A new community is rising in western Fairfax County, just north of Centreville and a few miles from the Loudoun County border.
Discovery Square in Oak Hill, Va., by the developer Timber Ridge at Discovery Square, will have 805 homes consisting of townhouses, stacked townhouse condominiums, multifamily for-sale condominiums and rentals. Designed by four builders — NVHomes, Ryan Homes, K. Hovnanian Homes and Lincoln Residential — the community is expected to be complete in about three years.
When Stan Settle and Rick DiBella acquired the 63-acre property in April 2011, it was zoned for 1,159 multifamily rental units. “We dropped the density to 805 because we wanted to create a sense of community, a kind of urban living in the suburbs and introduce products to fit a variety of customers,” Settle said.
“We offer different lifestyles, different square footages and different price points,” he said, “along with parks and future commercial space.”
NASA inspired: Street names give a nod to the U.S. space program — John Glenn Street, Enterprise Way, Yeager Drive, Challenger Way, Neil Armstrong Avenue.
The community is still a work in progress with bulldozers moving mounds of bare soil, workers pounding stakes on empty lots to advertise home sites and house frames standing like wood skeletons that let you peer through the walls.
But “more and more people come each day. I see a moving truck almost daily,” said Rick Podliska, a resident since December.
Last month, Manju Reddy, outfitted in a hard-hat, toured the bare-boned frame structure that will become a four-floor elevator building comprising 36 two-bedroom, two-bath condos by K. Hovnanian Homes. Each residence comes with a parking space in a ground level garage, as well.
Reddy, her husband and her 14-year-old son live in Ashburn and seek an investment property now that they can move into when her son goes to college. They plan to sign a contract soon.
“The layout is very nice with ample space for closets,” said Reddy, adding that a central great room adjoining the kitchen and flanked by bedrooms appealed to them.
State-of-the-art features: K. Hovnanian will offer 180 condo units. Fourteen are for sale now, 22 are sold.
NVHomes is selling 85 four-level, two-car garage townhouses featuring a deck off the kitchen and a rooftop terrace. Podliska moved from a studio rental in Arlington. He said he likes the nine-foot ceilings and open design. “When my friends and family come over, they’re amazed. I think the homes are gorgeous,” he said. “You get a lot of bang for your buck.” Thirty-one are for sale now, and 54 are sold.
Ryan Homes offers spacious open floor plans in two-over-two stacked townhouse condominiums. Ten are for sale, 52 have sold and a total of 198 will be built.
Lincoln Residential will build 342 apartment rentals, including affordable units. Framing will start soon. “We’re bringing technologically innovative and state-of-the-art systems for remote controls, temperatures, door locks and amenities. We’ll have all the bells and whistles of urban apartments here in the suburbs,” said Richard Rose, vice president of development. Plus, there’ll be two courtyards, one meditative and one active with a pool.
Space shuttle parks: “In a display of private-public partnership,” Settle said, “we built and dedicated to Fairfax Park Authority a large multi-ball-field park adjacent to the community.” The developers also incorporated three neighborhood parks named after space shuttles — Discovery, Challenger and Columbia — steps from residents’ front doors.
The 45-mile, nine-foot-wide paved Washington and Old Dominion Trail from Shirlington to Purcellville runs near Discovery Square.
Wolf Trap, the performance and event venue, is off Interstate 66 at Exit 16B.
At the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, one can ride flight simulators and climb an observation tower to see air traffic from Dulles International Airport.
At Horsepen Run Stream Valley Park, there are biking roads and picnic sites. Frying Pan Farm Park is preserved as an example of 1920s-’50s rural agricultural landscape; Stratton Woods Park offers 30 acres for ball sports; and there’s Reston National Golf Course.
Shopping: Supermarkets that service the area include Food Lion at McLearen Square Shopping Center and Giant at Elden Street Marketplace Shopping Center. There’s a Kohl’s department store and an abundance of small retail businesses and eateries at both shopping centers.
Transit: Discovery Square is accessed via Interstate 66 West to the Dulles Toll Road/267 West to Exit 10.
Wiehle-Reston East Metro station on the Silver Line is 3
Dulles Airport is practically around the corner. It’s five miles to Reston Town Center, Tysons Corner is about 15 miles away and D.C. is 30 miles. It takes Podliska about an hour to get to work downtown depending on traffic. To avoid tolls, he takes Virginia Route 50.
Fairfax Connector and Metrobus operate many bus lines.
Schools: Floris Elementary, Rachel Carson Middle, Westfield High.
Hoffer is a freelance writer.
Four builders operate from separate sales offices in Oak Hill.
Townhouses are priced from $580,000 to $630,000. Condos are priced from $317,990 to $459,990.
Builders: K. Hovnanian Homes, NVHomes and Ryan Homes. (Lincoln Residential is in the early stages of the project.)
Features: The townhouses have two-car garages, decks off the kitchen and rooftop terraces. The condos have nine-foot ceilings, hardwood floors in the foyer and kitchen, granite counters, elongated toilets and a one-car garage.
Bedrooms: 4 for the townhouses and 2 to 3 for the condos.
Bathrooms: 3 to 5 for the townhouses and 2 to 3 for the condos.
Square footage: 2,635 to 2,909 for townhouses and 1,148 to 2636 for condos.
Homeowner association fees: $108 per month for townhouses and $150 to $314 per month for condos.