“Boomers are the most powerful consumers in the marketplace.” That’s the assessment of Roger Glover, founder and president of Richmond-based Cornerstone Homes. Perhaps nowhere are those of the Boomer generation making their influence felt as significantly as in the housing industry. Each year, more than three million folks are reaching the age of 55. Many of these are making decisions that have dramatically impacted the housing industry. Since its inception in 2001, Cornerstone Homes has been building homes with the desires and needs of active adults (55+) in mind.
While there are other homebuilders in the Richmond market who offer age-targeted and age-qualified communities, no one except Cornerstone Homes is building exclusively for this important demographic. As the leader in this arena, no other local builder has so successfully demonstrated its awareness of what homebuyers seek as they near retirement age. Thus far, Roger Glover has developed 16 communities and more than two thousand homes in Virginia and North Carolina.
So, just what is it that today’s active adults seek in a home? Downsizing is the term we often hear in regards to this question. Perhaps “rightsizing” is a more accurate way to phrase it. It is true, with the kids having moved out, Boomers don’t need as many rooms as they once did. But, they do want the space to enjoy an active lifestyle in a manner that currently suits their needs.
Recent statistics show that while the number of rooms in new homes has decreased for those of the generation that was born between 1946 and 1965, the livability of the homes has, if anything, changed.
Many of this generation want more time to enjoy their lives, explains Pam Nasworthy, director of sales & marketing at Cornerstone Homes. They seek maintenance-free homes to gain valuable time to enjoy their new resort-style amenities with their peers, enjoy grandchildren and travel. In other words, start checking off that “bucket list”! What they seek, is exactly what Cornerstone Homes is offering.
Currently, Cornerstone is building in the Villas at Ashlake in Chesterfield, an age-qualified (55-plus) community of 82 homes, the Villas at Magnolia Lakes Phase 2, The Cove, in Chester, an age-targeted community of 68 homes and Barley Woods an age-qualified community of 124 homes in Fredericksburg.
These beautiful communities feature such amenities as a clubhouse, pool, “Corner Patch” gardens, walking trails, event lawns and other outdoor gathering areas all professionally maintained. Additionally, residents have the luxury of having all landscaping and exterior maintenance provided for by the community.
There’s a great deal of buzz about another Cornerstone community being planned for Hanover County. I wanted to know more since I first learned about it several months ago. I’m talking about Chickahominy Falls, a 180-acre planned age-qualified neighborhood located on Cedar Lane near Route 1.
Chickahominy Falls will, indeed, offer the amenities, which have become the cornerstone of Cornerstone Homes properties. But Chickahominy Falls will also offer so much more, something very unique.
Kirsten Nease, project manager with the Crescent group, the developer of and a sister company of Cornerstone Homes, talked about what makes Chickahominy Falls so special.
According to Nease, “This is Central Virginia’s first and only Farm-Centered Residential Community. In fact, it is the first nationally to be geared solely to the 55+ homeowner.”
She describes it as a planned age-qualified community of about 400 homes to be centered around a working farm, Woodside Farms, and other 5 star amenities. Woodside Farms plans to grow and harvest a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, herbs, cut flowers, mushrooms and honey. This produce will be available to homeowners and will also “feed”collaborative efforts with other local markets and farms.
The farm was designed and will be professionally maintained by Agriburbia, a nationally renowned farming developer, with opportunities for the homeowners to volunteer and learn from the experts on staff. So, even if one does not possess the proverbial green thumb, residents will have plenty of opportunities for learning. Classes will include such topics as how to grow and maintain your own garden, farm to table cooking and nutrition as well as learning how to can your favorite fruit or vegetable. Woodside Farms will feature an event barn for community use and will feature educational classes, professional chef events, canning operations and produce distribution among other farm to table activities.
While Cornerstone Homes will be building the majority of the houses in Chickahominy Falls, they have formed a partnership with another Richmond-based builder, Stylecraft Homes to be able to meet demand and offer a wider array of products. In the first phase, Cornerstone Homes will be building single family detached “Carriage” homes and Stylecraft Homes will be building detached “Cottage” homes that will share a driveway court and be configured in clusters of four homes each.
Explaining the impetus for a residential farm-centered neighborhood, Nasworthy says that many of today’s active adults have shown a preference for the garden hoe over the golf clubs. Today’s 55+ is seeking to live a healthier more active lifestyle. Of course, we’re not talking about an all-work, no-play community. The farm allows residents to have access to healthier food sources and the 5 star amenities allow residents to enjoy the rural landscape of Hanover County right in their own backyard.
Nease says that site work has begun and that the sales center should be open at the site by late spring. Come Fall 2018, Chickahominy Falls should have its first residents.
If you’re interested, you’re not unlike hundreds of other residents of the Richmond area and beyond who have already put their name on a VIP list in order to ensure that they get up-to-the-minute news on the latest developments. If you’d like to get on that list, go to www.Chickahominyfalls.com. For more information on other Cornerstone communities www.CornerstoneHomes.net.