The first homes at the Mosaic at West Creek age-restricted community are starting to take shape off Tuckahoe Creek Parkway in eastern Goochland County.
The first single-family homes and town homes in the development are selling quickly to residents who are age 55 and older.
“Our first section of the development is only 49 homes, and we’re sold out of that,” said Jonathan Ridout, the vice president of real estate development at HHHunt Communities, a Henrico-based real estate development company which is planning the community.
Plans call for a total of 508 homes in the new development — 285 single-family homes and 223 townhouses — that will wrap around in an L-shape to the west and south of Capital One Financial Corp.’s campus in the West Creek office park. The property goes to state Route 288.
“There’s a huge market, just from a demographic perspective, with baby boomers and everybody aging up into that area of 55-plus,” Ridout said during a recent tour of the property.
HHHunt had originally told county officials that they estimated it would take five to eight years to build all the homes at Mosaic, said Jo Ann Hunter, Goochland’s director of community development.
But given the buying interest in the new community, which is the largest subdivision in Goochland, Hunter said the project could potentially finish on a quicker time frame.
“I know that sales have been very strong there,” Hunter said. “They had a lot of interest before the first house was even constructed on the property.”
The development was an attractive proposal for county officials because it offered age-restricted housing built by a quality developer, Hunter said. She added that the mostly rural county doesn’t have that many townhouses.
“We’re looking forward to the project offering these housing options,” Hunter said.
Before the county’s Board of Supervisors approved the developer’s plans in March 2018, some residents worried about how the project would impact traffic and the rural character of the county.
Hunter said county officials feel that the roads could handled the added traffic, and she said there’s a undisturbed natural buffer area around the project to help maintain the rural ambience around the new subdivision.
With Mosaic geared more toward older residents, Ridout said that should cut down on the amount of traffic that would come from the new development in an area that was already seeing added traffic from commuters to the nearby Capital One and CarMax campuses and nearby Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s taproom and brewery.
“A lot of them [older residents] are still working, but again they’re not taking kids to daycare and this and that,” Ridout said, adding that HHHunt is also paying toward transportation improvements in the county.
This is HHHunt’s first 55-plus community in the Richmond area.
HHHunt is developing other communities throughout the Richmond area including the Wescott community of townhouses and single family homes in Chesterfield County; River Mill in Henrico County with its townhouses, family homes and apartments; and Rutland Grove in Hanover County, where HHHunt is building single family homes.
At Mosaic, a conservatory with outdoor grilling stations and meeting space has been built at the entrance to the community off Tuckahoe Creek Parkway.
Plans call for extending the development’s main road — Mosaic Creek Boulevard — farther south, a road that will run past an dog park as well as a clubhouse that will have an indoor fitness facility, resort-style pool, pickleball courts, fire pit and hot tub.
“These amenities are just right in their backyard that you can walk to or drive to if you want to,” Ridout said. “And the whole community is going to be connected with sidewalks and walking trails.”
The average selling price of a townhouse in the community is about $400,000 and the single family houses are selling for $450,000 on up, Ridout said.
Residential communities for people 55 and older are becoming more prevalent in the Richmond region, particularly in areas outside the city, said Laura Lafayette, the CEO of the Richmond Association of Realtors.
“There is no question that these communities have become quite popular,” Lafayette said. “They are being built throughout the suburban jurisdictions.”
Their popularity comes as the Richmond area prepares for the “age wave” of retiring baby boomers.
Seniors live in the fastest growing households in the Richmond area, according to the Partnership for Housing Affordability, which notes on its website that following decades of suburban sprawl, many older residents without children are now living in homes that are too big for their needs.
“We are most definitely a graying region,” Lafayette said. “There’s no question about that.”
While the 55-plus communities have become popular, Lafayette said the question becomes what to do about people who can’t afford to buy a home at a place like Mosaic.
“Some seniors are choosing to age in place, but some seniors don’t have a choice — they’re aging in place because they can’t afford the 55 and over community,” Lafayette said. “That’s a very attractive product, but for the people who can’t afford it, what is going to be our regional response? We need to put both types of product on the ground — the 55 and over and other affordable options.”
At Chickahominy Falls in Hanover, work continues on building an agri-community focused development for people 55 and older. It will have 398 homes when its fully built on the 180-acre site that backs up to the Chickahominy River off Cedar Land and Holly Hill Road.
Cornerstone Homes, the Chickahominy Falls developer, broke ground on Sept. 1 on the development’s newest section — The Farmstead, a neighborhood of low maintenance villa style homes.
So far, 168 of the 398 home sites in Chickahominy Falls have been sold, with the average selling price of a home there is $431,684, according to Cornerstone Homes. The development includes a mix of village homes, carriage homes, single-level townhomes and cottage homes.
Cornerstone has been developing other communities for people 55 and over in the Richmond region, including three developments in Chesterfield — the Villas at Ashlake, the Cove at Magnolia Lakes and the Grove.
Roger Glover, the founder of Cornerstone Homes, said that the people in the 55-plus age bracket are “savvy, discretionary buyers,” and he noted that health and wellness are a big part of their lives.
“Beginning around 1998, I realized that the boomer 55-plus market would over the next couple of decades grow to represent over 50% of the population and the deepest new home-buying market, and today an American turns 50 every 7 seconds,” Glover said in a statement.
Chickhominy Falls is different from many age-restricted communities — it has a 10-acre farm where residents work in return for a share of the farm produce.
“We grow everything from potatoes to tomatoes and squash, zucchini, okra, a variety of herbs and spices, an assortment of farm flowers. We have blueberries, and raspberries and pears and apples,” said Kirsten Nease, Cornerstone Homes’ director of marketing.
At Mosaic at West Creek, residents are choosing from town homes with white quartz countertops as well as traditional, Craftsman and shingle-style homes.
Ridout said that grandparents who have family in the Richmond area are among the residents he expects will move into Mosaic. Much of the demand is coming from residents who live elsewhere in Goochland as well as from Henrico and Chesterfield counties, he said.
“It’s more of a local influx of people,” Ridout said.
A key draw for developing Mosaic is that the property, part of the West Creek office park, already had ready access to sewer lines, Ridout said.
“We see [Mosaic] as a benefit to the county because this is not going to develop as additional commercial land or office space,” Ridout said. “So when we rezoned it, we’re putting a use in here that’s going to help raise the property values, help contribute to the sewer tax district that’s here to help pay that debt down for the county.”