An Ashburn housing development has been recognized by the National Association of Home Builders as one of the premiere communities of 2013. The association announced on Dec. 12 that One Loudoun, which is designed as a self-contained town, would be one of five honorees chosen from across the United States to receive Silver Awards in the category of Master-planned Community of the Year.
“The Nationals [awards] is the largest awards ceremony of its kind,” said Lisa Parrish, an administrator for NAHB’s National Sales and Marketing Awards. “Each year we receive a great number of entries. We look to recognize and honor communities that are exemplary examples of new-home offerings in the nation. The communities recognized should be learned from.”
One Loudoun hopes that, when all is said and done, it will have something to teach. The minds behind its creation have for years harbored a vision of how people ought to live and work, and they believe that vision will become increasingly attractive to others as One Loudoun reaches maturation.
“After World War II, with advent of suburbs driven by the availability of automobiles, you had segregation of land use that led to what is now derisively called sprawl,” said Bill May, vice president of land for developer Miller & Smith. “Neo-traditional communities such as One Loudoun represent an effort to take us back in time to before our lifestyles were dominated by the automobile.”
In order to minimize the impact of cars, in particular the need to commute, May and others involved with One Loudoun have focused on inclusiveness and proximity.
“One Loudoun is an omni-use environment,” explained May. “It’s a real place. Our intention was to build not a subdivision or a project, but to a build community that’s actually a town in every element. So you’ve got stores, offices, houses, parks, trails, ball fields, everything that makes up a real place so that you don’t have to segregate your lifestyle. This is where you live, work, shop, play. It’s all right here at One Loudoun.”
That “all” includes over 1,000 homes, an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a shopping center, restaurants, an elementary school, a grocery store and over 3 million square feet of office space that is already being used to house tenants like Atlantic Coast Mortgage, Halpern Financial, Ashburn Oral Surgery, and Loudoun Dental.
“We’re seeing businesses coming to fruition,” said May. “We have a company that’s moved in and been operational for two or three months. Some of their employees knew the move was coming before we did, and actually they actually purchased houses here. They were living here before the company moved in. Now they’re within walking distance of work. Tenants other than restaurants include mortgage companies, financial services companies, doctors, dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, and others who are now under lease. Our leasing efforts continue to be strong.”
Julie Dillon, vice president of marketing for One Loudoun, also emphasized the all-inclusive nature of the community.
“It’s a credit to Bill May and the Miller & Smith team that things have turned out the way they are,” she said. “Sometimes you’ll go into a new community and the developer has just built houses. They’ll wait until more people move in before they build the amenities. Here, we had the amenities ready for the residents. You drive in here and it doesn’t feel like a construction site. It feels like a community.”
One Loudoun will receive its Silver Award on Feb. 4 in Las Vegas, where it will be in the running to be the sole recipient of the Gold Award in the same category.
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