Soon after Heather McIntire moved to the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood in Arlington 18 years ago, she met her neighbor, Marc Raimondi, at the mailbox. They became close friends, ultimately marrying in 2004.
Two careers and two daughters later, the couple is still living in the same neighborhood and happy for it.
Situated roughly between the Court House and Rosslyn Metro stations and split by Route 50, Radnor/Fort Myer Heights is filled with a mix of housing types, including townhouses, condominiums, garden apartments and co-ops. There are just nine single-family homes. Luxury properties afford views of the District, the Potomac and the monuments. Market-rate and affordable housing are mixed into both the north and south side of the neighborhood. Some are Committed Affordable Units (CAFs), guaranteed by agreements with federal, state and county governments and based on income and Market-Rate Affordable Units (MARKs), privately owned properties that tend to have higher monthly rents based on market conditions.
Over the past 20 years — and especially the past 10 — the more affordable housing has, in some cases, been replaced by high rises or other, more expensive housing.
“We’re concerned about increased density,” said Stan Karson, president of the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights Civic Association (RAFOM). “Transportation, parking and quality of life. We’re not opposed to development, but we want it reasonable. We want it to be open to affordable housing and diversity.”
Planners of new developments approach the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development with a proposal. Next, the site plan process begins through the Site Plan Review Committee, which aims to resolve issues before public hearings. Civic associations can attempt to influence the process. “We try our best, but we don’t always win,” said Karson, who has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years. Ultimately, plans go to the Arlington County Planning Commission, which reports to the Arlington County Board. Karson retired as director of the now-defunct Center for Corporate Social Responsibility in 1994.
McIntire, 40, found her first apartment — an English basement — in the neighborhood through the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. She and Raimondi, 50, find it meets their needs: It is convenient to their jobs, with easy access to everything they need to raise their two daughters, ages 8 and 6.
“Proximity” has kept them there, McIntire said. “I don’t have to sit in traffic. I can get a lot of things accomplished for my personal and professional life by remaining in this neighborhood.” By eliminating transit time, they have more time for their family and to focus on their work.
She walks to work at a nearby State Department office, and he either runs to work or takes Metro to get to the Justice Department, and most recently, to the White House, where he has been temporarily shifted from his position at Justice to serve as director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “Convenience is everything,” McIntire said. “He puts the kids on the bus and I pick the kids up at the bus.”
The civic association, which serves the residential neighborhood, was founded in 1999 by former congressman Charlie Wilson, who lived in the neighborhood at the time and was opposed to a high-rise development near the Marine Corps War Memorial, Karson said. At the time, the Arlington County Board ultimately voted against the developer, 5 to 0.
When you live in this neighborhood, said McIntire, who is a RAFOM board member, you’re always protecting it — the green space and development in general, the public schools.
“We do feel we have a voice,” she said.
There are a number of parks, including Rhodeside Green Park at 1631 N. Rhodes St. and Hillside Park at 1601 N. Pierce St.
Living there: Radnor/Fort Myer Heights is bounded roughly by Clarendon and Wilson boulevards on the north; Virginia Route 110, U.S. Route 50 and North Meade Street on the east; 12th Street North and Fairfax Drive on the south; and North Courthouse Road on the west.
In the past 12 months, 214 residential properties have sold in the neighborhood, according to Katie Loughney, an agent with Keller Williams.
The lowest-priced was a studio co-op in River Place for $102,000; the most-expensive was a five-level, three-bedroom, six-bath townhouse in Monument Place with views of Washington, the Potomac River and the Marine Corps War Memorial for $2.125 million.
There are 55 properties on the market. The lowest priced is a studio co-op in River Place listed for $129,900. The highest-priced is a five-level, four-bedroom, six-bath townhouse in Monument Place listed for $3.595 million.
Schools: According to Daryl Johnson, a spokesman for Arlington County Schools, the neighborhood schools are Arlington Science Focus School and Key Elementary, Williamsburg Middle and Yorktown High. For the 2018-19 school year, Arlington Science Focus will be the neighborhood elementary school. In 2019-20, the neighborhood middle school will be Stratford (sixth through eighth grade).
Transit: The neighborhood can be reached from the Rosslyn Metro station on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines and the Court House Metro station on the Orange and Silver lines, the Circulator Bus (Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn) and the 38B Metro bus. The 61A and 61B Arlington Transit buses serve the area during the morning and evening rush hours.
Crime: In the past year, according to the Lexis/Nexis Crime Map, there were three aggravated assaults, eight burglaries and seven robberies reported in the area.