Van Metre Homes broke ground on a 58-unit townhome development in Old Town Manassas on Friday, signaling the beginning of a project eight years in the making.
See video of the groundbreaking here.
The project, Olde Towne Square, is located on Center Street in the city block formed by Fairview Avenue, Quarry Road and Zebedee Street that was once the site of a car wash and the Lil Cheaper Market.
The homes are expected to be between 1,675 and 2,146 square feet with private garages.
The company hasn't yet announced a price range for the homes, but said pre-selling will start in February with the first model home opening in the fall, Krista Peterson, Van Metre marketing director, said.
The company has also secured a preferred lender, Intercoastal Mortgage, and a title company, Walker Title, for the project, Peterson said.
Floor plans and interior options will be displayed at a showroom Van Metre plans to open next year near the site in Old Town Manassas, Peterson said.
The company decided to build in the area because it’s a place with a lot of existing character, Van Metre officials said.
Van Metre feels they can add to the neighborhood, Peterson said.
“This is a glorious day for Manassas, we are very proud,” Manassas City Councilman Mark Wolfe said.
The idea of such a development has been kicked around for almost a decade, he said.
Orginially, the plan was to build 186 condominium developments with retail on the street level, but that business model fell through, he said.
Van Metre eventually brought the idea of a townhome community to the table along with the goal of attracting high-end buyers with expendable incomes, Wolfe said.
The city has worked with the company on the architectural details, so the homes will blend in with the city’s historical setting, the councilman added.
The design of the townhomes was actually inspired by a property in Old Town Alexandria, Peterson said. Old Town Square is very unique and is unlike any of Van Metre's other Northern Virginia properties, she added.
The company will install some period traffic lights in the area as part of its proffer with the city, Wolfe said.
The company also buried all the utility lines in the area as part of the proffer agreement.