When you hear the name High Real Estate Group, certain images probably come to mind.

Corporate parks, hotels, shopping centers?


Apartments and townhouses?

Well, if you don’t know that High is among the biggest providers of multifamily rental housing here, that fact is going to get even harder to overlook.

High says it’s investing $400 million in developing and acquiring multifamily rental housing in Lancaster and other East Coast markets over the next five years.

Lancaster-based High wants to grow its multifamily rental portfolio because it sees an opportunity. Rental housing is in short supply; High has the mix of skills required to help meet  the need.

“We really see (multifamily housing) as a significant component of our overall growth strategy,” said Mark Fitzgerald, High president and chief operating officer.

“What we’re experiencing here in Lancaster County we’re also seeing up and down the East Coast and nationally. We’re trying to address that need for quality housing,” he said last week.

A big piece of that $400 million will be spent developing an 82-unit upscale apartment building on Pitney Road, around the corner from High’s flagship property, the Greenfield Corporate Center.

With East Lampeter Township giving final approval to High’s plan earlier this year, groundbreaking is set for this fall. Construction will take one year.

Another major portion will be spent on 258 upscale apartments that will be part of its Crossings at Conestoga Creek mixed-use development on Harrisburg Pike.

Manheim Township has yet to approve a final plan for The Crossings, which also will include a Wegmans, a hotel, restaurants and other stores. But High hopes to start building in 2017.

High declined to disclose the cost of the Pitney Road and Crossings apartment ventures.

At the same time that it’s planning two new upscale-apartment projects here, High is acquiring, expanding and upgrading its portfolio of existing multifamily rental “workforce” housing here.

This year High completed a four-year, $7 million renovation of its Greenfield Estates, a 371-unit community that’s across the street from the corporate center.

Also this year, High completed a 42-unit addition to its Bentley Ridge community, south of Old Philadelphia Pike. The expansion was a $5 million undertaking.

In a third local workforce-housing venture this year, High bought Greenland Village, consisting of 180 units behind East Towne Center, for $16 million. High is spending $2.7 million more on upgrades.

The cumulative impact of all these ventures on High’s multi-family rental housing portfolio in Lancaster County will be dramatic.

The local portfolio totaled 1,125 units at the start of 2016.

With this year’s one acquisition and one expansion, plus the two pending projects, High’s Lancaster County portfolio will grow to 1,687 units — a 50 percent increase.

High’s total portfolio — including multifamily rental housing communities in Pottstown, Montgomery County, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Summerville and Charleston, South Carolina — will reach 2,597 units.

See the full article on LancasterOnline.