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Nearly a billion dollars and 20 years: 'Master plan' community proposed for Conewago Twp.

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

A local developer is planning to build an $800 million housing development on 460 acres of farmland in Conewago Township — a project that could take 20 years to complete.

The "master-planned neighborhood project" called Freedom Square was unveiled Wednesday night by Springettsbury Township-based Pasch Companies.

The plan for the development, to be located at the intersection of East Canal and Lewisberry roads, includes a combined 1,640 residential units of houses, apartments and townhouses, in addition to several restaurants, two hotels, a grocery store and parks.

A site plan for Freedom Square, a proposed Pasch Companies community project to be built in Conewago Township. Image submitted by Pasch Companies

A master-planned project, as Tim Pasch defined it, acts as a self-contained community designed for residents to live, work and play. 

"The goal is that it's all intertwined," Pasch, owner of Pasch Companies, said. "I wanted to create the master plan instead of just putting 3,000 little homes there. Zoning wise, we could put a bunch more houses there, but there would be no cohesiveness to it."

Pasch Companies submitted sketch plans to Conewago Township's zoning officer on Wednesday. A public meeting to discuss the plans and field questions from residents will be scheduled within 90 days of the submission date.

From right in front, Mandy Lamson, from the office of the 48th Senatorial District, and Sarah Holloway, of Lower Paxton Township in Dauphin County, look on at the informational display regarding Freedom Square, a proposed Pasch Companies community project to be built in Codorus Township, at Country Club of York in Spring Garden Township, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

A meeting hadn't been scheduled as of Thursday morning.

After that meeting, several conditional use hearings must be held before Pasch could break ground — which he is aiming to do next year.

The plan will move to the township's zoning board "no earlier than March" for their recommendation, according to Supervisor Lorreta Wilhide.

After that, the Board of Supervisors will review the plan, she said.

"The village concept presented by Mr. Pasch is a new idea to Conewago Township," Wilhide said via email. "As a township, we are concerned about balancing such things as growth, conservation and revenue. We look forward to working with Mr. Pasch and Freedom Square."

An aerial view of the site of Freedom Square, a proposed Pasch Companies community project to be built in Conewago Township. Image submitted by Pasch Companies

Currently, Pasch estimates the project would be complete by 2040.

"I think it's been a dream of mine for 15 years to do a master plan like this," Pasch said. "It's going to take us years to make this happen."

In the plan, housing prices are estimated to start at $800 per month for senior rental apartments, $1,350 a month for rental townhouses and $950 a month for garden apartment rentals. There is an estimated $200,000 price tag for "active-adult" houses and $225,000 for single-family homes.

"The most rewarding part is the design," Pasch said, "and having the opportunity to create something that will last much further than our lifetimes."

Information is displayed regarding Freedom Square, a proposed Pasch Companies community project to be built in Conewago Township, at Country Club of York in Spring Garden Township, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

In attendance for Wednesday night's announcement of the project was state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township.

"This type of development is going to have a great impact on the greater York County economy," Phillips-Hill said. "It's a really exciting opportunity for all of us."

Pasch Companies has developed property in York County since 1990.

In addition to Freedom Square, Pasch alsois working to develop an event venue space in Hellam Township, a senior living community in Red Lion and single family housing in Dover Township.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.