We’re in this not just to have a new tenant, or to open a grocery in downtown (ELF is in fact the ONLY downtown fresh foods grocery store in Lancaster County !); we are working on rebuilding the economic stability and future of this block of King Street. We’re working on the urban development piece of the larger puzzle: preserving farms and quality of life all across Lancaster County. Just as we need the countryside protected against unnecessary development so we can continue growing food nearby, we also need the urban centers reinvigorated so people can live, work, grow up and grow old as part of a community with ever-increasing quality of life. Walkable access to modestly-priced, high-quality food is one of those keys to quality urban living.
Community Heritage Partners, L L C
King Street : Then and Now
In 1912, William H. Beittel purchased this building at 213-215 West King Street from the estate of Jacob L. Frey, one of Lancaster’s earliest cigar manufacturers. Originally a modest two-story house built in the early nineteenth century, the building grew with the Frey family into a substantial urban homestead. Frey lived here with his wife and nine children, operated offices on the ground floor and stored tobacco in outbuildings at the rear of the lot.
Beittel sought a new location for his growing “Racket Store,” an early form of department store. He transformed the property into a “modern” commercial and residential complex, hiring Lancaster architect Melvern R. Evans to design a new storefront for the King Street façade. Beittel expanded the business to include household furnishings and an extensive pet shop. After Beittel’s death the store continued operation under two of his children. They added a two-story furniture warehouse to the rear of the property, accessible from Grant Street, which still exists. Then, in c.1959, W.H. Beittel and Co. ceased operations, though the buildings themselves remained in the family, and were kept viable by the continuing interest of Dr. James Beittel and his wife Marylin.
In April 2008, Community Design Works, Inc. purchased this historic building complex from the Beittel family, marking only the third major transfer of ownership since 1850. Renovations of the rear addition are now underway, and Community Heritage Partners, an architecture and planning firm, will relocate their design studio and offices from West Orange Street to the ground floor of the Grant Street addition. The King Street building will eventually be refurbished as commercial shop space with upper floors improved for new residential use.
Proposed Building Renovations
213-215 West King (Beittel Building A)
This building was originally built around 1870 and the first floor and basement served as a hardware store which was owned and operated by the Beittel family. The family also built and occupied a 3,000 SF residence above the storeroom. That house still sits above the storeroom completely unused, and left nearly intact and virtually unoccupied since the late 19th/early 20th century.
Storefront and entry improvements and repairs, including new signage and lighting.
Façade clean-up, repairs, repainting.
Minor roof repairs and gutter and downspout repairs / replacement.
Interior renovations will include storeroom and display window renovations.
Expressly Local Food - Grocery Store, Lancaster, PA
Architecture, design, and project management by Community Heritage Partners Property development by Community Design Works, Inc.
Expressly Local Food was one of the small start-up businesses incubated over a three-year period at Lancaster’s seasonal Eastern Market.
Community Design Works, Inc., working with sister-company Community Heritage Partners, LLC, developed, and renovated this historic storefront building to allow Expressly Local Food to expand into a full-time, year-round grocery store. The store room is 1,500 SF, with basement storage, and another unfinished 1,500 SF of space available for expansion to accommodate expected growth.
The only downtown fresh foods grocery in Lancaster County, it features all local agricultural products sourced from approximately 22 small and diverse farm operations, all within 40 miles of the store.
The property was renovated and transformed from an under-performing “main street” storefront church use to the city’s first downtown fresh foods store in generations. The building is undergoing further interior and exterior renovations as a historic investment tax credit project.
Eugene L. Aleci, RA, AIA, AICP President
Community Heritage Partners, L L C
ARCHITECTURE :: TOWN PLANNING :: PRESERVATION
Our 25th Year
Design and Development for People and Places
1985 - 2010
214 West Grant Street Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603
Phone: 717-393-1639 Fax: 717-393-6316