Construction on Pike’s first seven-story building will begin in the spring

Palmyra Township. After eight years of planning, the 398-unit Pocono Lakefront Project at Tanglwood Lakes gets the green light. Pushing the project toward completion was a surveying job that quelled prior concerns, and an overwhelming demand for housing in Northeast Pennsylvania caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

09 Sep 2020 | 05:28

In a quiet corner of northwest Pike County, a condominium situated on 286 acres will rise seven stories high, making it the county’s tallest building. Expected to begin next year, the completed project will include, all told, nearly 400 residential units.

The Pocono Lakefront Project, which will be built adjacent to Tanglwood Lakes, is now coming to fruition after years of planning. It was first proposed to Palmyra Township in 2012 and taken to the next level the following year, when a conditional use hearing was held on the 70-foot structure proposed to be built on the site. Many subsequent hearings were held to determine if such a tall building should be be allowed.

In March 2018, Palmyra Supervisor Eric Ehrhardt said, “Putting up one large building that would allow for a tremendous number of amenities won’t have a negative impact on the immediate area.”

Concerns remained -- over fire safety, and the ability of emergency services to protect the structure and its inhabitants; over the structure’s visibility from Route 507; and over the engineering of the foundation. All these concerns have delayed the commencement of this ambitious project.

On Aug. 18, Justin Hoffmann, manager of Kiley Associates Civil Engineering Company, met with members of Tanglwood Lakes and the Pocono Lakefront Development Group to overcome these obstacles. Kiley was able to address most of them.

What came out of the meeting was a proposal to build a seven-story condominium with 112 individual units, an indoor and outdoor pool, and tennis courts on the lake side of Route 507; and 286 individual single-family duplexes and townhomes on the south side of 507. One hundred acres will be set aside for duplexes and townhomes. Seventy-five acres will be developed, and 25 will remain undeveloped.

This proposal seemed to please everyone concerned.

“Tanglwood had some minor concerns over sewage treatments, points of access and height of the water tower,” said Ralph Graf, the community manager of Tanglwood Lakes. “But once we saw those issues were dealt with satisfactorily, we were all in favor of the proposal. There will be two separate points of access, which do not impede on Tanglwood Lakes and a significant buffer zone, which will accommodate both communities.”

Graf, who was director of the Hideout and an New York Police Department detective before coming to Tanglwood, said construction on this project will begin in the spring of 2021. White Beauty Road will be the main point of access, initially used when construction begins,” he said.

“We do not foresee any complications that will push back this projected start date,” said Graf.

Pushing the project toward completion was the surveying job done by Kiley, which quelled prior concerns regarding structural integrity, safety, and aesthetics. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic created an overwhelming demand for housing in Northeast Pennsylvania.

“The project has been constantly delayed because of problems obtaining permits,” said Rosemary Kucharski, former president and current board member of Tanglwood Lakes. “The new landowners were willing to go the extra mile, and finally everything looks good to go. I think it will be a great thing for Tanglwood, a real boost to the entire area.”

But not everyone is happy.

“I worry about the number of trees being cut down,” said Ronald Triani, a former Kraft executive and the Tanglwood Lakes community treasurer. “Also, with 286 homes being built, we are probably looking at upwards of 500 cars. Neither of these prospects appeal to me.”

Timeline:
2012: The Pocono Lakefront Project was first proposed to Palmyra Township
June 2013: At a conditional use hearing, followed by many subsequent hearings, approval was sought for a a 70-foot structure adjacent to Tanglwood Lakes.
March 2018: Supervisor Eric Ehrhardt said, “Putting up one large building that would allow for a tremendous number of amenities won’t have a negative impact on the immediate area.”
Aug. 18 2020: Justin Hoffmann, manager of Kiley Associates Civil Engineering Company, meets with the members of Tanglwood Lakes and the Pocono Lakefront Development Group to overcome obstacles.
2021: Construction is expected to begin.
By the numbers:
7 story condo to be built on the lake side of Route 507
112 individual units on the lake side of Route 507
286 individual single-family duplexes and townhomes on the south side of Route 507
100 acres will be set aside for the duplexes and townhomes
75 acres will be developed
25 acres will remain undeveloped
2 points of access
500 cars expected in the parking lots
“Tanglwood had some minor concerns over sewage treatments, points of access and height of the water tower. But once we saw those issues were dealt with satisfactorily, we were all in favor of the proposal.” --Ralph Graf, community manager, Tanglwood Lakes