June 29, 2017 at 7:00 AM
by Harriet Edleson
Sylvia Kendra moved with her husband, John, to North Rosslyn, an Arlington County neighborhood, in 2013, drawn by its proximity to the District and its energy.
"It's like the apex of so many things," Kendra said as she walked the streets, which are at times hilly, rising high above the Potomac.
For Kendra, an associate director in the Smithsonian Institution's facilities and business operations, location is everything. "I am an IT person, a geospatial information person. I think geospatially," she said.
Still, moving to North Rosslyn wasn't an instantaneous decision.
Just before the couple relocated to the Washington area, they were living in Dallas. John Kendra began working in the Washington area as an engineer and had rented a place in North Rosslyn for a year while they were still based in Dallas. "He loved how close he was to everything," Sylvia Kendra said.
Then, she got the Smithsonian job, and he transferred to the Washington area.
Initially, they found a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house in Falls Church, where they raised their two sons, now 27 and 25. Once their sons were on their own, the couple began to think about downsizing, and recalled North Rosslyn. They watched as Turnberry Tower was built and then completed in 2009.
It took them two years to prepare for their move, including "emotionally detaching" from many of their possessions to fit in their new one-bedroom condominium in the high-rise Turnberry Tower in the center of the neighborhood. They have a small storage unit, as well.
"To jettison this gigantic house" wasn't easy, Kendra said.
Plethora of community events: North Rosslyn is dotted with high-rises, some townhouses and a few single-family homes. Hotels are another feature in North Rosslyn, along with fast-food places and other restaurants and stores, including District Taco, a Target and a Safeway.
Situated within blocks of the Rosslyn Metro stop on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines, North Rosslyn is an urban community where residents feel they can walk their dogs safely at 11 p.m., said Kendra, who is president of the North Rosslyn Civic Association.
In addition to empty nesters, couples with young children and working professionals live in North Rosslyn.
Adam McKay, 37, and his wife, Natasha, 36, moved to North Rosslyn in September 2015. Adam owns and operates Global Go, which acquired the Inlingua School of Languages in Rosslyn in 2015, and Natasha is a physician. Their daughter, Isabelle Grace McKay, was born in January.
Adam McKay said that what he likes most about living in the neighborhood is its convenience — walkable to Georgetown, a block from the Rosslyn Metro station and close to the Mount Vernon bike and running trail.
"It's pretty easy access to everywhere," he said. Having Metro and Interstate 66 nearby makes commuting smooth, he added.
The North Rosslyn Civic Association works with the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) on neighborhood issues and events. The BID coordinates and sponsors more than 100 events each year. Fitness activities include boot camp in the three-acre Gateway Park at 1300 Lee Hwy. near the foot of the Key Bridge, ballet barre and Zumba. The Marine Corps Marathon runs through the neighborhood, as well.
Other events in the park are the annual Rosslyn Jazz Fest and the Holiday Market Festival and Bonfire. Movie nights in the park, pop-up beer gardens and concerts add to the fun.
The BID sponsors the FreshFarm Rosslyn Farmers Market each Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Central Place Plaza, across from the Rosslyn Metro station, during the summer through Sept. 20.
Living there: North Rosslyn is bounded roughly by North Arlington Ridge Road to the east; Wilson Boulevard to the south; North Quinn Street to the west; and Colonial Terrace, Interstate 66, Arlington Gateway Park and 19th Street North to the north.
In the past 12 months, 55 properties sold in North Rosslyn, ranging from a one-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium for $360,000 to a three-bedroom, five-bath condominium for $3.7 million, according to Billy Buck, president and chief executive of Buck & Associates in Arlington. There are 29 properties on the market. They range from a one-bedroom, one-bath condominium listed for $634,900 to a three-bedroom, five-bath condominium listed for $6.5 million.
Schools: Arlington Science Focus Elementary, Francis Scott Key Elementary, Williamsburg Middle, Yorktown High. Some students in a section of North Rosslyn attend Taylor Elementary.
Transit: Several major arteries lead into and out of the area, including Interstate 66 and Routes 29 and 50. North Rosslyn can be reached from the Rosslyn Metro station, 1850 N. Moore St., on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. Several Metro buses, including the 38B, as well as Arlington Transit buses, stop at the Rosslyn station. The Circulator bus also stops at 19th Street North and N. Moore Street. Bikeshare is available.
Crime: In the past year, there have been three aggravated assaults, four burglaries and 23 thefts in the neighborhood, according to the LexisNexis Community Crime Map, as reported by the Arlington County Police.