Vero at Newark working toward establishing university connectionOct 17, 2022 10:12AM ● By Tricia Hoadley
It’s no secret that the draw of a college town can go beyond its students. The charm of Newark’s restaurants, small businesses, artistic offerings and parks attract the resident and casual visitor alike.
But the University of Delaware itself was among the many factors appealing to the builders of the Vero at Newark, a 125-unit senior residence on Barksdale Road set to open in early 2023. The community will welcome residents in both independent and assisted living as well as those requiring memory care.
The proximity of UD was definitely a plus for Leisure Care, the corporation that owns the new senior living community and many other similar facilities around the country.
“[The chosen location] wasn’t just based on age or finances or demographics. The university was very attractive to this company,” said Frank DeMarinis, general manager of the Vero at Newark. “The university area is not only a very desirable place for people to live and it’s not just a typical college town. It’s a Main Street [community],” he said. (The Main Street America movement is a non-profit network that recognizes small communities for their district revitalization. Newark won the award in 2011.)
DeMarinis noted that the location of the university will also make it convenient for students to work at the Vero. “We're near the university so they can get paid, graded or volunteer because they do that for their community work.” A way to initially connect with these students is through Handshake, a database of thousands of internships and jobs for UD students and alumni. “Hospitality options for our culinary restaurant may offer viable part-time and full-time options for students within walking distance,” he said.
According to DeMarinis, his firm is approaching various university departments with the goal of establishing more connections. “We have reached out to Human Resources and are formalizing our discount to both retired faculty and post-grads of the university who move into the Vero.”
Terri Doody, the Vero at Newark sales manager, said in her position she’s been finding that those who are connected to UD feel a strong link to the city. Even if the person isn’t a graduate of the school themselves, their children or grandchildren attended or are currently students there.
“People who have graduated from University of Delaware are very proud of their school, very proud. And they love Newark,” she said. “I think they really appreciate that [Vero] is a place for that next step.”
DeMarinis agreed there does seem to be a lot of UD legacy and that association is important to the Vero community.
“It's interesting because I noticed that Newark is a little unique in the way that people can connect with their university town as a hometown, whether they came from (for example) Greenville but settled in Newark after college.
They stuck around and it’s where they want to stay.”
Natalie Smith may be contacted at [email protected]