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Resident Stories

Eric Phillips

I moved to Wilmington in March of 2007 - a job transfer from Ohio with Cardinal Health.  I’d always had boats and enjoyed the water.  By Memorial Day that year, I bought a Yamaha Waverunner to explore our waters.  I liked to swim and drive my Jeep on the beach too.

Shortly after relocating, I heard about a development along River Road called Riverlights.  Then the economy and real estate market took a dive and I didn’t hear much.  After renting an apartment for a couple years, I bought a home in River’s Edge on Independence Blvd at River Road.  On frequent trips down River Road to nearby Carolina Beach, I’d tell my passengers, “we are probably driving through the footprint of my next home.”  Many had not heard of Riverlights.  I read everything I could find and discovered it was a master planned community by a national developer – Newland.

The economy improved and the relocation of River Road became a reality in 2015.  I contacted all the builders chosen for Riverlights.  The Cottages Building Company promptly responded and invited me to a Riverlights “Dusty Boots” open house in the summer of 2016.  The Lake at Riverlights was taking shape.  The Lake House and Marina Village were under construction. I liked The Cottages product – high end craftsman style cottages.  The builder walked me to their lots.  I talked with all the builders and realized each had a unique niche product.

I decided on a home plan with the Cottages and selected a lot.  I put my existing home on the market.  I had to vacate the house for showings and would sit in the swings at Live Oak Commons to read a book.  My home sold and I closed on my Riverlights lot in March of this year.  The Riverlights amenities were complete before a single home was built and I was walking the lake, using the fitness center, swimming in the pool, riding the waterslide and visiting Marina Village.  Every day I see new improvements at Riverlights.  From amenities to landscaping everything Newland does is first class.

Last week was my birthday and friends from Ohio came to visit.  We went to Smoke on the Water at Marina Village for a wonderful dinner.  As our food was served, the walls opened revealing a perfect alfresco evening.  After dinner, we walked the boardwalk to the pier.  As we reached the gazebo, a giant container ship was leaving Wilmington on The Cape Fear River in front of a beautiful sunset.

Sunday morning, we took paddle boards out on the Lake at Riverlights.  It was my first time paddle boarding.  As we left the dock, the water was glass smooth and we cruised through the fountains.  My home won’t be complete for a few weeks, but I’m already, “Embracing a life less paddled.”

I took them to my home site and we walked the woods on the sidewalk in front of my house.  I showed them the new walking trail that was the road.  The footprint of my Riverlights home is 100 yards from old River Road.