The conundrum in the Washington-area real estate market is that you can either have less expensive housing or an easy commute to work — but it’s extremely difficult to get both.
People who live in what’s considered the hinterlands can get lots of house for their money. But the trade-off is grueling commutes to the city that leave them exhausted and with little time to actually enjoy their homes.
Now a new development being planned in Stafford County called Embrey Mill is using the commute as a marketing tool. It’s offering food and concierge services to residents as a way to help them save time and ease their stress once they get home.
Extensive interviews with residents of the Stafford County area show they are “starved for time,” said Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki, senior vice president of San Diego-based Newland Communities, which is overseeing the project.
The 831-acre development, near Garrisonville and Courthouse roads in North Stafford, will include a community center that will have a “full service cafe [where they can purchase] great food from 11 in the morning until 8 at night,” Slavik-Tsuyuki added.
Moreover, the community concierge will offer services residents may want, including “a dry cleaning drop-off zone and help for residents to find dog care and lawn maintenance,” she said.
The property previously contained several farms and a sawmill, said Rick MacGregor, president of the Stafford County Historical Society.
He said he laments the changes that development is bringing to the county. “I can remember when most everything you saw was tree tops — now everything you see is house tops,” MacGregor said.
“I can remember when you hardly saw a car go up down the road, now you can hardly move” in traffic, he added. “I hope those who come here will take an interest in the history.”
Developers will begin selling spec houses and lots this summer. Their aim is to eventually build 1,827 homes and provide 285 acres of parks and open space.
Prices of the single-family houses and townhomes will range from about $250,000 to about $500,000. The townhouses will range from 1,900 to 2,550 square feet; the single-family homes will range from 1,900 square feet to 4,200 square feet.
The designs of the houses, which are still being finalized, will be based on feedback the developers received from the interviews it conducted with Stafford County residents, Slavik-Tsuyuki said.
There will be “wrap-around porches, large mudrooms, interesting breezeways, open-floor plans,”she said.
The community also will contain recreational areas and parks that include 10 miles of trails, a six-lane swimming pool, an edible garden, a basketball court, a tricycle race track and a large lawn area that can be used for outdoor concerts and a farmer’s market.
Long-range plans call for commercial developers to build shops on an adjacent parcel, Slavik-Tsuyuki said. “Everything will be walkable and connected by a ... trail system,” she said.
Newland Communities, which developed communities in 14 states, including Georgia, Texas and Florida, built the Ladysmith Village south of Fredericksburg.