People move for many reasons. Sometimes they want more room inside the house, a yard to plant a garden, a shorter commute or to be closer to shopping.
Two homeowners recently moved into the new townhouse community Chestnut Place in Falls Church, Va., because of their children.
Bill Mugg came up from North Carolina just before Christmas. “My kids live 10 minutes from here,” he said, but really “it’s my grandchildren I wanted to be close to.” He has five granddaughters and two grandsons.
Mitch Bonanno has 12 1/2-year-old twins, a girl and boy, who live alternately with him and their mother. He moved there so that the children can walk back and forth between both parents’ homes. “My house is actually closer to their bus stop than their mom’s,” he said with a laugh. They’re in sixth grade.
Chestnut Place, in the Zip code 22043, is bordered by Leesburg Pike, Chestnut Street and Dale Drive. It’s four miles west of Arlington and nine miles west of the District.
Right now the property is a mix of finished homes with reddish-brown and maroon brick facades, incomplete wood-framed structures and bare soil threaded with bulldozer tracks. Black plastic is staked around the perimeter of future home sites, and trucks bearing signage for ceramic tile and heating and air conditioners are parked on the streets. The sight doesn’t bother Bonanno. “I’m in the commercial development business, so I feel at home around construction,” he said.
Streetscaping: The 7.8-acre community is built on the former site of Sam’s Nursery. Developer Timber Ridge Management bought the property. The company handles zoning and site work, which includes laying the infrastructure and designing road, curb and gutter layout, and it readies individual home sites for the foundation and landscapes the property.
Landscaping isn’t just the grass, flowers and shrubs, said Stan Settle, manager-agent at Timber Ridge. “We do everything down to the logos. We engraved a ‘C’ and ‘P’ [for Chestnut Place] into the stone monuments at the community entrance, and everything is based off that name. The decorative black wrought-iron fencing, streetlight fixtures, stop signs, even the mailboxes. Everything matches and looks good. It’s all part of our streetscaping.”
There’s also the brick privacy wall along the Leesburg Pike perimeter of the property, “The wall shows the elegance” of the property, said Settle. “You slip off [Interstate] 66 and see that and say, ‘I want to get in there.’ ”
Builder NVHomes purchases the finished lots and builds the houses, which are blocks of four to seven townhouses. Sales opened in December. Fourteen have been sold, and six are available. As homes sell, the builder releases additional units. When Chestnut Place is complete, in roughly fall 2017, there will be 46 townhouses, a shared community green space, a tot lot and a gazebo.
Bedrooms on the same floor: Front entry, adjacent to the two-door garage, is across a red brick stoop and through a black-framed glass door. A rec room in the rear can be converted into a fourth bedroom. A small grass back yard can be paved to make a patio, and the yard can be fenced.
Up on the first floor is a central kitchen flanked on one side by a dining room and on the other by a living or great room in an open plan design. A fireplace on an interior wall and deck with sliding glass doors off the rear wall are optional. Three bedrooms are on the second floor.
One model, the Andrew Carnegie, offers 3,100 square feet. “The house is laid out well,” said Bonanno. “My end unit has many windows and feels much more like a single-family than a townhouse.”
His former home in Arlington was also a three-bedroom townhouse, but the big difference was that those three bedrooms were on different floors. “Neither of my children wanted to be in the basement bedroom, so they shared a bedroom. Now each has a room of their own, and we’re all on the same floor,” he said.
What’s nearby: Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will host the Memorial Day Festival and Parade on May 30 on the City Hall grounds. All are invited and welcome.
Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) for biking and walking is close. So is the 48-acre Olney Park with open-sided shelter that can be reserved, two ball fields, trails, tennis and basketball courts; and 24-acre Haycock Longfellow Park with trails, tennis and basketball courts.
Home Depot in Merrifield is a 10-minute drive. Giant, at Falls Plaza Shopping Center, is even closer. Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s are on Leesburg Pike across Interstate 66. Arlington retail, restaurants and entertainment, like movie theaters, aren’t far.
Schools: Shrevewood Elementary, Kilmer Middle, Marshall High.
Transit: Chestnut Place is a short walk from a Metro bus stop. West Falls Church Metro station on the Orange line is across Interstate 66, 0.7 miles away. Reagan National Airport is 10 miles away, Dulles International is 17 miles.
“In nice weather I ride my bike to work a couple days a week. It’s easy and about 45 minutes to my office in Crystal City,” said Bonanno. When he doesn’t bicycle, it’s a 20-minute drive on Interstate 66.
7199 Holywell Lane, Falls Church, Va.
The townhouses are priced at $999,990. The builder is offering $10,000 toward closing costs through June 30 if buyers use NVR Mortgage.
Features: Exterior fronts are brick; sides and back are HardiPlank. There are two outdoor hose bibs and waterproof electric outlets. Two-car garages come with an opener, two remotes and keypad. The driveway is concrete bordered with brick. Windows are double hung with low-E glass that minimizes UV and infrared light passing through. Ceilings are nine feet on the main and bedroom levels. Oak stairs rise on three levels. Kitchens are outfitted with hardwood flooring, deluxe GE stainless-steel appliances and granite counters. Bathrooms have elongated toilets and Kichler lighting.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 to 4/4
Square footage: 3,100
Homeowners association fee: $155 per month
View model: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-to-Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Sales: Lisa Dick, 703-533-0917 or www.nvhomes.com/neighborhoods/va/fairfax/falls-church/chestnut-towns .