- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood was chosen as one of Cottage Living magazine’s Top Ten Cottage Communities in America. A profile of the neighborhood, also known as Potomac West, appears in the current issue of the magazine.

Cottage communities are “places with charming architecture, where you can skip the car and stroll to locally owned shops and restaurants; places where neighbors know your name and are happy to have a cookout on Friday evening,” says Cottage Living Editor-in-Chief Eleanor Griffin. “With its porches, lawns, friendly neighbors and charming bungalows, Del Ray immediately caught our eye — here’s a place people want to come home to.” To compile its Top Ten Cottage Communities list, Cottage Living editors targeted metropolitan areas with populations of 100,000 or more and spent months querying real estate agents, architects, local and national preservation groups, city officials, neighborhood association leaders and weekly newspaper editors.

“We especially loved Del Ray’s walkable streets,” Ms. Griffin says. “A recent boom of locally owned businesses — antique stores, design shops, eateries — gives people more reason to park their cars and hit the sidewalks.” Other neighborhoods in the list: Five Sisters, Burlington, Vt.; Cottage Home, Indianapolis, Ind.; Bryn Mawr, Minneapolis, Minn.; Bungalow Heaven, Pasadena, Calif.; First Addition, Lake Oswego/Portland, Ore.; Albemarle Park, Asheville, N.C.; Historic Kenwood, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Clarkesville, Austin, Texas; and Willo, Phoenix, Ariz.

Cottage Living is published by Time Inc.’s Southern Progress Corp.

The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) has presented 2006 Housing Achievement Awards to mark excellence in nonprofit housing and related community service in the Baltimore-Richmond corridor.

• Wesley Housing Development Corp. was named Nonprofit Developer of the Year. WHDC and its partners preserved or developed 351 units of affordable housing, and now owns 1,100 units of affordable housing, providing low- and moderate-income working families, seniors and the disabled the dignity and security of a home.

• John D. Spencer, HAND’s president and founder, received a surprise Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his 15 years of service.

• Best Project of the Year in Maryland was awarded to Victory Housing Inc. (VHI), the nonprofit affordable housing arm of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, for Victory Tower, a recently renovated 35-year-old, 187-unit property.

• Best Project of the Year in Northern Virginia was presented to the Community Preservation and Development Corp. for Island Walk. CPDC bought and renovated the 30-year-old community using tax credits and gave the current residents an opportunity to purchase the newly renovated homes at a discounted price.

• Best Project of the Year in the District of Columbia was given to Manna Inc. in recognition of the complicated community planning process resulting in a plan for preservation and rehabilitation of the original William Syphax School for residential use, plus new town houses surrounding the school building. Now known as Syphax Village, the mixed-income community consists of 12 loft condominiums and 29 affordable town homes.

• Montgomery Housing Partnership Inc. (MHP) received the Maryland Community Life Program of the Year award. MHP’s Individual Development Account is an innovative program for new homeowners which simultaneously cultivates their abilities to attain their goals and provides knowledge needed for a successful home purchase.

• Community Life Program of the Year in Northern Virginia was awarded to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority for Herndon Harbor House, which provides affordable housing to seniors of moderate income in an area where affordable housing is increasingly difficult to find.

• The Innovation Award went to Montgomery Housing Partnership. MHP has operated the Apartment Assistance Program since 2000 to ensure access to fair, decent and affordable housing in greater Silver Spring.

• Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) received the Virginia Peters Nonprofit Friend of the Year award.

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Maryland homeowners and commercial property owners who hired an MHIC-licensed contractor for a 2006 remodeling project are being asked to nominate their contractor for a 2006 Remodeler of the Year Award given by the Maryland Improvement Contractors Association (MICA).

“We are encouraging homeowners to get involved in determining this year’s awards recipients,” says MICA President Jim Molinelli of ARDO Contracting Inc. “If they feel their improvement contractor merits consideration for one of MICA’s award categories, they should contact MICA’s offices. We will then send this endorsement, along with the official nomination form, to the contractor.”

MICA recognizes excellence in several categories: residential kitchens (less than $50,000 and more than $50,000), residential baths (less than $40,000 and more than $40,000), residential interiors (less than and more than $50,000), residential exteriors (less than $50,000 and more than $50,000), residential specialty, entire house, commercial, historical residential, and insurance restoration projects. Winners will be featured in Chesapeake Home magazine. MICA membership is not required for entries.

To nominate a home improvement contractor, send or fax your name, address, the name and address of your home improvement contractor and the category of nomination to MICA, 720 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230, fax 410/752-8295, or e-mail [email protected]

Projects may also be nominated online at www.MarylandRemodelers.com/royalnominations.htm.

The deadline for nominations is Sept. 14.

• • •

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. is hosting three real estate career seminars in July. Seminars address how to get started in a real estate career, course requirements, costs involved in training and the benefits of a real estate career.

Seminars are free and open to the public. Space is limited, reservations are advised. The seminars are planned for following times and locations:

• July 5: Capitol Hill office, 721 D St. SE, Washington, 6 p.m. Contact Kevin Shirley at 202/547-9200 to register.

• July 10: Georgetown office, 1680 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, 6:30 p.m. Contact Darrell Parsons at 202/944-8400 to register.

• July 12: Taylor office, 5506 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 27, Washington, 5:30 p.m. Contact Marj Rosner at 202/362-0300 to register.

• • •

Dan Foley of Foley Mechanical Inc. of Alexandria was one of three finalists in the Uponor Dream Home competition.

Mr. Foley entered a project from Potomac, Md., with 14,000 square feet of radiant floor heating in the main structure and 24,000 square feet of snow and ice-melting components.

Uponor is a manufacturer of crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing used in plumbing, fire sprinkler and hydronic radiant floor heating systems.

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