When the last of Sue and Brad Bennetch’s children moved out of their four-bedroom home in Bethlehem, they entertained the idea of looking for a smaller place. After putting it off for years, they finally decided that 2015 was the year to make it a reality.
The Bennetchs looked at several Ranch houses, apartments and active-adult communities, but they couldn’t find a home that offered the space, ease of movement and location that was right for them. That was when their search led them to Madison Farms in Bethlehem Township. Madison Farms offered modern apartments in elevator-serviced buildings, with a choice of layouts. Plus, it had an entire retail village of shops and restaurants just steps away from the apartments. They moved in a year ago this August.
“To call it love at first sight might sound like a cliché, but it was love at first sight,” Sue said. “We wanted two bedrooms, one floor, easy access and a place that was not too far from our family. We wanted a place we could enjoy rather than maintain and we found exactly what we were looking for.”
The Bennetchs’ enthusiasm for life at Madison Farms mirrors a national trend in real estate development.
A growing number of renters prefer to live near town centers, where their favorite local restaurant, grocery store and coffee shop are within a short walk. It’s a trend that has most notably spurred the revitalization of urban neighborhoods over the past few decades, everywhere from Brooklyn to downtown Allentown, but even suburban developers have taken note. Communities that combine residential space, retail and amenities are cited by residents as being more convenient, more fun and more social places to live.
Madison Farms has made a walkable lifestyle a central component of its design.
“One of the things I really like, is to see people outside walking all of the time,” said Noelle Nicolaou, who has been a Madison Farms resident for one year. “It’s nice to see people walking to shops or walking around with their dogs. And having a pet store, grocery store and nail salon right here is a huge plus. If I am cooking and I forget something, it literally takes me a minute to go to ShopRite and come right back.”
Nicolaou, a native of Bethlehem, was looking to buy a home in the Lehigh Valley last year, but decided Madison Farms was a better fit for her lifestyle. The new-construction apartments she toured were modern and spacious, and single-family homes and townhomes are planned for the near future, so she could rent for a year or two and then have the option to buy in the same community.
Nicolaou is a hair stylist in downtown Bethlehem and has a 10-minute drive to work. The time she saves commuting she spends at the gym or the pool, grilling outside with her boyfriend or bonding with her 2-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Sia.
“For me the main thing is that I am close to my family, I’m close to work and I can have my dog here,” she said. “Everything else the community offers is a huge plus.”
The rental residences at Madison Farms range from 790 square feet to 1,375 square feet of living space. Six floor plans are available, including one-bedroom, one-bath and two-bedroom, two-bath designs. All apartments include chef-inspired kitchens, gas ranges and top-of-the-line dishwashers and microwaves.
The leasing office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information or to schedule a tour, call (610) 628-4063 or visitMadisonFarmsRentals.com.