- The Washington Times - Friday, December 1, 2000

Sales of new homes have slowed a bit as prices have inched upward, but local builders continue to introduce new models and plan new developments, particularly in the outer suburbs.

New developments

Lansdowne on the Potomac, a project of Lansdowne Community Development LLC, recently celebrated its planned development with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by more than 150 people, including Virginia Lt. Gov. John Hager. Also present were Leonard S. "Hobie" Mitchell, president of Lansdowne Community Development, and representatives of the four home builders who are partners in the project: Don Knutson, president of Beazer Homes Corp.; Robert K. Davis, president of Centex Homes; Steven M. Baldwin, president of John Laing Homes; and Albert G. Van Metre and Rick J. Rabil, the chief executive and president, respectively, of Van Metre Homes.

The community is projected to have 2,267 detached and attached single-family homes on 1,055 acres and will be constructed with sophisticated technology including an ultra-high-speed broad-band network with fiber-optics-to-the-home access for all residents.

A stone waterfall will be the focal point for the entrance to the community, and an existing dairy barn on the property will be restored and converted to use for the Potomac Club. The club will include indoor and outdoor pools, social rooms and a fitness center.

Another anticipated Loudoun County planned community is Brambleton, geared toward young professionals in the high-tech industry who have children. State-of-the-art telecommunications will be available to connect every residence, business and civic building in the community. Brambleton rests on about 2,000 acres of rolling meadows, ponds and woodland which the developer has pledged to protect.

When completed, in addition to about 6,000 homes from at least seven local builders, Brambleton will include such amenities as a swimming pool, tennis courts, walking trails, multipurpose courts and an 18-hole golf course. A planned village center will provide shopping and services.

In Vienna, Bozzuto Homes is building 19 energy-efficient homes in the Blueberry Hill co-housing community. Home buyers met with the builder in the initial planning stages to help design the community, stressing elements that would be environmentally friendly and enhance community interaction. In addition to the private homes, Blueberry Hill will include a common building with a kitchen, a workshop, a recreation room and storage facilities. Energy efficiency will be provided by increased insulation levels, energy-saving windows, ceiling fans, high-tech wiring, and geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Homeowners in the Centreville development of Virginia Run have agreed to annex the new Stanley Martin Cos. project of the Ridings into their Fairfax County community, which will allow buyers in the Ridings access to all of Virginia Run's amenities as well as the amenities of their own community. The Ridings will feature two new designs as well as two well-known single-family home designs by Stanley Martin Cos. All the homes will include four bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, a library, a brick front and a two-car side-entry garage. Prices will start in the upper $500,000s.

Oak Ridge Builders soon will begin construction of a model home and two speculation homes at the Woods, a new residential community in Winchester. Sales should begin in January 2001, with homes to be priced from the $230,000s.

Southport Homes, a division of Oak Ridge Inc., recently opened its Nantucket model at River Bend in Manassas, where the homes are priced from the high $300,000s to the low $500,000s. Southport Homes' next project will be Deer Valley in Manassas, with single-family homes from the lower $300,000s.

In Maryland, the Seawright Corp. has begun construction of the Glen at Woodspring, a residential community in New Market adjacent to the company's award-winning Woodspring development in Frederick County. The home designs are meant to blend comfortably into the wooded and rural setting yet remain compatible with the traditional home styles of New Market. The Dogwood model, priced from $192,000, includes a front porch, a midlevel foyer entrance, an upper level with a master suite and great room, including a kitchen, and a lower level with additional bedrooms and flexible space for family activities. The Laurel model offers a first- or second-floor master suite and three additional bedrooms along with a great room with a fireplace. This home, priced at $217,100, can be expanded with finished bonus space at a base price of $237,200.

Winchester Homes has opened a Randall model home at Ashley in Davidsonville in Anne Arundel County, where the homes will be built on 1-acre wooded sites and priced from $504,000. The home includes a finished lower level with two-tiered seating in a home theater, a gas fireplace, a granite-topped bar, an office and a full bath. Optional and standard features also include four bedrooms; 4* baths; a two-story family room with a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, a mantel and oversized windows; an atrium kitchen with a breakfast area and an island cook top; and a two-story foyer.

The Porten Cos. recently opened a furnished model at Manor Spring, a community of 43 single-family homes across from the Indian Spring Country Club in Silver Spring. Twelve of the homes were sold before the model opened. Prices start in the low $300,000s for the four house types, which will have 1,800 to 3,300 finished square feet on quarter-acre sites. The center-hall designs include two-story foyers, four or five bedrooms, 9-foot ceilings on the main level, a fireplace in the family room, a center island kitchen, and a luxury bath.

Innovation

Brookfield Homes is introducing the "family office" concept at its Highland View community in Falls Church in an effort to help contain the clutter and restore some sanity to parents' lives. Located just off the kitchen, the family office provides a room for all the necessities to keep a family going. Cubbyholes will be available for children to use to store what they need for school the next day, avoiding that morning chaos of searching for homework and gym clothes.

The family office is the perfect place for the family computer, so children have a little privacy, but parents will find it convenient to check frequently on them. It's a great place for keeping bills, schedules for all the family activities and shopping lists.

The single-family homes at Highland View include stone details, wrap-around porches, octagonal towers, pitched roof lines, brick arches and a variety of window shapes. Inside, the floor plans have four to six bedrooms and plenty of flexible space for families to use as they wish. Prices start in the $600,000s.

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