The coastal community by Miller & Smith boasts chic, beach style living with world-class amenities
By Sergio Flores
Photography by Jim Kirby
Thanks to the low taxes in Delaware, the state has experienced a reemergence in population, primarily by the active adult crowd as a top retirement location. Residents from popular metropolitan cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, southern New Jersey, and even New York have been finding themselves relocating to Delaware.
Nestled in Sussex County, Del., the small, cozy town of Millville is an area that is experiencing a major part of the surge in population. Builder Miller & Smith is riding on the coattails of this resurgence with their new single-family community, Millville By The Sea. The community targets middle income active adults from the East Coast whom are retired or are soon to be. Donning coastal architecture in a campus-like setting, the community satisfies the active adult crowd’s two desires: the need for an affordable, amenity-filled community, and a scenic swath of natural land where residents can enjoy outdoor activities and keep active.
“Millville By The Sea is simply the best new home community for retirees and those considering retirement in Delaware,” said Kim Ambrose, vice president of Marketing for Miller & Smith. “The community is not an age-restricted community, which eliminates any limitations on the resale market to homebuyers 55 years and older.”
The community was first open during the mid-2000s, but due to the recession was put on hiatus. Four years later Miller & Smith revisited the project and resumed progress in Spring 2014. The town of Millville in Sussex County was chosen for this community because of the area’s lack of housing that would appeal to the influx of retirees looking to settle in Delaware. “Miller & Smith identified an unmet niche that called for a moderate sized and affordable priced single-family home that would appeal to [the active adult] target market,” said Ambrose.
The close proximity to the outdoors also serves as a great natural amenity for this coastal community. Millville By The Sea is a mere four miles away to the surf and sand of Bethany Beach, Del. Other outdoor amenities nearby include bird watching, golfing, sailing, and fishing.
However, you don’t have to even leave the community to find world-class amenities. Right on its campus-like setting, you can find a clubhouse with a pub, the “Crab Shack” with lounge areas, meeting and gathering spots, and a Wellness Center that features the latest exercise equipment, dance studio, and even a digital fitness library.
When revisiting the project, Miller & Smith added the new Lifestyle Center that serves as the community’s signature amenity that differentiates them from other coastal communities in Delaware. The Lifestyle Center is minutes away from Bethany Beach and offers an array of both recreational and entertainment amenities, indoors and out. It is a communal spot for homeowners to gather around and enjoy their time.
The community is currently expanding and at full build out will be comprised of 84 lots. Currently, 61 units have been sold with 50 built and occupied.
Low-maintenance is a huge part of retirement and Miller & Smith offers its Summerhouse Collection as a solution. Home features include a beautiful and relaxed coastal exterior, open floor plans with first floor master suites, three to four bedrooms, top chef kitchens, volume ceilings, and plentiful options for screens, porches, and patios. Buyers can even choose a design that creates two master suites. “These one and two-story homes offer a high style, but low maintenance way of life that’s perfect for easy, breezy living at the beach,” said Ambrose. “The Miller & Smith interior designers brought the vision to life with chic décor which takes beach house living to a new level.”
Despite its on-going development, Millville By The Sea has already garnered attention and awards. The Great American Living Awards, which celebrates excellence in new home architecture, interior design, and sales and marketing, recognized the builder’s Summerhouse Collection homes. Its Beachcomber design won Design & Architecture Detached Home (lots < 7,000 square feet) for under $300s and their Sundancer design won Design & Architecture Detached Home (lots < 7,000 square feet) between $300s-400s.
Miller & Smith is active in both commercial and residential real estate, doing business in three states, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. They have been building in the state of Delaware for over 10 years, constantly reimagining how homes could look, live, and function.
Besides innovation, Miller & Smith is also environmentally conscious. Although hidden behind excellent architecture and design, each home is built and engineered for maximum energy-efficiency without the need to sacrifice comfort. The builder employs exterior doors of fiberglass with a solid foam core that not only delivers a killer first impression, but provides a significant amount more of insulation as opposed to wood, consequently resulting in lower monthly heating and cooling bills.
Weatherization barrier systems are also an important facet for energy efficiency in a home. The home’s wall, floor, and roof sheathing uses oriented strand board made from small, fast growing trees to deliver greater shear strength with no gaps or soft spots.
Programmable thermostats are included in homes by ENERGY STAR® to eliminate unnecessary energy use. Other rated appliances by ENERGY STAR®, including dishwashers and refrigerators, are also part of the standard.
To meet strict water conservation standards low flow showerheads, faucets and toilets are used. And the builder opted for Flowguard Gold CPVC pipes which result in cleaner water when compared to copper.
Building materials and products that are environmentally friendly are used whenever possible. Any waste leftover after construction is taken to a local plant where it is recycled and repurposed.
Miller & Smith will remain busy this year with several new communities opening in Loudoun County, Va., as well as in Frederick County, Md. Both will highlight the expert craftsmanship people come to expect from Miller & Smith.
Sergio Flores is an Assistant Editor for Builder and Developer magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.