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Lantern Hill builds community with future neighbor events

Created date

October 13th, 2017
Floor plan of Lantern Hill apartments at either Maple Glen or Oakwood Court “decorated” with jewels and stickers at the reservist event held earlier this year. Both residence buildings will open in 2018.

People moving to Lantern Hill could “decorate” their new apartments in either Maple Glen or Oakwood Court with jewels and stickers at the reservist event held earlier this year. Both residence buildings will open in 2018.


The restaurant hums with chatter as guests at Lantern Hill’s latest reservist event either meet each other for the first time or catch up with old friends. 

At one table, four women huddle over coffee and chitchat. 

At another, a group of strangers introduce themselves to each other, giving a quick background of where they live now and which building they’ll be moving to at Lantern Hill. 

Across the room, two former neighbors reconnect. 

Regardless of the conversation or history, there’s one common denominator: All the interactions generate excitement, especially as guests discover where they’ll be living in relation to their future neighbors. Their name tags include their building and apartment number, which guests can locate on large building floor plans at the front of the room.

As construction on phase two continues, the vision of life at Lantern Hill is quickly becoming reality for those who have reserved a brand-new apartment home in either Maple Glen or Oakwood Court, which will both open in 2018.

‘The amenities’ 

Marie Power, who has lived in Maryland most of her adult life, has reserved an apartment home in Maple Glen. Familiar with Riderwood, Lantern Hill’s sister Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md., Marie says she’s moving to be closer to her daughter in Summit.

When asked why she chose Lantern Hill, Marie quickly responds: “The amenities,” which rival those of any continuing care retirement community or 55-plus community around. 

On-site amenities include several dining venues, a marketplace, classrooms, a library, a theater, a fitness center and indoor swimming pool, salon, and climate-controlled walkways. Services include local pharmacy delivery, local dry-cleaning service, concierge, professional landscaping, 24/7 security, full-time maintenance staff, and myriad interest groups.

An affordable, fixed monthly service fee includes all that plus all utilities, property taxes, a flexible meal plan, weekly housekeeping, and secure Wi-Fi. And each apartment home has ready access to the Internet. 

This financial structure is designed to help community members budget with confidence and to remove the burden of managing several bills a month—they write just one monthly check for nearly all living expenses. 

Fulfilling a local need

Maple Glen and Oakwood Court, both five-story buildings, will add 114 new independent living apartment homes to the existing 161, which sold out in ten weeks.

These new homes range in size from one bedroom and one bedroom with a den, to two bedrooms and two bedrooms with a den. Features include stainless steel kitchen appliances; granite countertops; crown molding; wood cabinetry; and wood flooring throughout the kitchen, living, and dining areas.

“There is a huge demand for additional homes at Lantern Hill,” says Sales Director Randy Carroll. “Our beautiful community is fulfilling a need for people who want to stay in the area when they retire and live a maintenance-free and active lifestyle.” 

Boasting 20 acres of stunning green space and elegant, contemporary architecture, Lantern Hill’s independent living community provides a vibrant lifestyle in Union County, while its continuing care neighborhood offers peace of mind should a resident’s health needs change down the road. 

Two thumbs up

Paul and Carol Thau, one of the first couples to move into Lantern Hill when it opened in 2016, give it two thumbs up and serve as ambassadors to newcomers by answering questions, giving tours, and offering their take on community life. 

Ruth Milgram, who moved last August, says time has flown by and activities continue to grow. 

“It feels like I’ve been here much longer than I have,” she says, adding that her impression might be, in part, due to the fact that she’s less isolated. “There are more things going on now than when I first moved in. The concierge is very helpful.”

As a former travel agent, she has helped to cultivate an active environment at Lantern Hill. 

“I’ve been suggesting some things because I was in the travel business. Geri and Kate [the concierges] have been very kind in taking my suggestions,” Ruth says. 

As a result, residents have enjoyed the visiting speakers and have taken day trips to Hunterdon Valley Playhouse and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, among other destinations.

But, she clarifies, you don’t have to go far to get involved: “If you want to be isolated you can; if you want to meet people, you just come down to a common area and sit and chat.”