A few dozen future residents gathered with the developers and builders of The Lodge at Historic Lewes Aug. 9 to celebrate the placement of the first vertical beam for the 223,000-square-foot, 175-unit senior living facility.
Being built along Kings Highway near Cape Henlopen High School, The Lodge will comprise 78 independent living units, 65 assisted-living units and 32 memory care apartments. A 2023 opening is targeted.
The $69 million project is being developed in partnership with Ocean Atlantic Companies and Vantage Point Retirement Living, and will be a sister community to The Lodge at Truitt Homestead near Rehoboth Beach.
“We focus on senior living communities we ourselves would would want to live in,” said Greg Stevens, who founded Vantage Point with his wife Rita 25 years ago. “When we started coming down here 20 years ago, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t this be a great location for a senior living community,’ and there weren’t a lot of options.”
The Stevenses partnered with Preston Schell, chairman and CEO of Ocean Atlantic Companies, in 2017 to purchase the parcel formerly known as the Beebe property that stretches from Kings Highway to Savannah Road just east of Cape Henlopen High School. The property was subdivided, with the Kings Highway side eyed for a senior living facility and the Savannah Road side originally slated for medical offices. Plans for the Savannah Road side changed over time, and now a 140-unit workforce housing community called Dutchman’s Harvest has been proposed for the site.
Rita Stevens said one of the things that makes Vantage Point communities special is the staff that provides a welcoming, loving environment for residents. She said it isn’t easy to find the right people for the job.
“You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your princes,” she said. “We feel we create an environment which is very philosophically aligned with what Schell Brothers has done all these years. You get people who are good at what they do, they love what they do, they have a passion about what they do, and they stay with you for a long time. Our philosophy is that we try to treat everybody as family, even our staff.”
As for the facilities, architect Martin Kimmel of Kimmel Bogrette Architecture + Site said he worked with Vantage Point to ensure each building and unit feels like home.
“It’s about building a place that’s really a home to feel good about, to feel comfortable in,” he said. “We’ve been blessed to help turn those physical things into home-like settings, but, moreover, the people and the care are really what make it home.”
Schell said the connection created among residents at The Lodge at Truitt Homestead is great to see. He said he often tunes in to watch the Facebook Live events and enjoys seeing how much fun the residents appear to be having.
“They’re always doing fun things over there,” he said. “I think my wife and I are going to sneak over and start delving into those events. They will be doing the same thing here.”
To learn more about The Lodge at Historic Lewes, go to vpretirement.com/our-communities/lodge-historic-lewes.