Buying New: A pedestrian-friendly urban oasis in Loudoun

January 10

The One Loudoun development is on its way to becoming the urban focal point of Loudoun County. And it is providing a simple life-changing amenity that enables residents to walk everywhere — proximity. Most of everything one needs is right there.

This multiuse development covers 358 acres. The plan comprises residences and offices, retail and dining, entertainment and academics, green space and sports facilities, hotel rooms and a plaza. It includes a ballpark that will be home to a minor league baseball team and a professional soccer team.

One Loudoun is in central Loudoun, at the intersection of Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway and about 25 miles west of Washington.

“We thought this was the right site to create a town,” said Bill May, managing director of One Loudoun. “Many subdivisions surround One Loudoun, each with a small commercial core but no real center. People are driving into Fairfax and Reston to get a retail experience. We’re creating one here in our town center.”

Community in progress: When completed, One Loudoun will have a gas station and a carwash, a bank and a pharmacy, a day-care center and its own version of the World Trade Center.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opened in May. The Fresh Market opened in November.

The foundation for an amphitheater has been laid. The stadium’s first game is expected to be played next year.

It is envisioned as a place where residents park their cars Friday night and don’t get back in them until Monday morning. “The fact is, it’s just so convenient,” said Dennis Douress, who downsized into a townhouse. “Everything is at our fingertips. It has a city feel, but it’s still rural around us.”

“Last night, we walked to the plaza for dinner and then walked home,” Nancy Bond said. “We hiked through the park, and my twins discovered a tree that was hollowed out. It’s neat to find things around the corner from home.”

She moved from a 7,000-square-foot house into a townhouse in October. “At first, we were in sleeping bags because we couldn’t wait to get in,” she said. But now the home is furnished.

“Everything is so close. That’s what drew us,” said John Gaylor, who lives in a single-family home with his wife and college-graduate daughter. “I’m excited about the stadium, and I’m not even a baseball fan. But it’s nice to be able to have dinner, walk there and come back again.”

Lots to do: Open space occupies 105 acres, including Central Park with its tall tree canopy, natural contours and trails to come.

The Amenity Center Club will feature half-court basketball, exercise rooms, a swimming pool and tennis courts. The Restored Barn will be a venue for concerts, wine tastings and a farmers market.

Maintenance-free living offers peace of mind. “They mow the lawn, fertilize, irrigate, mulch,” said Karen Brown, a real estate agent who sold 30 homes in One Loudoun and purchased two. Common grounds and yards are landscaped. Streets are cleaned and snowplowed. Monthly homeowner fees are about $190.

Open plan living: Three builders — Miller & Smith, Camberley Homes and NVHomes — offer distinct designs with multiple models and exterior and interior options.

Three floors and two-car garages are standard. Houses are 10 feet apart and close to the sidewalks. Garages are hidden. Facades are multicolor, and rooflines and windows vary. “We’re looking for a dynamic streetscape,” Hall said.

Ceilings are high and big windows let natural light in. “One of the things we love is the layout,” Gaylor said. “There are no living rooms. Instead the kitchens and family rooms are bigger, and there’s space in the front of the house to use as a dining room or office.”

May said: “We sold the concept of One Loudoun as the hole in the doughnut. Create a real town, and give people a holistic experience. I think we’re at the first base of getting that accomplished.”

Schools: Steuart W. Weller Elementary School is in the One Loudoun development. Stone Hill Middle and Broad Run High schools are outside the community.

Living there: Residents have an Ashburn mailing address. The community is three miles from Dulles, seven from Leesburg, 15 from Tysons Corner. It has easy access to routes 28 and 267.

One Loudoun will have 1,040 residences, including townhouses, single-family houses and condominium units. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2017.

So far, 323 units (162 single families and 161 townhouses) have been sold. At present, 199 families live in the community, and 439 units are available in the first phase.

Audrey Hoffer is a freelance writer.

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