I recently viewed a very unique property in Carbon County and think it might become a very successful STR. 646 Pohopoco Drive, Lehighton, PA 18235 is a sprawling home, almost three distinct units in what should be a successful location. It is 7 acres and has plenty of room for the addition of a pool and some stunning outdoor space. It is the very last property in a commercial strip on the road that leads to the very popular Beltzville State Park in Carbon County. Beltzville is one of the few areas that allows power boats and jet skis. It is also very close to Exit 74 of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-476), near the new St. Luke’s Hospital, also near the Penn’s Peak music venue and the popular tourist town of Jim Thorpe. There are two hotels (Hampton Inn, Country Inn and Suites by Raddison) on Route 209 nearby.
It is in Franklin Township which only allows STR in commercial districts, like this. It has two separate septic systems as the original house was built in the civil war era and the large addition was built in 1977. The two are connected, essentially two homes connected together giving it at least 6 bedrooms. It seems structurally sound, the late husband was a craftsman and it is reflected in the construction and layout of the home.
It needs some updating and will take some creativity (and some investment $$) to make this successful, but if done right bookings and rates could be very strong as there are very few, if any, STRs like this in the area and it would seem there is strong demand for a nice sized vacation home like this. I am not the listing agent, but the listing agent and I have talked about the possibilities for STR at this property and she indicated that Franklin Township is reasonable and would welcome a good use for this property.
This property is an example of unique STR opportunities that come by way of Zoning laws where STR is not allowed in residential areas, but may be allowed in other zoning districts. Municipalities like Franklin Township in Carbon County and a number in Monroe County (Chestnuthill Township, Pocono Township, Paradise Township, Mt. Pocono Borough) do allow STR in commercial/business districts meaning that homes, once converted to offices or professional space could be used for STR after some renovation. A building that became an insurance agency as an example, could be renovated and become a very attractive STR. It is an interesting twist to STR development and seems what some local governments were looking for when they designated STR as acceptable in only certain zoning districts. Check the Municipal STR Scorecard in the Poconos to see where some opportunities can be found.
I would welcome a chance to work with anyone interested in finding a unique property that with some renovation that could become a successful STR. Below are some ideas, these come from a MLS search of commercial properties in Pocono Townships in which STR is limited to commercial/business districts: