For more than two years families and individuals have been moving into ownership housing at Fort Lincoln, the new town in Northeast. And more are planning to buy and move into the newly opened Hillside Village "one-over-one" town homes with two levels of living area.
Robert and Irma Cole, who have owned two other houses but now are living in a rental apartment in Rockville, plan to be into their Hillside Village dwelling "before Christmas." They chose it for the view and location on a hill, the skylight, the exposed brick wall, two fireplaces and lack of responsibility for yard work.
"It seems to have everything we want," said Irma Cole, a reading consultant who teaches part time at George Washington University. "We're in our early 50s my husband is in commercial sales, and our daughter is grown and living elsewhere. It seems right for us. We looked all over the city before deciding to buy."
That kind of reaction pleases Carlton Jones, whose firm (Jones, Wells & Associates) is handling sales at Fort Lincoln. Jones is high on the new Hillside Village product line, which he calls a "turning point, an exciting group of dwellings for professional people who don't want a lot of space but enough to entertain."
The average space in the town homes, entered by going up or going down, is 1,200 square feet at an average price of $57 a square foot, he said.That's below the marked for most new privately built intown dwellings.
Jones and the two top officers of Fort Lincoln New Town Corp. (Theodore Hagans and Ralph Taylors) are also high these days because more white buyers are being attracted to the community that already has mostly black owner-occupants in 239 earlier completed town houses and multi-plex units. Fort Lincoln also has a fully rented subsidized high-rise for the elderly and another nearly completed.
Located at Bladensburg Road and S. Dakota Avenue NE in an older area near the District line, Fort Lincoln includes 360 acres that were the site of the former National Training School and earlier a Civil War fortification called Fort Lincoln. During the Johnson administration, the new town was planned but it didn't get off the ground until 1975, when Hagans and Taylor got needed financial backing and started to make things happens.
Sales were slow in 1975 but have been picking up since then with the rest of the area realty market. Now Jones is looking forward to a goal of 500 sales in 1979 with the addition of some new condominium high-rise apartments and the opening of a section of town houses (Summit Village) for presons over 45.
In fact, enthusiasm now is running so high among the people who make Fort Lincoln go that Ralph Taylor personally escorted fored HUD Secretary Robert C. Weaver (who was Taylor's boss in the Johnson administration) on a tour of the new town this week. Weaver, now a professor in New York City, was here to make a speech to the National Housing Conference.
While the current Fort Lincoln emphasis is on selling the Hillside dwellings in the range of $40,000 to $50,000, there are some long-term goals to develop more sale residences for a total of 4,600 and also office buildings and commercial facilities. There's a long-under-way new school nearly ready or use on top of a Fort Lincoln hill. Parks and eight lighted tennis courts are also part of the amenity package. The parks and recreation facilities are from the National Park Service and the D.C. Recreation Department.
Fort Lincoln, which suffered from an unattractive entrance in its opening period, now has a cannon and Heroes Plaza (dedicated to the memory of the D.C. police and firemen who died in the line of duty) at the corner of Bladensburg and S. Dakota. And a brick and metal fence was recently built to seal off the new town from traffic on two busy streets.
While Hagans, Taylor and Jones are pumped up by the strong sales market at Fort Lincoln, where 29 of the Hillside units are already under contract, they get their biggest kicks from the comments of buyers like Adolphus Ealey. The bachelor art dealer said he chose Fort Lincoln "because of the sensible prices and the security, it has its own flavor of suburbia in the city."