Dianne Norris said she was thrilled when the sign publicizing homes for seniors at the Crest of Alexandria finally went up. “I’d been calling and calling for over a year to find out when they would open for sales,” she said, a week after signing a contract in the new active-adult community on Telegraph Road in Alexandria, about a half-hour from the District.
Norris lives in a single-family house only 10 minutes away. “I love the location and have been looking and waiting for the right thing for a few years,” she said. “I’m well over 55, and that’s why I wanted to move into a 55-plus community. I can age in place quite nicely there, when I want to.”
The only thing she will miss is a big yard. “That’ll be the hardest thing to get used to, not having a real yard space. But I’m glad I don’t have to take care of it,” she said.
This new neighborhood is taking shape across 47 acres in southern Alexandria. Van Metre is building 32 single-family houses and 45 townhouses. Two other developers are also putting up residences. Craftmark is building townhouses, and Christopher Cos. is building condominiums.
One with nature: On-site amenities will include a clubhouse with exercise and yoga rooms, and a convivial gathering room for friendly get-togethers, said Dorelba Estrada, Van Metre's community sales manager. An outdoor kitchen, fire pit and koi fishpond are being designed. Trails will be laid, and exercise equipment will be set up along them. “This will allow people to be at one with nature instead of going to the gym, which can be boring,” she said.
The single-family houses are all two stories with an unfinished basement. Three floor plans are offered. The Hunt and Lyon models have upstairs bedrooms and elevator access on all three floors. The Ward offers a main-level master bedroom and bathroom, which is the model Norris chose.
Norris said she liked the wide staircase going to the second story, which will make it easy to put in a lift one day. “Not that I need to now, or even in the foreseeable future, but you have to think about those things,” she said. She also liked the long windows, which let in a lot of light.
“You come in and talk to us,” Estrada said. “We’ll give you a map of the community showing the location of all the homes we plan to build. Then we’ll walk around the property with you to point out available home sites. You pick the location you want, style and many other options. Then you sign a contract.”
Delivery is about six months from the time of contract signature. Norris said she hopes to move in by the end of the year, which suits her schedule. “I have many choices to make and am taking my time,” she said. She will finish the basement and build a room over the garage. She opted out of a tub in the master bathroom “because my personal feeling is that when we get older, tubs aren’t the best thing, but I left one in the community bathroom upstairs.”
“Our aim,” Estrada said, “is to bring together people who are at the same stage of life and give them the ability to make a social life within the community [where] they live.”
Nearby: Northern Virginia Community College offers credit and non-credit classes for senior citizens. “Learning is ageless,” the school’s website says. Fort Belvoir Golf Club is a membership organization that offers sports programs, functional training classes, bowling and skating, in addition to golf.
Shopping: Kingstowne Towne Center is a sprawling shopping center with dozens of stores, professional and commercial offices, restaurants, a movie theater, a cat clinic and a post office. Safeway, Giant Food and Walmart are major draws. Hilltop Village Center houses Wegmans, LA Fitness, and many restaurants and shops.
Transit: The community is reached via Interstate 395 South to Exit 1B heading toward Franconia. It’s about a 21-mile drive from the Uptown Movie Theater on Connecticut Avenue NW, which is a couple of blocks north of the National Zoo. Ronald Reagan National Airport is three miles away, Fort Belvoir is 13 miles and Dulles International Airport is 35 miles.
7900 Telegraph Rd., Alexandria, Va.
There will be 32 single-family houses ranging from $719,990 to $774,990 in this 55-plus community. Two are sold. The builder is offering closing-cost credit with use of its preferred lender and title company.
Builder: Van Metre
Features: All houses have two-car garages that open by remote. They’re either front- or rear-loading depending on the model. Exteriors are brick and Hardie-panel facades. There are granite counters and GE stainless-steel Energy Star appliances in the kitchen, and all bathrooms have upgraded ceramic tiles. Engineered hardwood flooring is installed on the main level.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 to 5 / 3 to 5.
Square footage: 2,294 to 3,298
Homeowners association fee: $220 per month.
View model: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Contact: Dorelba Estrada at 703-764-5435 or vanmetrehomes.com .