Stonegate may look like just another townhouse development, but there are surprises within. Stonegate hugs both sides of West Braddock Road on a rise between North Van Dorn Street and Northern Virginia Community College's Alexandria campus. The community is made up of five separate neighborhoods -- four small townhouse communities and one garden-style condominium community -- each with its own features, personality and board of directors. However, "Stonegate" is the only sign you'll see. The individual community designations are obvious only to residents and real estate agents.
There's a bit of friendly competition among the communities. One claims to be the greenest, another touts its spacious driveways while pointing out that in another section cars must be parked at an angle to fit. "We have bigger back yards." "Our floor plans are better for entertaining." Some homes have wood-burning fireplaces in the kitchens, and others have master bedroom suites where the bathroom is on a raised level.
There is something for just about every taste -- as long as you like stairs, because all the varied floor plans are multi-level. Each Stonegate community takes pride in landscaping and offers examples of how to make the most of small spaces.
Highpointe at Stonegate, with 147 townhouses, is the newest section, built between 1996 and 2000. Here, a storm-water runoff pond between townhouse rows became an attractive, useful area with the installation of raised walkways and water-loving plants, including weeping willows and cypress trees. A second area is about to get the same treatment.
At the Hamptons at Stonegate, 85 townhouses with double decks and Palladian windows have a bird's-eye view of the archaeological preserve and a walking and exercise trail below.
The 79 townhouses of Stonegate Mews are the smallest in square footage, but that cluster runs the only pool and clubhouse in the community. Condo residents are also members. A handful of residents from other parts of Stonegate have guest memberships. Stonegate has five different boards & they share one Web site & this allows all the concerns and information to be shared more efficiently.