“People want to find a house that meets their needs that’s as close to the Beltway and the D.C. line as possible,” said Pat Wills of Long & Foster, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2005. “A lot of young families are finding that for that reason, South Four Corners is exactly what they’re looking for.”
David Meininger, 71, a retired carpenter and contractor who now serves as president of the South Four Corners Citizens Association, said he and his wife, Margo, were among a different wave of young families to flock to the neighborhood in the 1970s. They now count themselves among the oldest couples on their block, Meininger said.
But their reasons were similar to those of families moving to the neighborhood today. Margo was a teacher in the Montgomery County public schools, and Meininger was a contractor who frequently worked in Northwest Washington. They found the neighborhood a middle ground offering access to many locations in the District and Montgomery County, Meininger said.
“South Four Corners gave us several easy entrance and exit points to get northwest, east or south easily and quickly,” he said. “There are three different ways to get on the Beltway from our front door. That convenience was really important to us.”
Green space is a draw: Meininger said he was also attracted to the canopy of mature trees in the neighborhood, noting that they continue to draw residents today. That’s true both of the trees bordering most of the streets in South Four Corners and of the trees in nearby Sligo Creek Park.
“We realized quickly that the green space around us would never become anything else but green space,” Meininger said. “Having the pathways of Sligo Creek to ride bicycles or walk on is a real advantage to living here.”
Recently, Meininger said, neighborhood officials worked with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to plant dozens of trees, with an aim toward eventually replacing the current tree canopy, which is between 60 and 80 years old.
“We recognize our trees as a major asset, and we know that if we begin planting now, we will reap huge benefits in 25 years or so,” he said.
From bakeries to theater: The 10-mile-long hard-surface trail along Sligo Creek is one of many resources close to South Four Corners, Meininger said.
He said the Woodmoor Shopping Center offers a wide variety of locally owned businesses, from the Woodmoor Pastry Shop to Silver Spring Stage, where locally produced plays are staged.
“If you want to take yourself out for a sandwich and a coffee or dinner and the theater, you can do it all within walking distance, and all in the same little shopping center,” Meininger said.
The neighborhood is also an easy bike ride or short drive away from downtown Silver Spring, Meininger said.
“Downtown Silver Spring is actually walkable from South Four Corners, and you don’t have to walk on Colesville to get there,” Meininger said. “There are paths or trails to take you pretty close in, so you get a lovely walk as you travel downtown.”
Living there: South Four Corners is bordered by Dennis Avenue and University Boulevard to the north, Colesville Road to the southeast, Forest Glen Road to the south and Sligo Creek Parkway to the west.
Fifty-two properties have sold in the past 12 months, according to Wills, at prices ranging from $285,000 to $599,000. Eight properties are on the market, from $362,000 to $569,000. Seven properties are under contract, from $499,900 to $599,900. Most of the neighborhood’s 1,200 houses are Colonials, with some Cape Cods, ramblers and split-levels mixed in.
Schools: Most neighborhood children are zoned to attend Forest Knolls Elementary, Silver Spring International Middle and Northwood High. Wills said many also attend Montgomery Blair High School’s magnet program, along with nearby Catholic schools, St. John the Evangelist and St. Bernadette.
Transit: Forest Glen Metro station is roughly a mile away, and residents can catch a RideOn bus to get there at multiple stops throughout the neighborhood, Wills said.
Crime: Being close to the Beltway and other commuter roads means South Four Corners sees a good deal of cut-through traffic. The community’s multiple entry and exit points make it attractive to burglars and other criminals, Meininger said.
“The fact that folks can enter and exit from several places means we do occasionally see break-ins to cars and residences,” Meininger said.
He said the citizens association keeps residents informed of such crimes and other community issues using the neighborhood’s online mailing list.
Amy Reinink is a freelance writer.