Loudoun County is exploding with new residential developments. One going up now is Avonlea Reserve, a 103-townhouse community on 28 acres surrounded in part by woods and adjacent to an earlier community named Avonlea.
It’s in Chantilly just off U.S. Route 50/Lee Jackson Memorial Highway and past Virginia Route 606/Loudoun County Parkway/Old Ox Road. The scene is a suburban-rural mix with low-rise commercial activity along Route 50 interspersed with open space and construction.
A big mixed-use project under development is the 30-acre Avonlea Town Center — by Peterson Companies, which built National Harbor and Fairfax Center — walking distance from Avonlea Reserve.
Toll Brothers, the builder, started land development — street infrastructure, sewer lines and street access — in April 2015 and opened the community in September 2015, selling from drawings and pictures out of a mobile sales trailer. The furnished sales model opened in June. “To date, we have sold almost 25 percent of the total number of home sites we will have available at the community,” said Allison Nugent, assistant marketing director. Thirteen home sites are for sale now.
The Bradbury floor plan is standard, but six options to change the configuration are available. Furnished models show off two options — an open-concept living plan and a more traditional plan with separate kitchen and dining/living rooms.
Six elevations or exterior designs, which include various colored brick, stone, or combination brick and stone combinations, are also on offer.
More cabinet space: Dan Girard and fiancee Nathalie Rahnama, whose wedding will be next spring, moved to Avonlea Reserve from a small condominium in Haymarket, Va., at the end of July. “We were in the market only two to three months. Usually when we went to a place something stood out as an eyesore, like a future parkway right outside. But when we came here we didn’t see anything that was a problem,” Girard said. They bought a quick delivery, three-level open floor plan model and made only very small changes. They plan to put up a deck on the rear.
“When we were looking it was hard to visualize a home, but when we started making it our own Nathalie was in tears of happiness,” he said.
First-time home buyers Kelly and Brian Casten moved in three months ago from Fairfax and were the second family to close. Their unit is 2,900 square feet.
“Humongous,” she said. “It’s bigger than many single-family homes. There are plenty of bathrooms for people to shower and many toilets to clean,” she said, laughing.
They chose the traditional interior with a separation between kitchen/family room and dining/living rooms.
“We picked this model because of more cabinet space. The completely open plan didn’t have enough cabinets for all my baking and cooking stuff,” she said.
Chad Grimm and his fiancee, Michelle Shumway, who are getting married next summer, were the first to move in at the end of April.
“Originally we thought we wanted a single-family house because my opinion of townhouses was that you always stare into your neighbor’s windows. I was favoring something with privacy and trees,” Grimm said.
“But then we came across Avonlea.They’d just put up the first structure with the first level. They gave us the explanation of how many of the homes back up to the woods and protected land . . . The privacy of being tucked in and surrounded by woods was wonderful and we fell in love with the area,” he said. “Michelle’s favorite part is the large open master bedroom and bath. They give off a luxurious kind of single-family feel.”
Avonlea Reserve is part of the adjoining Avonlea community and under its HOA, conferring Avonlea amenities. These are clubhouse and lounge, two pools, tennis and basketball courts, fitness center, tot lots, and walking/biking trails.
Toll Brothers hosts and caters resident events seasonally to build communal spirit among new neighbors.
Shopping: Residents can walk to South Riding Market Square’s restaurants, retail and Giant. Nearby are Walmart, Harris Teeter, Meadow Farms Landscaping and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Avonlea Town Center will be anchored by Cinépolis USA. The big question is what grocery outlet will move in.
“We hope it’s Wegmans,” Girard said.
Schools: Liberty Elementary, Mercer Middle, John Champe High.
Transit: This is a car-driving community, though Metro’s Silver Line will come eventually. Chantilly is seven miles from Dulles International Airport, nine from Reston and Herndon, 12 from Ashburn, 19 from Arlington, 24 from the White House, and 36 from Reagan National Airport.
The location appealed to Grimm and Shumway especially because “it’s a little farther out from Reston and Herndon. It’s really central for where our lives take us,” he said. He works in Ashburn. She works in Fairfax. Girard’s office is in Herndon.
A recent early-morning commute took 20 minutes, he said. “Hopefully, it stays that way. Usually traffic on the way home is worse.”
Kelly Casten works in Vienna and drives 30 minutes in the morning and 45 to 60 minutes at day’s end. Brian Casten’s office is in Tysons. “It’s a little longer down Route 50 for him but we felt his commute was worthwhile to get a little more for our money,” she said.
24966 Glasgow Heights Terr., Chantilly, Va.
The 103 townhouses are priced from $479,052 to $575,605.
Builder: Toll Brothers.
Features: Three levels are standard. Units with a fourth level can be reconfigured with a rooftop deck. All units have double garages, nine-foot ceilings, vaulted ceilings in the bedrooms and master bathroom, programmable thermostat, washer/dryer connections, and pre-wiring for telephone and cable television. Kitchen appliances are upgraded stainless-steel GE models and sink fixtures are by Kohler. There are granite counters in the kitchen, tall corner cabinets and hardwood floors. Ceramic tiles cover bathroom floors and wood vanities are topped with marble double sinks.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 to 4 / 4 to 5.
Square footage: 2,550 to 3,600.
Homeowners association fee: $128 per month.
View model: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Sales: Amanda Malik, 703-542-7337 or AvonleaReserve.com .