Developer buys former 613-acre camp near Indian Land

Homebuilder Lennar has completed its purchase of the 613-acre Tree Tops property – a former camp for disadvantaged children – in Lancaster County, where it plans to build a gated “active adult” community centered on a 10-acre lake and miles of trails.

Lennar bought the property from Thompson Child & Family Focus, which operated the Tree Tops camp and provides services to children and families in crisis.

Preserve at Tree Tops is zoned for as many as 850 homes at 9070 Van Wyck Road, between the unincorporated communities of Indian Land and Van Wyck, south of the Carolina Lakes development and east of the Catawba Indian Reservation in York County.

The Lancaster County Council approved a development agreement for 835 homes in December, but the project still has to be reviewed by county planners.

More than 50 percent of the property will remain open space, Lennar said in a news release, and nearly all the old-growth forest surrounding the lake will stay.

“Tree Tops is going to be a return to nature for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers,” said Jon Hardy, president of Lennar’s Charlotte division.

Specifics on the homes have not been finalized. Construction could start in the second quarter of 2016, Lennar officials said.

The zoning allows for no more than half the homes in Tree Tops to be age-restricted: at least one resident in each home would have to be 55 or older, and all permanent residents must be 19 or older.

Lennar, however, is considering developing the entire community in that fashion.

As part of its development agreement with the county, Lennar will donate:

  • 2.2 acres on the north side of Van Wyck Road for use as a medical, fire or law enforcement facility
  • $835,000 for law enforcement, fire and emergency services in Indian Land.
  • $417,500 to the Lancaster County School District.
  • Up to $350,000 for improvements to Van Wyck Road between U.S. 521 and the entrance of the new development.