Monday, May 10th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


The good life in Suffolk's premiere, age-restricted waterfront community

by Rob Lauer

The Landings at Bennett’s Creek offers a choice of six different floor plans, <BR>each of which can be further customized to give buyers the home of their dreams.

The Landings at Bennett’s Creek offers a choice of six different floor plans,
each of which can be further customized to give buyers the home of their dreams.

Bennett's Creek in north Suffolk is one of the most scenic locations in Hampton Roads.  The creek - broad and deep enough to accommodate any size boat - gently winds its way through lush farmland to the south, past century-old farmhouses atop green hills. Old-growth trees stand like silent sentinels along the shoreline, while tall grasses growing in the shallows offer resting places to waterfowl. To the north of Suffolk's Bridge Road, Bennett's Creek broadens, opening up into the James River and the Chesapeake Bay beyond. It is an idyllic spot that seems to invite one to retreat from the rush of daily life, to connect with nature and Virginia's nautical heritage.

Once a tiny marina and restaurant were nestled here at the creek's edge. In recent years, however, Suffolk restaurateurs and developers, Teresa and Brian Mullins- creators of such upscale eateries as Vintage Tavern at Governor's Pointe and River Stone Chophouse- envisioned something more for the area. Inspired by memories of bringing their son to fish at the tiny marina, they wanted others to experience the beauties of Bennett's Creek.  Obtaining the property in 2015, they built an expansive new marina, boat dock, and Decoy's restaurant, which opened in 2017. Now, on eight acres that gently rise from the marina and offer stunning views of the surrounding waterways, a premiere river-front community is being built.

The Landings at Bennett's Creek is a marina-style condo community created especially for homeowners, age 55 and better, who are seeking an active, low-maintenance, carefree lifestyle.

"When people hear that The Landings is designed for those 55 and better, they might mistakenly think of a stereotypical retirement community," Mena Parker, CSP, explains. "The Landings is the exact opposite of that. It is a beautiful place where people who are much younger than 55 would love to live. In fact, we regularly have to disappoint people in their 30s and 40s who contact  or visit us because they're interested in living here."

"Many people at age 55 are still working," Associate Broker Anita Crum notes with a smile.  "Some have retired from one career but are involved in another.  They're not necessarily interested in being less active: they want to be active doing the things that they care about. They've reached that stage in their lives when they no longer care about keeping up a huge house. They want a beautiful place in which they can live, have visitors, and entertain guests without a lot of work and worry. They like the idea of having neighbors next door and an outdoor space to call their own, but without having to worry about a lot of upkeep. To these kinds of people age 55 and better, The Landings offers the advantages of owning a single-family home combined with the conveniences of condo living."

"When people think of condo living, they usually have in mind something very different than what they will find at The Landings," Mena points out. "Here we are offering 23 stylish single-family homes. Each is a separate unit, so there is no sharing of walls. And these homes are beautifully built by two of the area's finest builders: Christopher Kait Construction (CKC ) and Sasser Construction."

"Both of these builders are dedicated to building their clients' dream homes," Mena says. "Ryan Rose of CKC is a hands-on builder who focuses on the needs and desires of each of his clients. For Ryan, building a home is not just a business transaction: it's the beginning of a relationship with the homeowner."

"Eric Sasser of Sasser Construction was chosen as Southern Living's Builder of the Year in 2010," Mena notes. "The quality of his work is amazing. Sasser Construction's dedication to the finest craftsmanship stems from their desire to do everything they can to build homes that reflect the history, interests, and lifestyles of their clients. The client's story is at the heart of every home that Sasser builds."

"Eric Sasser is incredibly personable," Anita says. "When I first met him, I was very impressed by the fact that he knew everyone by name- not just the homeowners, but all of the tradesmen working at the job site. And he knew their backstories and all about their families. With that kind of personal attention to detail, you can only imagine how much care he gives to the homes he is building at The Landings."

A total of twenty-three semi-custom designed homes will be built at The Landings.

 "We currently offer six different floor plans," Mena says. "However each builder is in the process of designing a ranch style home unique to our community. Every home has an open concept, so the feeling is roomy, bright, and airy. Each home has a first-floor master bedroom with additional bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. Particular features that will appeal to 55-and-better homeowners include doorways throughout each unit that are slightly wider and bathrooms with seamless/zero-entry showers for easy access."

 "Homeowners can also choose between a one or two-car garage," Anita points out.  "All garages have rear entries to the house, which means that residents can relax on their front porches without their view being marred by driveways and cars."

To the side of each home is a private yard that runs the depth of the house and can be paved as a patio or landscaped any way the homeowner wants. The condo association takes care of all other yard work so that residents are free to devote time to their interests and enjoying life.

"The homes are a perfect size," Anita points out. "They're small enough to be low-maintenance but large enough that residents can entertain in style."

Although all six floorplans share some standard features, the exterior and interior of each are unique.  In addition, homeowners can meet with the builders to customize elements such as cabinetry, countertops, molding and roof shingling. But Mena is quick to point out that the distinctions do not stop there.

"If clients come in, find a floor plan that they love, but decide they want something changed, our builders are delighted to customize the design to their liking," she explains. "In fact, as long as the desired changes can fit within the footprint of the floorplan and don't affect the structure, they most likely can be done. The builders will meet with the client, listen to their ideas, and help visualize them. Both Ryan and Eric feel a personal connection to the community they are creating here."

The Landings at Bennett's Creek
is a marina-style condo community
created especially for homeowners,
age 55 and better, who are seeking
an active, low-maintenance,
carefree lifestyle.

Outside of the stunning homes, it is the senseof community and the easy access to some of the region's most beautiful waterways that make life at The Landings so unique.

"The Landings is designed for those age 55 and better who enjoy living an active marina lifestyle- who enjoy spending time," Mena emphasizes.

Decoys Seafood Restaurant, featuring the Blind Duck Tiki Bar and Bennett's Creek Marina, serves as the central communal hub for residents at The Landings.

The new full-service marina can accommodate boats up to 80 feet in length. It has new slips with 1,800 square feet of state-of-the-art floating docks, electrical and water hookups, a stocked ship store, gas, and diesel fuel and sewage pump-out.

With both indoor and outdoor seating, Decoy's serves lunch and dinner daily. The rustic nautical ambiance of the beautifully-designed restaurant compliments the stunning pristine views of the creek and its wooded shoreline.

The Landings at Bennett’s Creek will offer homeowners age 55 and better an active-lifestyle <BR>on one of the most scenic waterways in Hampton Roads.

The Landings at Bennett’s Creek will offer homeowners age 55 and better an active-lifestyle
on one of the most scenic waterways in Hampton Roads.

From April through September, Decoy's tiki bar- dubbed the "Blind Duck"- offers ample open-air seating on a sprawling 14,000-square foot deck. This outdoor bar is "The Place to Be" during the spring and summer months. Live musical entertainment is a regular event, and magnificent sunsets are on view each evening.

 "All residents at The Landings have privileges with Decoy's," Anita explains. "These including running a monthly tab with the restaurant. They can stroll there for lunch or dinner, enjoy the drinks of their choice at Decoy's expansive outdoor tiki bar, take in the live entertainment, and stroll home afterward- all without having to take a wallet or credit card with them. They have access to Decoy's swimming pool, and they can rent the waterfront cottages at discounted rates. Decoys also reserves a number of the boat slips for our homeowners to rent. This is a wonderful advantage for boat owners. They can keep their boats in the water within walking distance of their home, and they never have to worry about maintaining the slip."

With the beauties of the creek literally a stone's throw from any of its 23 homes, The Landings at Bennett's Creek feels like it is tucked away from the rest of the region- a nature retreat all its own.

"The first time I drove here, I felt as if I was going out into farm country," Anita recalls. "The feeling when you arrive here is that you're a world away from the rest of Hampton Roads. In reality, the restauarnts, shopping, theatres, medical facilties and professional offices in Bridgeport and Harborview are just down the road. Because we're centrally located, just one mile from  Highway 664, homeowners are literally minutes away from all seven cities of Hampton Roads- on both the Southside and the Peninsula."

"The Landings at Bennett's Creek is Suffolk's premier, age-restricted community," Mena concludes. "With access to the marina and gorgeous waterways, as well as other amenities, the feeling here is akin to that of a resort. Add to that beautiful, semi-customized homes created by two of our region's finest builders, and it's clear that The Landings offers everything anyone could need for living the good life."