Where We Live: Reston's North Point Villas in Virginia's Fairfax County
Friday, October 8, 2010; 9:16 PM
Karen Lombardo's friends call her place "the hub."
Whether their destination is downtown Washington, Georgetown, or Tysons Corner or another point across Northern Virginia, Lombardo's condominium in Reston's North Point Villas complex always seems to be centrally located.
"I tell people all the time that I live in the center of the universe," said Lombardo, 41, a Web content manager at Sprint. "I'm two minutes from Reston Parkway. I'm close to Route 7. I can zip down to Tysons Corner in 20 minutes without traffic. Reston Town Center is close, and you can walk to get groceries at North Point Village Center. You're in the middle of everything, but you don't have to live in the middle of a really busy area like Arlington."
With more than 100 condo units in eight buildings, North Point Villas is part of the larger North Point neighborhood, one of four sections of Reston, an 11-square-mile planned community in Fairfax County. The greater North Point neighborhood includes houses and townhouses, in addition to condo apartments - a mix that many residents say is appealing.
Residents also touted the diversity of North Point Villas' residents. Anthony Rosati, 50, who lives in the community with his wife, Benita, and their 7-month-old daughter, Lara, said the neighborhood includes a "broad constellation of personality types," with residents ranging from "seniors to young professionals to families."
Though the community doesn't gather often for organized events, "everyone's friendly - you never come across someone who doesn't say 'hi' back," said Rosati, president of the North Point Villas Condominiums Homeowners Association.
Many people said the benefits of living in Reston drew them to the neighborhood. All residents are members of the Reston Association, which means they get to use the community's 55 miles of walking trails, pools, tennis courts, parks and other amenities.
"We're very active, so this community is perfect for us," said Irene Binder, a retiree who moved to North Point Villas with her husband, Bud, four years ago. "I've never seen anything like all these walking trails - we use them almost every day. As soon as we saw this place, we wanted to live here."
It's also a short walk to North Point Village Center, with stores including a Giant Food, restaurants, beauty parlors and other services.
Rosati said he and his wife also like walking to nearby stores such as Home Depot, Harris Teeter, Office Depot, and Barnes and Noble, saying the community's well-placed sidewalks make it easy to stroll along even major roads.
"It is a suburban-style walk, with nice sidewalks placed off the roads," Rosati said. "And if you don't mind walking maybe 30 minutes, Reston Town Center has restaurants, stores, ice skating in the winter and concerts in the summer."
One thing that's not so convenient is access to a Metro station. Rosati, a manager at the Energy Department, drives to the West Falls Church Metro station, a 15-to-30-minute trip, and rides the Orange Line to the Smithsonian stop. His daily commute takes about an hour each way.
And while North Point Villas is close to major urban centers, the cul-de-sac community is not in the center of one - though most residents consider that a plus.
"If you like loud, urban, New York City living, you won't be happy here," Rosati said. "It's not Manhattan. But if you like a slightly urbanized version of suburbia that doesn't get too crazy or loud, this is your place."
The condominiums themselves are also a draw, said Lombardo, who cited her unit's open layout, granite countertops, maple cabinets, large windows and high ceilings.
"It's just a comfortable place to be," Lombardo said. "I love going to the [Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne Plaza], getting croissants and fresh produce, and then inviting a bunch of my friends over for brunch. Most of them have bigger houses, but they love coming here. They feel like they can make themselves at home."