Thirty-seven days from the moment vertical construction began on the Taylor Morrison NEXTadventure Home--and about seven weeks from a done-and-dusted, ready-for-prime-time photo shoot for the BUILDER magazine January 2017 cover in October--we did the pre-dry-wall, hard-hat frame walk with our builder and creative partners in the project yesterday.

To refresh your memory, NEXTadventure is Taylor Morrison's consumer insight-driven foray into creating 55+ communities of the near- and mid-term future, with an idea home "learning lab" in development at the Taylor Morrison Esplanade community, in the Highlands Ranch master plan in Clermont, Fla. The NEXTadventure Home will be ready for the spotlight on the eve of the the International Builders Show, January 9, 2017, in Orlando.

With Taylor Morrison driving the strategy, our NEXTAdventure initiative is one that sets itself apart from others of its class or type. At its core is ongoing learning, shameless curiosity, obsessive exploration, and care, not just for the prospective customer but for the current resident of every new community. As such, it’s not merely an idea home, but rather an evidence-based, consumer-fueled, design, development, planning, and investment program whose culmination are a portfolio of centers of learning and discovery.

The project literally projects every residential architect, developer, and builder's Number One challenge today, which boils down to the question, "how do you balance big-time aspiration with big-time attainability?"

For 55+ prospects, and for near-term future 55+ers in their 40s, the later and post-career lifestage has become a whole new ball-game in terms of values around location, livability, personalized lifestyle, and a kind of luxuriating that more time for leisure confers.

The NEXTadventure challenge is to offer vibrance and vitality, fun and functionality, possibility and practical evolving optionality as essential ingredients in the 55+ answers to the question, "how do you want to live in your home?"

Innovation in listening to what these customers need and how to care for their ongoing needs is central to the NEXTAdventure mission, a strategic imperative that goes right up to Taylor Morrison ceo Sheryl Palmer and chief customer officer Graham Hughes. The opportunity is to change how production home builders learn who their 55+ customers are and what they want as a driver of design, development, pricing, functionality, location, and neighborhood programming. The NEXTAdventure narrative, and its transformative implications and importance to a home building community in such need of learning, new tactics, and new development and design strategies, will explore need-sets that dial in physical changes, health issues, household composition flexibility, and other age-in-place options and alternatives that emerge across the after age 55 spectrum.

NEXTadventure Frame Walk: Taylor Morrison's Mike Corcoran (builder), and vp of construction Steve Atwood, with project architect Housing Design Matters principal Deryl Patterson, and award-winning interior design specialist Lita Dirks.
NEXTadventure Frame Walk: Taylor Morrison's Mike Corcoran (builder), and vp of construction Steve Atwood, with project architect Housing Design Matters principal Deryl Patterson, and award-winning interior design specialist Lita Dirks.

So, it was especially gratifying to walk the project yesterday with key members of the Taylor Morrison, Housing Design Matters, and Lita Dirks team, envisioning how we get from the roughed-out frame of the structure to a series of deliverables that look something like this:

  • The home understands the 55+ buyer, responding in a way that embraces their tangible and intangible needs and desires. Not only does the home unit respond to the boomer needs, the entire development is deliberately centered around community building aspects that are an essential part of the NEXTadventure.
  • The flexibility of floor plans, options and features create an individual experience for each buyer, all in a pricing spectrum to help the rest of their retirement dreams come true.
  • The home responds practically, aesthetically, and experientially to its physical, geographical setting, with a powerful indoor-outdoor flow that nests perfectly in the Orlando landscape and that also caters to the 55+ desire to host friends and family.
  • The home embraces adventure with flexible spaces, adoptable floor plans, and even DIY optionality that can accommodate visiting children, children still living at home or new and different living arrangements like siblings and parent-child.
  • The home answers to the need for connectivity in a community, both with neighbors and nature, with a first-class amenity, clubhouse, pool, trails, parks, coffee bar and concierge service.

Props go especially to our Taylor Morrison team on the ground at Esplanade, under the direction of Florida regional president Steve Kempton, Carol Thompson, the national director of procurement and strategic sourcing for the east area, vp of construction operations Steve Atwood, and two guys making the magic happen every minute of every day on the site, builder Mike Corcoran, and area construction manager Pete Maingot.

Architect Deryl Patterson and Taylor Morrison regional vp of construction Steve Atwood look for opportunity areas in what Patterson refers to as the "Florida basement" during the NEXTadventure Home frame walk at Esplanade, Highland Ranch, Clermont, Fla.
Architect Deryl Patterson and Taylor Morrison regional vp of construction Steve Atwood look for opportunity areas in what Patterson refers to as the "Florida basement" during the NEXTadventure Home frame walk at Esplanade, Highland Ranch, Clermont, Fla.

The frame walk--which zeroes in on everything behind the walls that will make what goes on when they're finished out a delightful livability experience--revealed several areas of opportunity for course correction, financial management, and even some new direction on how to improve storage solutions, accommodate a pet, adjust a floor plan for more flexible use, and gain a bit more natural light.

"It was so cool, so different to hear how engaged the team was as we worked through the walk, listening to one another and each of us getting beyond our own job description," Lita Dirks observes.

"You tend to think you've seen it all and that you have to know all the answers," Taylor Morrison vp of construction Steve Atwood reflects. "But it's when I listen to others on this team, and take in their expertise and creativity, that's when I really start to learn. We're good at doing what we know. This process allows us to learn about some things we don't know, and become good at being more receptive to that."

We're looking forward to our unveiling of NEXTadventure in a 'U-u-u-u-ge' block party on Monday, January 9, 2017, in Orlando, and we're hoping to see many of you there then.