At Montebello, a condominium complex in Alexandria, Va., the amenities, buildings and forested areas are arranged in a college campuslike atmosphere so the residents don’t have to venture out if they don’t want to, which is especially convenient in foul weather, said Marlene Greco, who has lived in a three-bedroom condominium there since 1997. “There’s everything here that you need,” she said. “How many places have you seen that have a bowling alley?”
The four-lane bowling alley is complemented by the convenience store, cleaners, restaurant, bar, tennis courts, jogging trail and two pools — indoor and outdoor — so residents can swim year-round.
Montebello is a 36-acre, gated and guarded community off Richmond Highway just south of Old Town along the Potomac River. There are four high-rise buildings of 1,024 condominiums ranging from one-bedroom to three-bedroom units, and there’s the custom condominiums that are larger, created by linking two separate units together. On the floor plans, these are known as “combination plans.”
“You can go from one side to the other on the 16th floor, it’s a really nice view,” said Sergio Salazar, the communications assistant at Montebello.
A plethora of social events: There is an activities program for residents, funded by condominium fees, according to Brittany Harrell, the communications director. These are listed on the activities calendar in a monthly newsletter called The Times of Montebello, and include movie nights, ballroom dancing, a kids’ club, musical events, card games and “Ladies Night” every Wednesday in the Montebello Cafe.
“Lots of social events — gives residents an opportunity to meet one another,” Harrell said. There’s even an in-house bowling league.
In one section of the cafe, there are artworks that are supplied by the residents and that change monthly. Carole Appel has a photo of a katydid on display. Insects are her thing. “I like taking close-ups of bugs,” she said.
Tilly Cassidy, a Weichert agent with an office in Old Town Alexandria, has lived at Montebello since the summer of 1994. This year, she is also the chair of the activities committee, looking for opportunities to bring residents together. “Most of the events are pretty well attended,” she said. Last summer, residents put together an Independence Day parade on July 4, and each club had a presence, as well as a couple of firetrucks and others with military outfits. “It was quite something,” she said.
Bonnie Jacob, also a real estate agent and resident, is also abreast of all the club activities around the property. She likes the Arts in Montebello program, which includes a number of working professionals in various media; the Music Club, which brings in local performers; a Speakers Series, which last month featured author Andrea Kleine talking about her new novel; two book clubs; and a travel club.
“Lots of Foreign Service, Peace Corps folks, military, and enthusiastic travelers,” she said. “Our Grounds Committee is one of our most active — last month we had a tree planting ceremony honoring the donation of almost 100 memorial trees by residents,” Jacob added.
When Cassidy is showing a condominium to a prospective buyer, she lets them know that “you’re not just buying a unit, you’re buying a lifestyle,” she said.
Living there: Montebello in Fairfax County is bordered by Richmond Highway to the east, Mount Eagle Park to the west, Cityside Huntington Apartments to the south and Huntington Avenue to the north.
Since January 2018, 59 condos have sold, ranging from a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit for $195,000 to a combination four-bedroom, three-bath unit with enclosed balconies for $805,000.
There are 10 condos for sale at Montebello, ranging from a one-bedroom, one-bath, 1,005-square-foot unit on the sixth floor for $195,000 to a three-bedroom, two-bathroom 1,695-square-foot condo on the eighth floor for $544,500.
Schools: Cameron Elementary, Mark Twain Middle and Edison High.
Transit: A shuttle to the Huntington Metro Station on the Yellow Line starts at 5:30 a.m., and has morning runs until 9:07 a.m. The shuttle makes afternoon and evening runs from 3:35 to 8:55 p.m. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the shuttle also runs for shopping trips to nearby grocery and retail stores. By car, Montebello opens to Richmond Highway and links to Interstate 495 less than a mile away.
Crime: There were 46 larcenies, including car thefts, eight burglaries and four robberies reported since May 1 in the 22303 Zip code that includes Montebello, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.