The land on which Old Town Village was built was once thought to be unsuitable for commercial or retail development. Developers in the mid 1990's conducted environmental studies and learned that the land was safe and were allowed to purchase the land to develop Old Town Village. Construction and new home sales began in 1996 and the first residents moved in at the beginning of 1998. EYA (then known as Eakin Youngentob) and Pulte were the two builders that developed Old Town Village. EYA built the townhomes and courtyard homes in the eastern half of the community located between S. Henry, Duke, S. Payne and Wilkes Streets. Pulte built the condominium buildings in the western half located one half block south of Duke St. bisected by S. Payne, West Streets and Roundhouse Lane.
The Fannon Oil and Heating Company owned much of the land that was sold to the developers. Their retail store remains adjacent to the community and is located at the corner of Duke and S. Fayette St. and their property runs west and south along S. Payne St. ending about halfway down the block. Their property sits a grade below Old Town Village and there is a fence that separates the Fannon property from the community. The permanent barricade on S. Payne St. was designed to prohibit large vehicles from entering the residential part of the community.
In 2008, Fannon sold part of their land holding to Marquis Homes, a subsidiary of Van Metre. The Duke Townhomes & Flats located on Duke Street between S. Payne and West Streets were completed in 2010. The new homes have contributed to the modern appeal of the surrounding area. Although, The Duke homes are adjacent to the condominium buildings in Old Town Village, a fence divides the two communities and there is no direct traffic between the communities.
In 2014, M/I Homes acquired a warehouse and lot between S. Payne, Wilkes and S. West Streets across the street from the Wilkes St. Cemetary. 22 four level townhomes were built featuring brick exteriors, rooftop terraces, second level rear decks and two car garages. The commmunity is now known as Majesty West and was completed in 2018. Included in the project was the S. West St. public access sidewalk connecting S. Payne to S. West St.
The new homes have contributed to the modern appeal of the surrounding area.
The EYA built townhomes and courtyard homes feature the following models:
4 Level, 3 Bedroom, 2.5 or 3.5 Bathroom Townhomes
Emerson, 1816 square feet, 1 car garage and 1 carport space
Fayette, 2149 square feet, 2 car garage
Gibbon, 2315 square feet, 2 car garage
Madison, 2771 square feet, 2 car garage
2 Level, 3 Bedroom, 2.5 or 3.5 Bathroom Courtyard Homes
Pendleton, 2700 square feet, 2 car garage
Patrick, 2780 square feet, 2 car garage
The Pulte built condominium homes feature the following models:
Nelson, 1059 square feet, 1BR, 1BA
Jarrett, 1376 square feet, 2BR, 2.5BA
Kingsley, 1403 square feet, 3BR, 2.5BA
Inwood, 1407 square feet, 2BR, 2.5BA
Fannon, 1458 square feet, 2BR, 2.5BA
Ellison, 1471 square feet, 2BR, 2.5BA
Morgan, 1575 square feet, 2BR, 2.5BA
Groveton, 1639 square feet, 2BR, 2.5BA
Hanley, 1624 square feet, 3BR, 2.5BA
Landon, 1657 square feet, 3BR, 2.5BA
All Old Town Village residents have use of the community "Roundhouse" which houses an entertainment room and outdoor patio used for community social events and meetings. The Roundhouse also features a well maintained fitness center, locker rooms and an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi room which are open during summer months.
Old Town Village has limited traffic access from Duke St. to prevent Beltway and US 1 South bound traffic from short-cutting through the community. S. Payne St. is a no outlet coming from Duke St. and there is no right turn onto S. Fayette St. Residents have access through the West St. gated entrance into the community.
Some other unique characteristics of Old Town Village are the number of landscaped courtyards throughout the community and all of the sidewalks are brick. The courtyards feature plush green lawns with brick sidewalks which front several rows of townhomes. There are also a number of wooden benches placed throughout. Also unique are the tall, black column lamposts with glazed glass similar to ones you would find in Old Town or Georgetown. All of the townhome and courtyard home parking garages are in the rear connected to the main streets by alleys. The rear of each home faces the rear of another creating a very communal and neighborly environment. A common sight is to see neighbors chatting with one another on their decks. Another common sight walking down the townhome alleys in the warm weather months are the lovely flower boxes hanging on top of and over many of the balcony deck rails.
The first level condominum units have direct access into their units and feature their own private, fenced patios in the rear of their homes. The upper level condominum units have a shared front entrance and can be accessed by elevator or stairs. Some of the upper level units have private balconies which are located in the front of the buildings. One of the top floor units on S. Payne St. has one of the only views in all of Old Town Village of the Old Town skyline from its balcony.
Old Town Village was featured in The Washington Post Real Estate section on July 3, 1999 in the article "What's New in Old Town" written by Daniela Deane. Here is an excerpt from that article:
"Another new development, the 155-unit Old Town Village, near the corner of Duke and Henry streets, is on the southwest edge of Old Town. The development was built on an abandoned Norfolk and Southern railroad yard that abutted a heating oil company's storage facility.
Only about a dozen of the development's units are fully in Old Town and so subject to rulings by Alexandria's Board of Architectural Review. But hey, let's not split hairs. We like to think that they're all part of Old Town, said Terry Eakin, chairman of Eakin-Youngentob Associates Inc., the company that built Old Town Village. "We like to think it's been incorporated into the community.
Residents say one of the nicest things about living in Old Town is its community spirit. The Red Cross holds a Waterfront Festival each year, with rides for children, and vendors, crafts and outdoor concerts for the adults. Parades wind through the tiny streets on such holidays as Washington's Birthday and St. Patrick's Day. The Scottish Walk, a formal parade where Alexandria men dress up in kilts and the area's dogs parade through the city's narrow streets, is held the first Saturday in December to celebrate the Christmas season. The town's farmer's market is packed every Saturday. Next weekend, the city will hold its 250th birthday celebration. The people who have made Old Town their home have chosen it specifically because of its unique characteristics.
Marcia Pixley and her husband lived in Asia, Europe and Africa while in the Foreign Service. But here in America, Old Town was the only place the couple felt comfortable. "In between tours overseas, we came back to the Washington area to look for a place to buy," Pixley said. "We were very discouraged because we couldn't find anything we liked.
"Finally, we found Old Town," she said. "And it felt like home right away."
In 2002, the Old Town Village Homeowner's Association was awarded the Community Association of the Year award. The community has its own monthly newsletter called the "Old Town Crier." The newsletter has been a terrific resource throughout the years providing important local and seasonal information. Elected committee members provide valuable information in the newsletter regarding activities and events, community architectural standards, communications with the city, community safety, grounds and services and welcoming new residents.
In recent years, the development of the Carlyle neighborhood has transformed the west end of Old Town Alexandria into a separate business district adjacent to both the King St. and Eisenhower Ave. Metro stations. The Carlyle business district is anchored by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters, a U.S. District Courthouse, several high rise office, hotel, condominium and apartment buildings. Whole Foods Grocery has anchored the retail in the area for a number of years but more recent arrivals include Starbucks, CVS Pharmacy, Sweet Fire Donna's, Whisky & Oyster, Tequila & Taco, Italian Gourmet Deli, Burke & Herbert Bank, Bank of America, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Jimmy John's, Pasara Thai, The Carlyle Club and the Weston Alexandria Hotel. A paved bike path along Jamieson Ave., which begins just outside of the entrance to the community at S. West St. provides a short and convenient walk to these stores and restaurants. The Marriott Residence Inn (Alexandria Old Town) is also located on Jamieson Ave, just one block from Old Town Village and is one of many upscale hotels located nearby. In 2022, a new Wegmans Grocery store opened and anchors new development near the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station and AMC Theatres.
The Cameron Run Bike Path which runs from Union St. along the Potomac River waterfront meanders its way through the southeast and southwest quadrants in Old Town and runs through Old Town Village. The Cameron Run Bike Path leaves Old Town to the west and follows Eisenhower Ave. and then shoots north into the western part of Alexandria City.
If you are interested in learning more about Old Town Village or would like to tour any of the homes for sale, please don't hesitate to contact me!