Those 55 years old or older make up nearly 43 percent of the United States population, and that number is expected to rise. In the world of supply and demand, that’s a demographic statistic driving a lot of residential development. And the Lake Norman area is no exception.
Projects specifically designed for folks 55 or older have opened – or are planned – in nearly all Lake Norman area communities, and visions for apartment complexes, subdivisions and even master-planned communities for that specific age group are in various stages of development throughout the region.
“It is absolutely a trend,” Jack Simoneau, Huntersville’s planning director for the last 17 years, said about the expansion of age-specific developments. “We’ve seen it here and know it’s happening in other places.”
In Huntersville, a project on the horizon is Bradbury, a 450-plus acre master-planned 55 and older community envisioned on rural property in the southeastern portion of town. Veteran developer Tim Coey is a partner in the Charlotte-based Bayard Group that is joining forces with Huntersville’s Bowman Development to create the project.
“There is no question this is the trend,” Coey said. “This type of age-specific development is happening all across the country, and it’s all based on the demographics.”
Coey said the Del Webb company’s large Carolina Lakes project not far from Charlotte in South Carolina introduced the concept to the region.
“That was the first large-scale project in the Charlotte area, and it has been incredibly popular,” Coey said. “At one time, they were adding 400 to 500 homes a year.”
Coey said the Bradbury project could eventually have up to 700 or 800 homes as well as some senior apartments.
“It’s a reflection of the demographics and builders looking for a promising opportunity,” Coey said.
He also mentioned the 600-acre Trilogy development in Denver as an example of a market-driven, popular community, as well as a new Del Webb project called Carolina Orchard near Fort Mill, S.C.
“These types of communities, and any project geared toward those 55 and old, are becoming popular,” he said.
Here are some of the neighborhoods aimed for those 55 and older:
Bellamor at the Park is an age-restricted under-construction apartment building in Huntersville. The project, at 16415 Old Statesville Road across from Primal Brewing, is on a 5-acre tract and will include one 126,000-square-foot, L-shaped building. The multi-story facility will include 60 1-bedroom units and 56 2-bedroom units and will be designed specifically for those 55 or older. There will also be some income-related stipulations for some of the apartment leases. The project is expected to be finished this fall. Information about Bellamor is available at 704-405-3437.
Also in Huntersville, an active adult apartment complex is planned in the Birkdale development. Rezoning for the project was approved in September 2017.
The Glens at Birkdale Commons and The Glens at Stillwell Village are additional Huntersville projects marketed as “senior living” developments.
One of the largest in the area – 1,200 homes once the final phases are complete – Trilogy at Lake Norman, an active-adult resort lifestyle community for members 55 or older, broke ground in July 2015. Homes start around $300,000, and there are multiple floor plans and finishes to choose from.
The Twin Mills Club is the 30,000-square-foot center that includes the Foundry restaurant, a pool, walking trails, the Outfitter Café, fitness center, events center, arts studio and indoor and outdoor pools. The Lifestyle Director is on-hand to schedule events both within the neighborhood and beyond – he recently scheduled a trip for members to go to Italy.
With 125 homes, 3 Cherry Way was completed in 2007 by builders and lifelong Denver residents Gary Dellinger and Gin Dellinger. The concept was to create a 55-and-older age-restricted community complete with features they wanted in their own home, according to the community’s website. All houses are similar in design – one story with the option of a second-floor bonus room, low-maintenance brick exterior, humidifier system, a security system, upgraded finishes and more. The Lee and Marion Cherry Pavilion, which is named after Gin’s parents, is the community center. It has a pool, pickleball court, fitness center, grilling area, kitchen, a library and more activity spaces which are name after the Dellinger children and grandchildren, the website noted. Homes are sold in the low $300,000 range. Details: www.3cherryway.com
The Terraces were built by Gary Dellinger and Gin Dellinger in 2001 right off N.C. 16 Business. The age-restricted neighborhood is made of single-story attached houses that were crafted with comfort and (wheelchair) accessibility in mind. There’s a clubhouse for activities like Bingo, cards, meals and more. There’s also a community pond, covered parking and walking trails. Details: 704-483-2845
Though it’s not age-restricted, The Springs is an age-targeted development for “active adults” within the greater Westport development, according the Westport website. There are one- and two-story options that fall between $350,000 - $420,000. No matter the layout, the homes are designed to include wide doorways, open/airy spaces and other accessibility features. The Club at Westport has a 24-hour gym, tennis courts, a pool, golf course and more. Details: www.lifeatwestport.com
Bailey's Glen is an active adult community off Bailey Road in Cornelius that is aimed at bringing people together. One phase of the neighborhood offers custom homes from 18 ranch-style floor plans starting at $279,900 that range in size from 1,273 to 2,400 square feet, according to the neighborhood website. The Oasis at Bailey’s Glen has condos with spacious floor plans and high ceilings and large windows and doors along with balconies overlooking the pool or park. It also has a poolside restaurant and bar. Among the amenities for the Baileys Glen neighborhoods are maintenance-free yards, three clubhouses, an on-site lifestyle director, three pools, five pickleball courts, a tennis court, croquet, bocce ball, putting green, golf driving net, golf and baseball leagues, outdoor grilling areas and multiple parks. They also have a variety of fitness rooms and clubs as well as various activities, including yoga, zumba, aerobics, dancing, arts and crafts, a woodworking shop, hobby shop, community gardens, planned outings and various clubs. Details: www.baileysglen.com
Epcon Communities has a mission to build homes, neighborhoods and lifestyles that provide remarkable experiences, according to the business’s website. There are several Epcon Communities neighborhoods in the area that have homes that can be built or purchased, including the 29-acre, 94-home Courtyards at Kinnamon Park in Huntersville, starting at $300,000s; The 16-acre 51-home Courtyards of Huntersville, starting at the $300,000s, The Courtyards on Lake Norman in Cornelius, starting in the upper $400,000s; and The Courtyards at Blume Point in Mooresville, starting at the $300,000s. The Courtyards at Brawley Point in Mooresville has been built out. The maintenance-free homes offer social, recreational and fitness activities at the clubhouse and through the neighborhoods’ other amenities. Details: www.eponcommunities.com
The Villages at Oak Tree offer 173 townhomes and single-family homes, according to www.55places.com and other Realtor websites. Construction of the community took place by the Bonanza Development Corporation 1999-2004. They are low-maintenance homes, activities, a clubhouse with an exercise room and multipurpose room as well as a clubhouse with a library and catering kitchen. There are also trails around the pond along with landscaped sidewalks and a fenced-in lot to store a boat or RV, the website states.
Johnson Manor is an active lifestyle community in Mooresville that will have 114 attached and single family, low maintenance homes near Lake Norman built by Benchmark Communities. It has a clubhouse with a fitness and exercise room, a reading room, meeting room and catering kitchen. There is also a covered patio as well as a community garden and walking trails, For the townhomes, there are two floor plans ranging from 1,473 square feet to 1,655 square feet with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and attached two-car garages. The single family homes have three floor plans that have two bedrooms, two to three bathrooms and a two-car garage, according to www.55places.com and other Realtor websites.
The Villages at Isle of Pines offers a homes for those ages 55 and older off Brawley School Road in Mooresville. Residents own their own home and land, though yard maintenance is taken care of by the Homeowners Association. The low-maintenance homes are in a wooded setting with seven single-family floor plans that range from 1,500 to 2,694 square feet.
The Villages at Oak Tree is an age 55 and older community in Mooresville. Amenities include open plans, ample storage, two-car garages and screened porches, according to www.housesincharlotte.com. Another real estate website said there are 173 low-maintenance homes, including townhomes and single family homes with a variety of single story house plans. Amenities include a fitness center, walking trail and a clubhouse and RV and boat storage, according to www.bethsternerrealestate.com.
LakeWalk in Mooresville offers new homes for ages 55 and older. It has different districts, including waterfront homes, waterview homes, park view homes and traditional lots, according to www.bethsternerrealestate.com. There is a park, walking trail, pool, canoe launch and a clubhouse.