Besides offering prospective buyers among the lowest-priced new townhouses and single-family houses in the Washington region, Fieldside at St. Charles has an added bonus, at least if you’re a baseball fan: proximity to the stadium where the minor league Southern Maryland Blue Crabs play.
While residents living on the east and north sides of Fieldside in the Charles County community won’t be able to see the games from their decks, they can at least hear the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd.
Indeed, the experience is enhanced for those who aren’t noise averse: No matter where they live in the community, all residents from their homes get a front-row seat to the fireworks displays that are set off after each of the 70 home games.
The single-family houses range from the $320,000s to the $360,000s and the townhouses range from the $250,000s to the $280,000s; similar properties in the District, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia can cost tens of thousands of dollars more.
So far, about 87 homes are occupied. When fully built in five or so years, Fieldside is expected to consist of 246 single-family houses and 246 townhouses.
The community around the homes also will expand. The county’s new $73 million, fully digital St. Charles High School — adjacent to the development — will open in the fall. And during the next few years, if everything goes according to developers’ plans, a new shopping center with national retailers and eateries will open there.
“We’re very interested in the new St. Charles High School because of its science and technology programs,” said David Washington, 32, an engineer who moved into a five-bedroom single-family house in the community in September with his wife and four children, who range in age from 3 to 13.
“We like to go to the park and spend time at the playground and ballpark,” Washington added. Also, “being able to see the fireworks for free [from home] is a good thing. [The kids are] fascinated by them.”
Urban look: While Fieldside is about 30 miles south of downtown Washington, it reflects an urban style that has become popular in suburban subdivisions. The houses are closer to the street, and in many cases, garages are in the rear and accessible via alleys. There are few cul-de-sacs. Instead, many streets, laid out grid style, look somewhat like city blocks.
Moreover, the townhouses and single-family houses are often side-by-side and not segregated into their own sections.
“People want to see a broader mix of houses in their neighborhood,” said Craig J. Renner, spokesman for the St. Charles Companies, which manages the 9,100-acre planned unit development (PUD) there.
Community amenities in the PUD include a park, a golf course, a swimming pool, bike trails and a tennis court.
Three full floors: The Mozart townhouse model is 1,500 to 2,500 square feet — smaller than the homes constructed in the PUD before the recession. Developers compensate for the lost space through nine-foot-high ceilings and an open space design.
“Builders are creative in making the inside more open to make it seem more spacious,” Renner said.
The Mozart’s kitchen/dining area includes stainless-steel appliances and wide-plank hardwood floors. A deck, accessed through a sliding glass door off the kitchen, is made of a composite material and designed to be maintenance free.
The master bedroom on the second floor includes a walk-in closet and a tray ceiling with a strip of rope lights that provide ambience at night. The master bathroom has a double sink and shower.
Though the garage is only five feet from the houses, not everyone may like the idea of walking in the elements — especially in the winter — from one to the other. But detaching the garage creates more room in the basement. “You end up with three full floors of livable space,” said Matthew M. Martin, chief financial officer of the St. Charles Companies.
A bit of Italy: Fieldside has five single-family models: Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples and Rome.
The houses are about 2,000 to 3,100 square feet and come in a combination of brick and vinyl exteriors.
The Venice model has no dramatic two-story foyer, a change aimed at saving space. There’s a small room off the kitchen called a morning room. While granite counters are offered, an upgraded Formica that looks like granite is a less-expensive option.
Other features include 42-inch kitchen cabinets, a fireplace in the family room and double French doors leading to the patio.
Schools: Mary B. Neal Elementary; Milton Somers Middle; LaPlata High this year and St. Charles High beginning in the fall.
Transportation: Renner said most of the residents work outside of Charles County, in such places as downtown Washington and Joint Base Andrews. The Branch Avenue Metro station is about 30 minutes away and MTA Bus Route 906 picks up and drops off downtown commuters at the Regency Furniture Stadium. A local bus service also transports residents to the St. Charles mall and other local shopping centers.