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 Kitty Hawk
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An Award-Winning Coastal Dwelling

Residents of the award-winning, active-adult community in Chester, Md., the Kitty Hawk, can retire well-assured that their home will be efficient and livable today and tomorrow.

By Dani Smith
Photography by Covell Communities

If retirement is not on the forefront of the mind, it's hard to imagine what is truly appealing to retirees. It's even more difficult to anticipate this population's ongoing needs as they continue to age in their homes. Luckily, for the 55-plus crowd, builder and developer, Covell Communities, understands not only what is wanted in a senior community, but also what is needed. That is why they have designed an activeadult community that speaks to Baby Boomer living for today and tomorrow.

Located along the eastern shore of Maryland, the awardwinning Kitty Hawk is one of four designs offered by Covell Communities' Coastal Collection -- the developer's luxury, semi-custom group of homes that are distinctly designed with waterfront living in mind. Part small-scale Hamptons meets Cape Cod, part senior citizen community, Kitty Hawk homes are designed with the sense of nautical serenity fused with colonialism. The color schemes are natural and relaxed, giving the community the laidback feel of a beach community, while the columns and open porches give it a traditional American sense of home. "The community has a wide range of design themes and architectural styles all centered on a Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) format," said Scott Coche, operations manager, Covell Communities. "The community is located on the eastern shore of Maryland which allowed for an exciting mix of federal and coastal design elements."

As a waterfront neighborhood, a large part of the community's appeal is attributed to the views these homes entail. However, with the designing of the community, ensuring an attractive view for all homes posed as a bit of an architectural hiccup in an otherwise straightforward project. "Developing the Kitty Hawk floor plan to fit in a waterfront community presented a unique challenge in maximizing views from different locations in the community, inland interior lots to waterfront," explained the community's architect, Coche. In order to do so, Coche and his team had to get creative. He explained, "We were able to make the Kitty Hawk ambidextrous to what the front or rear of the home is, depending on the view corridor." In so doing, the homes have been positioned to maximize on the best possible view.

With three available models -- the Classic , the Executive and the Legacy -- the Kitty Hawk was built on the premise of flexibility and modern livability for today's Boomer generation with a continuing effort to provide efficiency as owners age in their home. "Purchasing a Kitty Hawk home is not just for current lifestyle, but also for life as the years move on," Coche said. "My role in developing the Kitty Hawk floor plan and design was to incorporate the lifestyle of the active-adult with a design for entertaining and livability now, while allowing for age-inplace possibilities in the future," described Coche. He continued on to say, "This thought in design lent to the creation of a floor plan where we could provide the single-floor, living lifestyle complete with extra wide doorways and raised vanities and the option for an interior elevation or rough-in for later installation to accommodate the need if a resident's mobility became decreased. Every portion of the homes is useable by wheelchair or walker to ensure this luxurious lifestyle can continue."

As Coche stated, Kitty Hawk homes have been built to include some Universal Design elements, such as wide doorways, etc., and range in size from 2,470 square feet to 2,930 square feet, depending on the model purchased. All three, single-family home models are two-story homes. The first level of all models includes expansive great rooms; kitchen and dining areas; as well as a full-width porch and large windows allowing for a naturally-lit home. The second level on all three models calls for plenty of ways to customize the home to fit each resident's unique needs and desires; and on the first floor, all homes include an expansive great room, kitchen and dining area.

The homes themselves aren't the only appeal to the Kitty Hawk. Its location makes for a wealth of natural, nearby amenities, and residents are able to fully realize their surrounding landscape and be active. "With 55 acres of scenic wetlands and more than 2 miles of nature trails, jogging or biking along the cross-Island Trail, there are plenty of opportunities in and around the community for exercise; connecting with the natural world, and plenty of gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, making the adult residents in this community truly active," said Coche.

As a testament to the Kitty Hawk's quality of craftsmanship and efficient design, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has awarded the community with the NAHB 50+ Housing Council's Silver Award for "Active-Adult Housing, Best Detached Home Over 2,100 square feet." "It has been our goal to incorporate each of our home designs to match the lifestyle of the active-adult, and it's great to get such recognition from the industry, as this award represents," mentioned Coche.

According to a press release announcing the community's national achievement, chairman of the NAHB, Bob Nielsen, stated, "This year's winners often had to do more with less. While developers and builders may have had to scale back the size of some communities, for these winners, the focus was always on quality communities that offer 50-plus residents a great lifestyle." This award, in present economic times, is a true feat. As many builders and developers skimp on details and designs and fall short in quality, standing out and being recognized on a national level as a true pioneer for modern day home building is more than an accomplishment, it's a victory.

Dani Smith is an editor at 50+ Builder. She may be contacted at

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