The Davis Community, Wilmington, North Carolina

Nestled among the pines of Wilmington, N.C.’s Porter’s Neck suburban neighborhood, The Davis Community sought to revitalize its senior living community by adding independent living and wellness spaces to the existing assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing community.

To further appeal to a new generation of residents, leadership at the community recognized the need for a fresh aesthetic aligned with contemporary beach architecture, as well as new amenities.

Modernized Lowcountry design

Opened in June 2023, the project, designed by Lantz Boggio / Architects (Greenwood Village, Colo.), features a design aesthetic centered on “modernized Lowcountry” architecture and interior design.

On the exterior architecture, this approach comprises wrap-around porches, shutters, metal roofing, and horizontal boarding paired with tabby stucco and flat trim.

Crisp white trim is a hallmark of Lowcountry architecture, providing contrast and highlighting details such as columns, shutters, and railings. Incorporating weathered wood and/or painted surfaces mimic the look of aged coastal structures, adding character and charm.

For the interior design, choices reflect the cues of the natural surroundings. White and natural wood colors accented with many light shades of blue, green, yellow, and peach echo the colors of the sky, marshes, and sand. while neutral colors like beige, tan, and gray evoke the natural hues of driftwood and sandy beaches.

Independent living options

To cater to diverse preferences and mobility levels, the project delivers two new living options for independent living residents, including 32 cottages, arranged in mini neighborhoods and featuring beach-house charm with open layouts and accessible features.

The other option is the four-story, 141-unit The Residences, which offers a variety of one- and two-bedroom models.

The design team used evidence-based design to help guide programming of spaces to create a sense of community and shared purpose. Market assessments were conducted by involving the staff, future residents, and the greater Wilmington community, resulting in expanding the continuum of care beyond the campus borders, making transitions familiar, and appealing to a broader market.

Creating a center of wellness and community

The core of this new business model focused on becoming a new community center, creating additional revenue and social engagement. Central to this vision is The Promenade, a wellness and community center linking the community’s new cottages, independent living buildings, and green spaces.

The community decided to open the center to the broader community, offering multiple dining venues, a spa, event center, amphitheater, and comprehensive fitness program. In less than a year, The Promenade has attracted 1,200 members, with weddings and concerts scheduled for the coming year.

Expansive green spaces connect the old and new parts of The Davis Community, with The Promenade serving as the campus heart, seamlessly integrating cottage and independent living with assisted living and skilled nursing.

The Davis Community project details

Project location: Wilmington, N.C.

Completion date: June 2023

Owner:  The Davis Community

Total building area:  344,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost:  $72,000,000 (excludes land)

Cost/sq. ft.:  $209/sq. ft.

Architects: Lantz Boggio / Architects, Bowman Murray Hemingway & Lantz Boggio / Architects (The Promenade architects)

Interior designer: Lantz Boggio / Architects

General contractor: Monteith Construction

Engineers: Tripp Engineering, PC / Wilmington, N.C. (civil), McVeigh & Magnum Engineering Inc. / Charlotte, N.C. (structural), McVeigh & Magnum Engineering, Inc. / Charlotte, N.C. (MEP), Unified Alerts / Wilmington, N.C. (low voltage)

Builder: Monteith Construction

Art consultant: Artonomy, Leftbank

Medical equipment planner: Not applicable

Art/pictures: Artonomy, Leftbank

AV equipment/electronics/software:

Carpet/flooring: Shaw Contract, Mohawk, Millikin, Karndean

Ceiling/wall systems: Armstrong, Woodtrends, Anthology Woods

Doors/locks/hardware: Schlage

Fabric/textiles: Clutch Procurement

Furniture—seating/casegoods: Clutch Procurement

Lighting: Estiluz, Stonegate, ET2, Kuzco, Troy Lighting, Studio M, Hubbardton Forge, Capital Lighting, Possini, Tech Lighting, Eurofase, CDS Lighting

Surfaces—solid/other: Cambria, MSI, Daltile, Silestone, Pentel

Wallcoverings: MDC

Project details are provided by the design team and not vetted by Environment for Aging.