Prices for townhouses at Old Town Commons start at $714,900.
Buyers are drawn to Old Town for many reasons. With its cobblestone streets, waterfront setting, and Colonial-era buildings, the historic city is charming and beautiful. King Street is lined with independently owned shops and restaurants. Three parks—Waterfront Park, Founders Park, and Oronoco Bay Park—provide green space along the water. On Saturday mornings, the year-round farmers market at Market Square is busy. And a free trolley connects the neighborhood to the nearby King Street Metro station.
So it may not be surprising that even with the real-estate slowdown, median prices in Old Town’s 22314 Zip code have remained relatively steady. “Old Town has held its value well despite how difficult it’s been,” says Nicky McDonnell, a Coldwell Banker agent. And the market is beginning to show signs of growth: In April, the median sales price surpassed $600,000 for the first time since October 2006.
Townhouses in Old Town usually start in the $700,000s, says Marc Pina, vice president of Coldwell Banker’s Alexandria branch, although large restored houses can command much more—a six-bedroom Federal-style home on Cameron Street, five blocks from the water, is listed for $2.7 million. Bargain-minded buyers can find small condos in older buildings in the high $200,000s.
Old Town and its surrounding neighborhoods also claim a handful of new condominium and townhouse developments, many with a traditional look and feel. “New construction has kept the wonderful old character of Old Town,” says McDonnell. New condos typically range from $300,000 to $800,000; new townhouses are often priced from $700,000 to $1 million.
900 North Washington Street
900 N. Washington St.; 703-851-2255
Buyers at 900 North Washington Street are within walking distance of the King Street business district and the Braddock Road Metro. Made up of three four-story buildings, the development has 57 one- and two-bedroom condos. Shared amenities include an exercise room and two rooftop terraces. Twenty-three units are still on the market. Prices, which include a parking spot, start at $379,000 for one-bedrooms and $499,900 for two-bedrooms.
Duke Townhomes & Flats
1300 Duke St.; 703-837-0364
About a half mile from the King Street Metro station, the Duke Townhomes & Flats is a development of 18 townhouses and 40 condos. Only one home remains: a two-bedroom condo ($594,900) with a gas fireplace.
Old Town Commons
735 N. Alfred St.; 571-312-8910
When finished, Old Town Commons will span five city blocks and include 159 townhouses and 44 condos. Construction is ongoing, and the developer is putting homes on the market in phases. Designed to look like historic Alexandria rowhouses, the townhouses range in size from three to four bedrooms. Some have two-car garages; all have rooftop decks and, on the main level, hardwood floors. Prices start at $714,900 for a three-bedroom townhouse with a loft. Condos, which will begin going on the market in October, range from one to two bedrooms; prices start in the high $200,000s.
2400 Main Line Blvd.; 571-970-4043
North of Old Town, Potomac Yard will eventually boast 571 condos and townhouses. Homes will range from two to four stories and from three to four bedrooms. Some will feature two-car garages, fireplaces, or roof decks with space for a wet bar. The nearby 24-acre Potomac Yard Park—scheduled to be completed next year—will offer a mile-long jogging and biking path and a small concert stage. Although construction will be ongoing until 2016, a handful of condos are already on the market, ranging from $500,000 to $600,000. Townhouses will range from $700,000 to the mid-$900,000s.
This article appears in the August 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.