It used to be called the Shirley Duke-Regina apartments -- a decaying, crime-ridden complex of low-rent brick buildings in Alexandria's west end.
Yesterday, the sprawling apartment complex was given a new name; Foxchase of Alexandria.
The developers, now spending $100 million to rehabilitate the 86-acre site, say they hope the more elegant name will help give the 2,115 apartments a brighter image.
"He had to lose the old image of Shirley Duke. It had to be killed totally and completely," developer Morton Sarubin said at a press briefing yesterday. "We're hoping it is posh, because that is one of the things that will kill the old image.
Sarubin bought the aging apartment complex in 1970 after its preivous owners went bankrupt. Relying partly on a $72.5 million Virginia state loan and federal mortgage insurance, the developers began renovating the apartments in March. They start renting them in October for $325 to more than $500 a month.
In addition to the new name, a logo embellished with a hunting horn also was unveiled yesterday. The four sections of the apartment complex also were renamed: Longpath Quarter, Derbysire Quarter, Saddlebow Quarter and Huntingwood Quarter.
"They're old, Virginia names," said Sarubin.Noting that the rehabilitated complex would include swimming pools, tennis courts, boutiques and other facilities, Sarubin added. "I don't think there's going to be anything left for anybody to associate with the old Shirley Duke."