Phoebe Ministries to Develop First Wellness-Focused Independent Living Project

Since Rodale Manufacturing moved to Emmaus from New York City in 1930, it and its successor companies have been pillars of the Lehigh Valley community. Upon the sale of its business to Hearst in January, the Rodale family was committed to ensuring that its property, nearly 40 acres in the heart of Emmaus, would be put to use in a way that would continue to enhance the community and support health and wellness in the region. With that in mind, Rodale and Phoebe Ministries, the region’s leader in services for seniors, have entered into an agreement of sale that will transform the Rodale corporate campus into a new wellness-focused residential destination for people ages 62 and older.

“We are thrilled that Phoebe will continue to grow its mission to serve our community’s seniors while honoring the tremendous Rodale legacy of health and wellness,” said Scott Stevenson, President and CEO of Phoebe. “This new project will offer a great new opportunity for us to show that, here at Phoebe, your senior years are your best years.”

The envisioned development by Phoebe will maintain and enhance the walking and biking trails and green space currently on the campus while creating new wellness programming to benefit both the planned community’s residents and local neighbors. Planning includes integration of organic dining options, new fitness spaces and staffing, resident gardens, and concerted attention to the connection between physical, spiritual, and emotional health.

“This is a win-win-win situation”, said Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale, Inc. “It’s a win for Phoebe, who now has plans to reinvent independent living from a health and wellness perspective. It’s a win for the Rodale Family and all of our former employees who want to see the Rodale heritage stay alive and present in the Lehigh Valley. And it’s a win for the town of Emmaus, who will gain a whole new community of health minded citizens and a strong partner in Phoebe.”

The project will occur in phases, beginning with adaptive reuse of the current Rodale offices into 78 apartments. Additional phases will include construction of additional apartment residences. All construction will place a premium on limiting disturbance of existing green space and creating opportunities for residents to interact with the natural environment. The onsite child care center currently on the property will continue operation, and intergenerational programming will be created to enhance both the educational and residential experiences in the community.

“As the region’s leader, Phoebe is proud to continue setting the benchmark for the future of holistic, wellness-oriented aging services in the Valley,” said Stevenson. Timelines for the project have yet to be established, but Rodale and Phoebe Ministries are excited to bring this forward-thinking senior community option to fruition in the Lehigh Valley.

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Phoebe Ministries is a not-for-profit, multi-facility organization specializing in healthcare, housing, and support services for seniors. For over a century Phoebe’s tradition of excellence and passion for caring have made us the regional leader in care for senior adults and their family members.

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