with Ian on several occasions over the past 18 months, but nothing in the past several. So I am not aware of anything happening in the near future — unless he is having direct conversations with the Williams clan.”

He said there are “several” parties looking at the site “in the hopes of developing a vision for the tract that is cost-effective and appealing to the township.”

“I trust many people feel as I do that the current zoning is not a good fit for the tract and there should be uses that will find middle ground with all parties. Increasing the tax base with the development of this tract will only help reduce the very high real estate taxes for all residents. Yes, we know big box warehouses will not be permitted, so we are looking at other options,” he said.