correction: A previous version of the story had the incorrect name for a town in Delaware. The name of the town is Bethany Beach, not Bethany.
The Bay Bridge was glorious on a recent Tuesday morning. The steel spans hung like a spider web in the crystalline light. The Chesapeake Bay glistened like diamonds. Traffic moved at a steady clip.
For vacationers heading to the Delaware or Maryland beaches, this can be a tedious stretch. But for residents of Four Seasons at Kent Island, this is the home stretch. About 45 miles east of the District and about 20 east of Annapolis, this Four Seasons, in Chester, Md., is an emerging 500-acre, active-lifestyle community for adults 55 and older.
The landscape combines shades of green with the slate blue of Macum Creek and the Chester River. On a spring day, tall grasses swayed in the breeze. Flowering shrubs scented the air. Eagles, purple martins and mallards, too (when not swimming), flew overhead.
“We wanted to be close to, but not in, Annapolis. We wanted to be near water but not on the water,” Garnet Timbario said.
She and her husband, Tom Timbario, sold their home in Bethany Beach, Del., and were renting in Annapolis while their Kent Island house was under construction. They’ve moved into the new house in the meantime.
“I’ll be 73 this year,” Garnet Timbario said. “We wanted to be in a community with people who have the same interests as us, whose children are grown, and we wanted amenities people our age like.”
Terry and Lynn Shorb moved in a month ago. “I’m not retired yet. I work in Baltimore, which is only 41 miles away,” Terry Shorb said. “We wanted a 55-plus community near the water because I like to boat and fish.”
Four Seasons at Kent Island is primarily a community for people 55 or older, although exceptions may be made to allow for younger permanent residents who are at least 50. Visits by children and grandchildren are welcome.
Four phases of development and 1,079 homes — single-family houses and single-level condos in four-story buildings with elevators — are planned. Phase I, which is a work in progress, will comprise 162 homes: 106 single-family houses, featuring one-floor living with a loft option, and 56 condominium units. (This article focuses on single-family houses.)
“Now the property is a construction site, but it’s amazing how fast the scene changes. Every day new houses pop up,” Kirsten Forney said.
Forney and Hans Bredholt, both in their 70s, were in the market for a single-level home. A friend urged them to look at Kent Island. “So we drove over,” Forney said. “We liked what we saw and within a week we signed” to buy a house.
The community offers 14 floor plans for single-family houses. Buyers also have a choice of cabinets, kitchen backsplashes and ceiling treatments. Attic storage, an ultra-spa bath and a sunroom are optional upgrades.
The sales office has an electronic display that helps prospective buyers visualize choices. With a flick and a click, they can bring different home designs, floor plans and features to the screen. “You can place designs side by side to compare room sizes and shapes. You can show combinations of features,” said Doug Shipe, the community manager.
Options abound: The front door of the San Sebastian model home opens into a large foyer. To the left is a small hall leading to a bedroom and bathroom. Near the end of the foyer is a home office that can be reconfigured into another bedroom. On the opposite side is the laundry room, an optional “drop zone” (for coats, backpacks and such) and a door to the garage.
Beyond the foyer, an open-plan kitchen, great room and dining area occupy the right-rear section of the house.
The kitchen island is 14 feet by 4 feet. It can easily accommodate five or six seats along the front and has a stool pocket for a corner seat at each end. “Our signature kitchens are designed for social and family gatherings, and the spacious island is the focal point,” Shipe said.
The owner’s bedroom suite, including a private bathroom and a walk-in closet, occupies the left-rear section of the house. In the bathroom, the two sinks are cater-cornered. The toilet is in a separate enclosure. The shower stall is 12 feet long and has three shower heads. The walk-in closet is reached through the bathroom.
A two-car garage occupies the right-front corner of the house. An optional 30-foot-long screened patio extends along the back of the house.
A loft can be designed in various ways. One option has a guest room with a bathroom and adjoining lounge. “This design enables adult kids to come visit and have privacy,” Shipe said. In the Killarney model home, two sets of bunk beds and colorful wall paintings make the space inviting to grandchildren.
Amenities: The Chester House — a 24,000-square-foot clubhouse planned at the edge of the Chester River — will have lots of glass to show off sunrises and sunsets. Planned amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor yoga spaces, card and billiard rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a canoe and kayak launch and a community pier. Hiking and biking trails will connect to the six-mile Cross Island Trail, according to the community website. Also planned are outdoor courts for pickleball and tennis, a dog park and a playground.
What’s nearby: Walgreens, Safeway, True Value and Big Lots have stores in Chester. Kent Narrows has restaurants and piers. “This is a boater’s mecca. People boat up to dock and go to eat. Probably there are more boats here than cars,” Shipe said.
What’s farther away: A signpost outside the sales office lists destinations and distances: Rehoboth Beach, 76 miles; Bethany Beach, 85; Ocean City, 96; Philadelphia, 110; Atlantic City, 162.
Transit: Route 50 connects Kent Island to the mainland to the east and west.
Four Seasons at Kent Island
203 Bayberry Dr., Chester, Md.
In Phase 1, 106 single-family homes are planned. More than 50 are for sale at base prices from $424,990 to $586,990.
Builder: K. Hovnanian
Features: Kitchens have GE stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, a counter-depth refrigerator (which does not protrude from the cabinets), Shaw hardwood flooring and low-profile LED lighting. Bathrooms have ceramic tile for the tub and shower surrounds, tiled showers with a built-in seat, comfort-height and elongated toilets, and Moen plumbing fixtures. Ceilings are nine or 10 feet high. The houses have two-car drywalled garages, aluminum gutters and two hose bibs.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 2 or 3 / 2 to 4
Square-footage: 1,689 to 3,532
Homeowners association fee: $195 a month
View models: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday; 1 to 5 p.m. Monday,
Contact: Angela Hays, Rebekka Mazzullo, Robyn Vitko at 301-683-6464 or khov.com/kentisland