The community has so many conveniences that it’s rarely necessary to leave it, Thompson said. “A perfect summer day for my eighth-grader would be biking to get his friends in the neighborhood, then to the fields at the park to play ball,” said Thompson, an at-home mom and former teacher. “Then he’d bike to the clubhouse for indoor basketball and swimming in the pool, then go down to get a sandwich at the local market before going to a friend’s house to hang out. I feel great that it’s so safe and easy, that he never has to leave the neighborhood.”
Cameron Station, which features 18th- and 19th-century style homes, brick sidewalks, and Colonial-style street lamps, rose from the remains of a 164-acre Army installation that closed in 1995. About 101 acres were subsequently sold to a developer; the other 63 acres were transferred to the City of Alexandria, which now maintains city parks in the community. The neighborhood includes a “Main Street”-style boulevard (part of Brenman Park Drive) with rows of condominium apartments topping storefronts that include a cafe, a small market and a dry cleaner.
The community is bordered by three parks. On the east end is 59-acre Ben Brenman Park, offering athletic fields, a pond, picnic pavilion, and dog park; it is also home to the West End Farmers Market. At the neighborhood’s west end is the year-round Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, which opened in 2000, and the adjoining 11-acre Armistead L. Boothe Park. Running between the two parks, along the back of the neighborhood, is Cameron Station Linear Park, primarily green space along a walking-and-biking trail, part of which parallels still-in-service railroad tracks. Pocket parks, some with benches and pergolas, dot the community, adding to its walkable charm.
The volunteer-run Cameron Station Civic Association represents the neighborhood’s interests in civic and political matters; it recently co-hosted a meet-and-greet between residents and Alexandria’s mayor and City Council. The internal workings of the community, meanwhile, are governed by a homeowners association, the Cameron Station Community Association.
“You get a lot of amenities for the $109-per-month HOA fee, which is inexpensive compared to other places and for what you get,” said resident and real estate agent Mike Lekas, who founded Cameron Station’s annual house and garden tours. (The community’s six condominium developments assess additional fees.) Those amenities include the recently renovated Cameron Club, offering classes, a fitness center, a basketball court and an outdoor pool; snow and trash removal; maintenance of common areas; and a free rush-hour shuttle bus to the Van Dorn Metro station.