Exciting changes will begin in Davis by early summer when the first shovels break ground on a new neighborhood that will become home to primarily people 55 and older who are looking for a right-sized house with easy access to important amenities.
Formerly known as the West Davis Active Adult Community, developer David Taormino renamed the community Bretton Woods in honor of the location of the famous economic conference held in 1944 to establish post-World War II monetary policies. His vision is that Bretton Woods will now set the Gold Standard for an aging in place neighborhood. Taormino has designed the subdivision with features that will serve residents as well as become a destination that regularly attracts visitors of all ages to enjoy its unique offerings.
“We are changing the concept of a traditional senior neighborhood so that it complements the Davis ethos of strong community and active lifestyle,” said Taormino.
Bretton Woods, situated north of Covell Boulevard and just west of Sutter Davis Hospital, will ultimately become a community of 13 streets with 345 homes in a range of sizes and options as well as 150 affordable senior apartments. The self-contained neighborhood will have a health club that will be open to the public, restaurant and office space. It will also have an assisted living and memory care facility at the corner of Risling Court and Covell Boulevard.
The City of Davis currently lacks such a neighborhood for independent aging in place, and as the homes become ready, the city’s tight housing market will ease. Local realtor Kim Eichorn is excited to see this neighborhood added to Davis. “The new subdivisions in recent decades are largely two-story homes, densely built and targeted towards young families. Bretton Woods will create resale homes in Davis, which allows more options for individuals and families who want to buy here or move to larger house.”
Right Sized Homes Offer Something for Everyone
Many people find aging into their 80s and 90s isolating and lonely. Children move away, neighborhoods change, and it can be challenging to build new friendships. As people age, they may no longer want or need the larger floorplan and yard of the house they bought to raise a family. Bretton Woods housing is based on the idea of the “right sized” home for individuals and couples in a new phase of their life — space enough to live and entertain friends and family, but not more than they can enjoy and maintain.
Taormino is working with award-winning homebuilder K. Hovnanian Homes on a range of one-story options from 1,160 square foot cottage style duplexes to 1,200–1,400 square foot bungalows to 1,400–1,800 detached homes. A selection of 51 custom home sites will be included in addition to the 150 affordable senior apartments.
Brian Foster with Cunningham Engineering is the project manager for Bretton Woods. “You have a wide range of product types to fit the variety of needs people have in housing at this phase,” said Foster. “There is a right size home for everyone interested in the neighborhood.”
Although Bretton Woods is geared towards active aging adults, 20 percent of the community will be available to those under 55. It is this mix of housing styles and age ranges that will help foster a strong connection between residents.
Innovative Features Will Create Strong Community Ties, Build Friendships and Encourage an Active Lifestyle
A significant portion of Bretton Woods homes will be built along 45–60 foot wide shaded greenways. Houses will be oriented so that their front doors do not open on to the street like in a traditional neighborhood. Instead, the front doors will be located on the opposite end of the house and open on to the neighborhood’s greenways. Intentionally moving the front door away from where people park their cars and towards the rear of the home will help residents more naturally connect with their neighbors.
“As people age, the likelihood of loneliness increases, and we want residents to have serendipitous opportunities to meet each other,” said Taormino about his inspiration for this new community.
Bretton Woods will have a total of 2.6 miles of paths. The almost 1-mile exterior trail will meander along the north and west portions of Bretton Woods with arterials that run east and west throughout the neighborhood. Along the 1-mile art and poetry trail, residents and visitors will find 11 individual pieces of public art with adjacent shade and seating designed to compel people to stop, rest, congregate, enjoy a picnic or watch the sunset. Signage will explain the meaning of each piece in the artist’s own words. Upwards of two dozen poetry stops will be placed along the path reflecting different aspects of nature.
The drainage area will also include 400 oak trees in the 100–150 foot wide buffer on the north and west sides. A linear orchard of fruit trees along the trail will provide residents with edible landscape with much of the produce going to the Yolo County Food Bank to help with food scarcity in the Yolo and Solano communities. California native plants will line the trail and will be placed in the channels to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies and birds. There will be raised planter beds for residents to grow herbs and vegetables.
Bretton Woods will center around a 3-acre Activity and Wellness Center that comprises a homeowners’ club house, health club and restaurant. Both the health club and restaurant will be open to the public. The club house will include meeting space for lectures and educational offerings. Residents will have access to state-of-the-art health club and a heated swimming pool. Eventually this section of the neighborhood will house a restaurant with outdoor patio seating.
What Must Happen Before Construction Can Start?
The groundbreaking later this year is the final step in a process that began long before voters approved Measure L in November 2018. Approval of this measure led to the annexation of the 75 acres into the city’s and set the project description and features. That election followed 37 city commission and council meetings where elected and appointed officials along with the public reviewed the proposal neighborhood that compliments Davis and addresses an important unmet need — a dynamic neighborhood geared towards active adults who want to remain in Davis and age in place.
In the coming months, numerous city advisory commissions will hold additional hearings to make additional comments to the Davis Planning Commission and Davis City Council. This spring the City Council will vote on the final neighborhood maps, lot borders and maintenance agreements. Once this process is complete, shovels will hit the ground and the land will be graded for construction. The first residents can expect to begin moving into their new Bretton Woods home by late 2020 or early 2021.
“Building homes in Davis is quite arduous and slow, but the City’s Planning Department staff is working towards enacting a more efficient process that is intended to move projects like Bretton Woods more expeditiously,” said Taormino. “All this happens before shovels hit the ground and homes available to nearly 300 individuals and couples already committed to purchasing a home.”