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Strasburg's Homewood site for sale

Don Sine, 85, walks his dog, Mitzi, along Cottage Drive in the Homewood Retirement Community in Strasburg on Monday. Homewood is pulling out of the project they started in 2009 and is planning to sell their fifty-eight acre property. While many residents have left the community Sine and his wife continue to rent their cottage on a monthly basis. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Sally Voth

Four years after its ceremonial groundbreaking, Homewood at the Shenandoah Valley is for sale.

The 58-acre site off U.S. 11 north of Strasburg was to be the Williamsport, Md.-based nonprofit's seventh full-service facility.

Plans included more than 100 cottage homes, 60 apartments, 40 assisted-living units, a small healthcare center, a convenience store and a bank.

"When we bought it in 2008, the economy was very hot," Homewood Retirement Centers President and CEO Ernest Angell said in a Monday afternoon phone interview. "Then, six months later, you know what happened to the economy, and also the banking regulations changed dramatically. Those two factors, along with our friendly competition in Winchester, the Lutherans."

Homewood is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Angell was referring to National Lutheran Home's development on U.S. 50 west of Winchester, The Village at Orchard Ridge.

Angell said the Strasburg property has been for sale for several months. Five acres of it are zoned commercial/highway, and could be sold separately, he said.

"We've built 12 cottages, but we have the infrastructure for about 39 cottages there," he said. "All those 12 houses face Signal Knob Mountain, so it's a very beautiful view."

Those cottages, some of which are vacant, are available for rent, Angell said. He said there is a small fitness center on the site.

"We are debt free on that property," Angell said. "It's really a unique site. It's surrounded on three sides by national forest that can never be changed, so no one can build next to us."

He wouldn't provide a sale price, but said there are some potential buyers.

"We are in negotiations right now for a couple folks," Angell said. "Homewood has $15 million in it, knowing we will never get that amount. We realize to get the right buyer we're going to [have to] be very generous when it comes to our negotiations."

Anyone interested in the property can contact Angell at (301) 582-1626.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


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