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Warm welcome

Lantern Hill’s first residents start settling into their new homes

Created date

July 20th, 2016
Bob Bell moves to Lantern Hill in September from Watchung, N.J.

Bob Bell moves to Lantern Hill in September from Watchung, N.J. “Moving to Lantern Hill is very convenient for me because I have many friends in the area, and some of them are moving in here.

Those moving to Lantern Hill aren’t the only ones excited about the new Erickson Living community opening in New Providence, N.J. Townspeople, businesses, and local officials see the continuing care retirement community as an asset to the area. 

“A development such as Lantern Hill affords opportunities for our residents to stay in this area,” says Borough Administrator Douglas Marvin.

As an aside, Mayor Al Morgan notes that the stunning buildings and landscaping of the Lantern Hill campus will replace an antiquated building on Mountain Road. 

“We are very happy to have Lantern Hill,” Morgan says.

A chance to stay

Although several continuing care communities exist in New Jersey, “There has been much discussion about having long-time New Providence and area residents remain in the area while downsizing from their current living situation,” Marvin says. “Lantern Hill has provided this opportunity.”

Union County’s family-oriented neighborhoods, safe surroundings, and top-rated public education system make it a great place to live. “People feel very at home in New Providence,” says Morgan. 

Morgan says today’s senior population built New Providence and made it the caring, popular community it is today. However, “There was no place for seniors to go to stay in town,” he says. “Lantern Hill gives our seniors an opportunity to stay in New Providence as they age.”

Lantern Hill’s first resident, Mildred Eichhorn, moved June 27 from New Providence, where she lived in a single family home for 52 years. “I look forward to moving [to Lantern Hill] because I’ll be able to stay in the area,” she said during a phone interview in May. 

She plans to continue attending her church and other area activities but looks forward to downsizing from her large house and the maintenance that came with it.

Bob Bell, who will move in September from Watchung, wanted to stay in the area to remain close to his doctors and his church. “Lantern Hill seemed like an ideal location for me because my church is across the street. A block down the street is where most of my doctors are, and the rest of them are in Summit,” he says.

What’s more, many of his friends are moving to Lantern Hill as well. “Moving to Lantern Hill is very convenient for me because I have many friends in the area, and some of them are moving in here. My doctors are all close by, and the other facilities I need are very close.

“This community has been necessary in this area for a long time,” he says. 

Continued sense of community

As the older population sells their single family homes in favor of maintenance-free living at Lantern Hill, those homes open opportunities for younger families to move in and continue the caring community spirit of New Providence and surrounding towns.

“Houses are selling quickly due to the communities within Union County being known for highly ranked schools and their proximity and easy access to New York City via public transportation,” says Lantern Hill Personal Moving Consultant and local real estate agent Jenn Kohan. 

“This is very positive for people moving to Lantern Hill, as well as for the area as a whole,” says Sales Counselor Kathy Banks. “The baton is being passed, so to speak, and the people who built New Providence are now able to stay in the area.”

“Many folks have grown to love this community and continue to have friends and family in the area,” says Marvin. “We are very pleased that our long-time neighbors and friends will stay in our community and continue to enjoy all that New Providence has to offer.”

New neighbors

While nearly 70% of people moving to Lantern Hill come from a 10- to 15-minute drive, others are new to the area. Local officials and businesses have been welcoming them with open arms.

The town has created a Welcome to New Providence booklet included in each resident’s welcome packet that they receive from Lantern Hill upon move-in. The booklet contains information about New Providence and services provided by local government, as well as information about area attractions, transportation, and more.

“Local businesses have been preparing for the arrival of new residents with welcome messages and coupons to their establishments in the welcome packet,” says Marvin.

Once folks move into their brand new apartment homes at Lantern Hill, New Providence employees plan to visit the community to help people sign up to receive emergency messages from the town as well as answer any questions they may have about the area. 

“The elected and appointed officials of New Providence have a strong desire to be advocates for the community and are very pleased to share our story with our new neighbors,” says Marvin.