Wednesday, April 17, 2024

180 senior living rentals are coming to Riverlights

The Luminance is the latest announced development in Riverlights, to include independent and assisted living facilities. (Courtesy/City of Wilmington)

WILMINGTON — A growing mixed-use community in the southern portion of the county is expanding again, this time to accommodate additional senior living.

A new development in Riverlights, dubbed “The Luminance,” is making its way through the city’s technical review process to include senior independent living and assisted living facilities. 

Riverlights is a growing community with single-family homes, townhouses, custom-build units, rental options, and retail. It’s planned for completion by 2026. There is already a community servicing the 55-plus age sector, built as “low-maintenance” homes by Del Webb. 

The Del Webb residential community is nearly sold out, according to a Riverlights spokesperson, and will likely be built out by the end of the year. The difference is The Luminance will offer rental living, as opposed to ownership.

Sanford-based Carolina Commercial Contractors is designing, developing and building the new community. The company was founded in 1998 and handles developments across the Carolinas and Virginia. Locally, Carolina Commercial built out The Landings at Oak Island, which broke ground in 2019.

“With extensive experience developing and building senior living communities, we know we can deliver a beautiful product that complements the existing community and meets future needs,” Carolina Commercial Contractors research and development Susan Keller said.

Riverlights Vice President of Operations Nick Cassala said rental senior living has always been a component of Riverlights’ 1,400-acre masterplan situated along 3 miles of the Cape Fear River. It’s surrounded by roughly 14,000 residences within a 3-mile radius.

“Luminance at Riverlights will be a significant addition to the Riverlights community as we continue to anticipate and meet the needs of our residents through all life’s stages,” Cassala said. “And it will also be a great benefit for our residents who want to be near their aging parents.” 

Riverlights’ diverse community, with single-family homes, townhouses and rentals, caters to a mix of demographics from young families through retired couples. Located midway between downtown Wilmington and Carolina Beach, the entire Riverlights development will accommodate 3,000 mixed-use housing units upon completion.

Owned by NNP IV-Cape Fear River, LLC, the currently undeveloped 23.36 acres is already zoned mixed-use; however, only 7.3 acres will be developed. Plans show 178,256 square feet of independent living facilities with 120 units, as well as a 32,944 square-foot one-story assisted-living structure with 60 beds.

The independent living apartments, for 55 years old and up, are divided into two four-story buildings, each with 60 units, and adjoined by a clubhouse in the middle. The connecting structure includes an indoor pool.

The U-shaped set-up surrounds a shared-use green space to include pickleball courts, a dog park, garden and gazebo. Additional amenities include a dining room, coffee bar, fitness studio, bistro, lounge and craft room.

The assisted living building is a stand-alone structure to the east of the mixed-use independent living community.

To accommodate residents and visitors, the proposed development comes with a 218-space parking lot, of which 16 will be ADA accessible.

The Luminance will be operated by ALG Senior, which manages similar projects in Oak Island (Pine Forest Plantation), as well as New Hanover House in Wilmington — an assisted living and memory care facility.

The site on River Road is sandwiched between Motts Village Road to the east and Arnold Road to the west. Estimates show the community will add 35 additional morning peak hour trips and 51 additional vehicles on the road in the afternoon. North Carolina Department of Transportation traffic volume maps show River Road averages 4,400 vehicles per day. However, just south of The Luminance planned site, passed Sanders Road, nearly double the number of cars pass through daily.

The Luminance will be located in the 7Bridge area of Riverlights, announced for development in October. A 37-acre commercial village, 7Bridge is named for the seven lighthouses that guided ships to the Port City in the World Wars. The built-out space, with plans to open between late 2023 and mid-2024, will include parcels for retail, entertainment, commercial and office buildings and is part of a larger 120-acre mixed-use village that will anchor the southern entrance to Riverlights. 7Bridge will accompany a new multi-family luxury apartment community, Argento, and Wilmington’s first single-family-for-rent neighborhood.


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