Tower Expansion Redefines Luxury Senior Living

Promising to establish new precedents for urban senior living, with a true continuum of care and a lively, resort-style living experience for residents, the 24-story River Tower expansion of Harbor’s Edge on the harbor front in downtown Norfolk, Va. has opened its doors to new residents.

Conceived by Neil Volder, the developer and CEO of the community, and designed by the national leader in senior community architecture and planning, Dallas-based three, the highly anticipated $145 million River Tower complex delivers 147 new upscale residences including penthouses and an unparalleled suite of life-enhancing amenities in the sleek, 24-story high-rise with broad views of downtown Norfolk and the Hampton Roads harbor. The architectural expansion also debuts 100,000 square feet of new common areas, including three new restaurants, a lobby bar, luxurious media room and a professional golf simulator.

According to Volder, a grand opening celebration is planned for the Spring, when the River Tower is expected to be fully occupied.

“This expansion, which is a component of Harbor’s Edge as originally conceived, has been worth the wait,” states Volder. “The world-class architecture, interiors and overall resident experience reflects our collaboration with incredibly talented and creative partners in the design architect three, the architect-of-record Clark Nexsen, as well as the interior designer StudioSIX5 and construction provider W.M. Jordan Company. They’ve taken our vision and transformed it into a place that current and future residents will absolutely love.”

One Community, Two Towers 

Harbor’s Edge, a trusted, full-service continuing care retirement community, leads the Hampton Roads region through its True LifeCare™ program. The new River Tower addition signals a progressive intention to promote this legacy of trust for years to come: Like the existing Harbor Tower, the new luxury apartment residences in River Tower all have stunning views of the harbor and downtown as well as beautiful interiors. The common areas of the community’s existing building are undergoing a complete renovation to match the new design and décor in both style and quality. In addition, all the residences of the original building, Harbor Tower, have been completely renovated and upgraded as they have become available.

At Harbor’s Edge, according to Volder, it is truly “one community with two towers.”

Leading the firm three on the project, architect and senior living expert Rockland Berg, AIA, NCARB, ASHA, along with principal and senior designer Carl Ede, AIA, LEED AP, collaborated with the development group led by Neil Volder, the developer; Gary J. Hanson, AIA, the owner’s representative; and W.M. Jordan, the general contractor, with financing efforts directed by Aaron Rulnick and Melissa Messina of HJ Sims. Together, the team has created a sophisticated, resort-style retirement community offering best-in-class amenities while further enhancing and expanding the state-of-the-art healthcare offerings at Harbor’s Edge.

Along with a noted wellness program, residents are offered on-site services from skilled nursing and rehabilitation to memory care and assisted living, creating a truly attractive and continuing long-term experience. Emblematic of this healthcare continuity, the recent design and construction project overseen by three includes renovations to the existing healthcare environments that establish a unified brand aesthetic.

Architecture and Amenities

Garnering local buzz for the “sexy expansion,” the new tower is inspired by the sails of the storied tall ships of Norfolk Harbor, expressed in a modern glass curtainwall appearing to billow atop a podium base of contextual brick that recalls surrounding buildings. The River Tower residences enjoy port-side horizon views through floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering vistas both into town and back across the active harbor. “Sunrises and sunsets are equally awe-inspiring for residents here,” says three principal Berg.

Entering the building from the porte cochère, residents and visitors are greeted by a two-story grand lobby with access to a second-floor breezeway via a monumental central staircase. The newly expanded third floor commons seamlessly connects both residential towers, creating a unified community at an amenity level that rivals the finest hospitality offerings, with world class entertainment, an assembly hall, a bar and multiple dining options.

“At the foundation of the business model was the introduction of new residences and the renovation of the existing residences to promote one community with expanded, world-class amenities and healthcare solutions for all its residents,” says Berg, who speaks widely on active-aging design. “Conceived in the original master plan, the newly added residential tower affords the Harbor’s Edge community a strategic and timely market advantage that meets a growing appetite among the Mid-Atlantic region’s active-aging prospects while also ensuring sustainability for years to come.”

The resulting design highlights social and leisure time options, with an array of health-conscious venues including a spa venue, salon, indoor swimming and aerobics spaces, new game rooms and card rooms, a billiards parlor, art studio, theater and an indoor professional golf simulator. Improvements to the dining terrace overlooking historic Fort Norfolk and the working harbor to the west further accessorizes the views from the residence above.

“The River Tower addition at Harbors Edge creates a magnetic beacon not only across the harbor and back to the evening glimmer of downtown Norfolk but also across the country,” adds three’s Berg. “In this community, residents find attractive solutions for purposeful active aging that is evolving vertically — both figuratively and literally. We all credit the strategic vision, inspired creativity and dutiful perseverance that has led to this best-of-class residential solution for the residents of Virginia and beyond.” 

About three

Based in Dallas, three specializes in providing creative design solutions in the hospitality, country club, senior living and residential spaces. Their innovation and inspiration are buoyed by strong, lasting, personal relationships with clients and consultants. Notable projects include the award-winning Hotel Emma in San Antonio, TX; the magazine-rated Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel; and the Monte Rei Country Club in Portugal. More at www.threearch.com

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