Sugarland Run, Virginia
Sugarland Run, a portion of Sterling, Virginia in eastern Loudoun County, is home to over 10,000 residents. Just ten miles south of Dulles International Airport, and adjacent to Sterling’s suburban office district, commuters and working professionals find expressway access to major job centers of Reston Town Center and Fair Lakes via Fairfax Parkway. Though traffic-laden, the direct 10-mile route east along Route 7 leads to the business district of Tysons Corner; five miles west leads to the rapidly developing research and office area. The oldest of the existing planned communities, Sugarland Run will be celebrating its 40th birthday in February 2011.
Sugarland Run is named after the creek that runs north to the Potomac River alongside the neighborhood, the creek itself named for the Sugar Maples growing near its banks, dating back to at least the Revolutionary War, and perhaps to pre-colonial times. The Sugarland Run area is defined by Algonkian Parkway to the east and north, Potomac View Road to the west, and Route 7 to the south. This entire area, 826 acres, is called Sugarland Run, even though many newer, smaller subdivisions have filled in the vacant land south to Route 7 and east to Algonkian Parkway. Located next door, Cascades Town Center provides convenient shopping; further west on Route 7, residents shop at Dulles Town Center or the Premium Outlet Malls, just outside of Leesburg.
Completely built out, Sugarland Run consists of 2,200 homes, about a 70/30 mix of 1,100 detached single-family homes to approximately 900 townhomes, 250 of which are condominium-townhomes. The Sugarland Run Home Owners Association, the primary HOA, is managed onsite by Sequoia Management Co. In addition to belonging to the primary HOA, townhome owners in Sugarland Run also belong to their own separate association, developed to meet their specific needs. An Architectural Review Committee oversees all architectural improvements made to the exterior of any property, and oversees resident compliance with maintenance of their homes with yearly inspections performed in the neighborhood. This effort helps maintain and enhance the value of the entire neighborhood.
One of the distinguishing features of the Sugarland Run community is its ranch-style architecture, usually found in sunbelt cities, offering a change from the more typical colonials found throughout Northern Virginia. Designed and built with several through roads, there is still somewhat of a cul-de-sac influence to the streets because of the location of the Potomac River in relation to the community. The housing closer to Sugarland Elementary School consists of townhouses and apartments, whereas single-family homes predominate the land surrounding Meadowland Elementary. Mature, 30-year trees line the streets, gracing the neighborhood.
In 2003, Money Magazine named Sugarland one of the best places to live in the eastern U.S. Like an ever-changing riverbed, times change. By 2008, Loudoun County issued a report naming Sugarland Run as one of the three county foreclosure hotspots, along with its southern neighbor Sterling Park, and NE Leesburg. Despite challenging changes with the economy, Sugarland Run not only prevails as an affordable place to live, but maintains the attributes that make it a great place for families to live.
This community boasts one of Loudoun’s largest outdoor swimming pools (25 meters by 50 meters). With a large diving well and a separate kiddie wading pool, the community pool is often the sight of pool parties during the summer months. About 150 kids are part of the “Dolphin” swim team, a point of pride for the Sugarland Run community. Sugarland Run’s active Homeowners Association maintains community events throughout the year, such as movie nights, dances, concerts, costume contests, holiday parties, chili cook-offs, fun walk/runs, with many events held at their renovated Community Center. The Center has two rental rooms for ongoing classes, meetings, or special events. Additionally, 10 tot lots pepper the neighborhood, the main one next to the Center. Several years ago, the Center had fallen into disrepair by a former board of directors. By 2006, a new board set aside $1.6 mil needed for repair without any change in community services or raising assessments or dues. In July 2008, residents celebrated their first event at the renovated center.
This kind of community spirit is testament to the ongoing commitment Sugarland Run residents channel toward their neighborhood. These are hard-working families, they have lived here a long time, and they still feel it is one of the best places to live. Robert Winterbottom, President of the Sugarland Run Homeowners Association, came to Sugarland Run 22 years ago. He and his partner were renting while they were looking for a house. “We weren’t that active in the community at first, because we were so busy working and taking care of young twins. After a few years, we bought the house we had been renting. We never left the neighborhood, and ended up with seven kids! As our children got older, we were able to become more involved with the HOA.”
At the heart of the neighborhood, near the Community Center, lies the pre-constructed Willow Lake, with over 26 miles of walking paths encircling it. Residents periodically volunteer for lake clean-ups, building connections with neighbors in the process. The lake is stocked for year-round fishing, a delight for model boats and non-motorized boating. For those who would rather motorboat, it is just a couple miles to Eastern Loudoun’s only Potomac River boat ramp at Algonkian Park. Other recreational amenities that residents of Sugarland Run enjoy are tennis and volleyball courts, a baseball diamond, and basketball courts.
Winterbottom talked enthusiastically about the wooded areas and trails running through Sugarland Run. “I love the trees and wildlife of the common areas here,” he said. “You can go there to be alone, yet still enjoy the safety of the neighborhood.” Karen Olson, Property Manager for the Association’s management company, Sequoia Management, agreed. “There are so many miles of peaceful trails here, with a tributary of Sugarland Run running through the property. You can enjoy deer and other wildlife. It’s bucolic.”
Elementary students attend Sugarland Elementary or Meadowland Elementary inside the neighborhood. Middle school students attend Seneca Ridge Middle School, just outside the community. High Schoolers attend Dominion High School, also just outside the neighborhood, and host to the exceptional Loudoun Academy of Science Magnet Program.
Winterbottom echoed the refrain of many residents when he summed up his feelings about this neighborhood: “The Sugarland Run community grabbed us and took us in. We love living here. We value this community.”
Between 2009 and 2014, the population in this area is projected to increase about 15%. In comparison, Loudoun County population is expected to grow 23.5%. The population of Virginia is projected to increase 5.5%.
Between 2009 and 2014, the White population is expected to grow by 0%, the African American population by 25%, the Asian population by 46% and Hispanic population by 35%.
|Race/Ethnicity||% of population||% of population (VA)|
The median household income for this area ranged from $86,294 to $146,301, compared to a state median of $60,690, as estimated for 2009.
|Income Category||% of households||% of households (VA)|
|Less than $25,000||2.24%||17.87%|
|Less than $50,000||8.92%||40.94%|
|Less than $75,000||20.15%||60.5%|
|Less than $150,000||65.29%||88.89%|
|More than $150,000||34.71%||11.11%|
|Type of unit||% of units||% of units (VA)|
|Single family - detached||54.6%||62.6%|
|Single family - attached||38.48%||9.96%|