On a little piece of land just up a driveway from Courthouse Road in Vienna, Va., eight spacious Craftsman-style single-family houses are taking shape along a short cul-de-sac.
This is the Vienna Grove property by Christopher Cos., a locally owned firm based in Oakton, Va. One day recently, there was one model house, one framed, one foundation laid and one tall pile of dirt next to a red dump truck filled with construction materials. The site remains a work in progress that shows the evolution of a house from hole in the ground to skeleton to half-finished to ready for sale.
Lot sizes range from about 7,000 to 13,000 square feet, or a little more than a sixth of an acre to a little less than a third. One house is sold and seven are on the market. McWilliams Ballard is handling sales.
James Wilson and his wife were the first to sign on, a couple months ago, and now they are watching their house go up. They hope to move in by year’s end.
They live on the northeast side of Vienna and wanted to stay in Vienna because “it’s an eclectic town,” Wilson said.
They looked around for a while and then went to 11 houses in one day. “We were either crazy or dedicated,” he said. “This was by far the best one we saw.” So they signed a contract.
“As we walked through, the craftsmanship and attention to detail was excellent, and there were no minor flaws. The other thing appealing to us was the high level of standard finishes. We didn’t need to get upgrades. They were definitely a selling point,” he said.
Lots face trees: The kitchen, in the back left corner, has space for a breakfast nook with a table and chairs and melds seamlessly with a large family room. Wilson liked that the “family room and kitchen are in one piece and the den is on the first floor. The space isn’t broken up with a formal living room,” he said. A deck can be built off the kitchen, and on most of the home sites, it will face trees. A mudroom leading into the garage is a place for sneakers, sunscreen and bug spray, and boots in the winter.
Four bedrooms fill out the second floor, and none of them share a wall, enhancing privacy and quiet. Two bedrooms share a bathroom, one has an en-suite bathroom, and the master bedroom and bath stretch across the back end of the house. Wilson and his wife like the upstairs layout and the master bathroom with dual vanities on opposite walls.
The finished basement is designed to be personalized into a bedroom suite, a lounge (perhaps with a wet bar), a play area, a media room, an office, or an exercise room. If it becomes an exercise room, a rubberized floor, full wall mirror and recessed ceiling lights are options.
“The lot size is very nice, too,” Wilson said. “Not too big or small. Having an acre is nice, but someone has to mow it.”
Neighbor to Wolf Trap: Vienna is loaded with recreational facilities. Nottoway Park, operated by Fairfax County, spreads across 84 acres. There are picnic tables in the shade to rent, ball courts, grass fields and wooded trails.
Wolf Trap, the well known outdoor concert venue, is also a 117-acre park, with trails, picnic areas and eating establishments. Tamarack Park is also close by. And the 95-acre Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is must-see for outdoor enthusiasts and flower lovers. Three gardens bloom with seasonal flowers. This month, chrysanthemums, ferns, herbs and annuals are featured. In October, there’ll be grasses, conifers, pansies, salvia and fall tree colors. Miles of trails crisscross the Meadowlark grounds, some with lake views. There’s an 18th-century log cabin and an indoor tropical garden. On Sept. 24, the Kiln Club of Washington will host a pottery sale of handmade ceramics.
Plenty of activities: Vienna has hundreds of retail outlets, restaurants and commercial services. The local government website — viennava.gov — offers a list of shops by category, including clothing, child care, pets, banking, lawn and garden, music lessons and health.
On Fridays at 9:30 a.m. the mayor leads a walking tour from Town Hall. On Saturdays the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna sponsors a farmers market in the parking lot of Faith Baptist Church at 301 Center St. South, and Sunday nights the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department hosts bingo.
Schools: Marshall Road Elementary, Thoreau Middle, James Madison High.
Transit: From the District take Interstate 66 East past the outer loop of the Beltway/Interstate 495 at Exit 64. Get off at Exit 62 and head right on Virginia Route 243 North/Nutley St. Turn left on Courthouse Road, continue past Nottoway Park on the left and then take a sharp right up the driveway at the Vienna Grove sign.
“What gravitated us to the house was access to 66, 495 and downtown Vienna,” Wilson said. He works in Reston, and his wife’s office is in Tysons, “but the ability to easily get to the Metro if one of us did get a job downtown is appealing.”
The two closest Metro stations are Vienna/Fairfax-GMU and Dunn Loring-Merrifield on the Orange Line. All day parking at both is $4.85, and there are bike racks and lockers.
9616 Courthouse Rd., Vienna, Va.
When completed, the development will have eight single-family houses, priced from $1.295 million to $1.445 million.
Builder: Christopher Cos.
Features: The houses are Energy Star certified with a HERS Index Score of 53. (HERS measures energy efficiency on a scale of 0 to 100. The lower the score, the more energy-efficient the house.) Exterior walls are made of two-by-six-inch planks. Tankless water treatment (treating and heating water on demand) is standard, and there’s an option to install solar and/or geothermal systems. Z-Wave wireless technology offers programmable thermostats. There is a 10-foot-high ceiling on the first floor, and nine-foot-high ceilings on the second floor and in the finished basement. There are GE Café Series appliances, Delta Arctic faucets and under-cabinet LED lighting.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 5 / 5 to 6
Square footage: 5,600 to 5,900
Homeowners association fee: $225 per month
View model: Noon to 4 p.m. Thursday to Sunday and by appointment other days.
Sales: Jacob Ballard, 703-963-1422 or www.christophercompanies.com/communities/vienna-grove/.