There’s no question the Kenwood Forest town-house community in Chevy Chase is child-centered.
Just before school started, it was common to see kids throughout the day riding bikes along the gently rolling landscape flush with verdant shrubbery. You’d see them running around the large grassy courtyards, which, with their mature trees, served as ideal spots for hide-and-seek.
You’d hear their laughter as they splashed in the public swimming pool on the corner of Hillandale Road and Little Falls Parkway.
Even now, with summer over, families say they’re able to find many activities within walking distance to enjoy together.
“We love coming home on a Friday night, parking our car and not having to drive anywhere over the weekend,” said Erik Pedersen, 39, a father of three children who has lived there since October 2012. “Living close to everywhere is fantastic. We walk to the supermarket, playground, pool and parks.”
“There are a lot of little kids,” said Barbara Morris, who has lived there since 1995. “You hear all the joyous voices at 3 o’clock when school is out.”
“It seems that now every other unit has children,” said Shadi Abouassaly, 37, who has two.
Originated as apartments: Kenwood Forest was designed for families. But in recent years it has become especially popular with young couples and small children after being converted from apartments to town houses more than three decades ago.
Back in the late 1970s and early ’80s, Wallace F. “Hap” Holladay was interested in high-density living, so he bought the Bradley Boulevard Apartments, which were built by the government after World War II.
He converted them into two adjacent townhouse communities — Kenwood Forest I and Kenwood Forest II — aiming to make them aesthetically appealing.
The houses appear as clusters of units rather than barracks-like apartments. From the street they look spacious, surrounded by the large grass courtyards, tall trees and lush shrubs that confer a sense of privacy.
Exteriors are a mix of the original red brick, painted brick and colored siding. The interspersed mustard yellow, pale blue, olive and charcoal exteriors create a visually diverse appearance across the development.
White shutters frame classic double-hung windows, which mix with bay windows. The roofline is not a rigid horizontal. Front doors are red, black or forest green and framed with potted flowers.
Fifteen-minute pool breaks: The Capital Crescent Trail is an easy-to-navigate 20-mile loop popular with bikers and walkers. A staircase ascends from Bradley Boulevard just steps away from both communities.
Norwood Park is a grand open space with a playground, softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, a picnic area and wide grassy expanses to lounge on a blanket.
The Montgomery County-operated Bethesda Swimming Pool, with both kid and adult pools, is extremely popular. The adult pools have mandatory 15-minute breaks for children so that the youngsters won’t get too cold in the water. The break times allow adults to do laps for 15 minutes. “We love the proximity to the pool,” Abouassaly said.
Within a 10-minute walk you can find restaurants of all ethnicities plus movie theaters, a pharmacist, a hospital, doctors and dentists, a deli and a barbershop.
“I moved here from a house in Bethesda to be walking distance to the Metro, library and shopping,” said Morris, who is worried about losing her eyesight and sought a tightknit community laden with daily amenities.
“It’s doggie heaven, too,” she said as Nancy Shalett, a resident since 1989, strolled by with her pet, Winnie.
Living there: The approximate boundaries of the two sections are Bradley Boulevard on the north, Fairfax Road on the west, Norwood Park and Little Falls Parkway on the south and Offutt Lane on the east.
The gently rolling landscape in southern Montgomery County spreads across roughly 70 acres adjacent to the Bradley Boulevard Shopping Center, close to the heart of downtown Bethesda and near the D.C. boundary.
Kenwood Forest is a townhouse community comprising efficiency units with one bathroom and two- and three-bedroom units, each with 21 / 2 bathrooms, on either two or three levels. All units have a deck or a walkout patio. According to Sally Bolger, an agent with Weichert Realtors, one property now being offered for sale at $624,000 has two levels, three bedrooms and 21 / 2 baths.
During the past 12 months, 19 units have sold, ranging in price from $225,000 for an efficiency to $790,000 for a three-level, three-bedroom, 21 / 2 bath unit.
Two management companies run the properties, KF I and KF II.
Schools: No schools are located in the development, but Somerset Elementary is close and its proximity is a big attraction for young families.
Crime: Since January 2013, there have been a couple of thefts from cars. “It’s a very safe community,” said Capt. Dave Falcinelli, commander of the Second District of the Montgomery County police.
Audrey Hoffer is a freelance writer.