Vanguard Landing Breaks Ground on First Intentional Community in Virginia

Virginia Beach, VA (April 23, 2024) – Vanguard Landing announces today that it has broken ground in Virginia Beach, marking the beginning of construction on the state’s first Intentional Community of its kind and scope.

Vanguard Landing, a local nonprofit organization, has been working toward the development of a dynamic and inclusive mixed-use community in the Red Mill / Pungo area of Virginia Beach for over a decade. The dedication of the nonprofit’s staff and supporters has paid off as work has begun on this exciting new development.

The community’s official groundbreaking took place during a private ceremony for Vanguard Landing families and supporters on Saturday, April 20, 2024.

“This groundbreaking represents years of hard work and an unwavering commitment to support families who have loved ones with developmental disabilities,” said Debra Bond Dear, Founder and Executive Director of Vanguard Landing. “It’s so exciting to see the vision of Vanguard Landing becoming a reality. We are so grateful to everyone who has supported this project. It’s truly taken a community of people who care deeply for those with developmental disabilities.”

Vanguard Landing will be based on the Intentional Community concept, a nationally established and proven model in over 120 locations. It will be a new and innovative choice in Virginia for those who want this type of neighborhood.

The total development costs for Phase One are estimated to be approximately $36,000,000. The community’s first phase is expected to open in 2026.

“This new community will serve as a beacon of independence and hope,” Dear said. “Importantly, it also will give those of our fellow citizens with needs for support new and more innovative choices of where to Live, Work, and Recreate.”

Vanguard Landing will help with the severe lack of safe and inclusive supported residential offerings in the Commonwealth.

Phase One of Vanguard Landing will include housing options for 128 persons, both those with developmental disabilities and neuro-typical persons as well.

The need and desire for the Vanguard Landing community are evident in the long list of applicants seeking admission.

“Our community will be open to everyone with many different amenities and with plans for future growth for even more new and innovative things,” Dear added. “Vanguard Landing is Where Exceptional People Will Live Extraordinary Lives. It is going to be something that everyone can be proud of.”

Vanguard Landing will boast both residential and commercial components. Residential options will include cottage-style homes and one-story townhomes. Additionally, at least 50 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are expected to participate in day programs at Vanguard Landing.

About Vanguard Landing
Vanguard Landing’s mission is to offer a safe, intentional, and inclusive community where persons with intellectual and developmental differences can thrive and achieve their life’s full potential. A nonprofit organization based in Virginia Beach, Vanguard Landing is developing a dynamic mixed-used community that is person-centered and open to everyone. This community will be the first Intentional Community of its kind and scope in Virginia and based on this established and successful national model. Vanguard Landing will ensure that all our neighbors, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, have a vibrant place to live, work, and recreate. For more information, visit


Andrew Ryan