Van Metre – Broadlands and Stone Ridge Van Metre – Broadlands and Stone Ridge Featured Content By Libby John Tuesday, 04 August 2009

Van Metre’s Broadlands community in Virginia has been a $290 million endeavor. The Broadlands community has grown and changed significantly over the past 25 years. Although the first residents of Broadlands – a master-planned community in Loudoun County, Va. – moved there in the fall of 1995, Van Metre began assembling the 1,700-acre property in 1983. In the late 1990s, the region became a technology hub after AOL and MCI relocated their headquarters there, and it was ranked as one of the fastest-growing counties in 2005 and 2006. Broadlands is now home to 3,300 families, three public schools, one private school, a church, day-care center, three pools, two clubhouses, two shopping centers, Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm restaurant and miles of walking trails and green space. In addition to developing Broadlands – a $290 million endeavor – and constructing many of the homes in the community, Van Metre designed, constructed, leased, manages and owns the 113,000-square-foot Broadlands Marketplace retail center, as well as the 292 Broadlands apartments. Van Metre continues to own 125 acres of the commercial land within Broadlands adjoining the Dulles Greenway. “Broadlands was and still is the flagship community of Van Metre Companies,” Group President Roy Barnett says. “Al Van Metre Sr. started looking at acquiring farmland in Loudoun County in the early 1980s and, in 1984, assembled more than 1,700 acres of land in the middle of Loudoun County, 5 miles west of Washington Dulles International Airport, that is today Broadlands. At the time, it was when Loudoun was in the fringe of the suburban area of D.C. and the Dulles Greenway was not in existence,” he recalls. Barnett has been involved in the project since 1988, when he was hired to be the senior vice president of the community. He completed the initial zoning of the land, the master planning and early entitlements. The growth of the area led to the growth of the community. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Van Metre, along with a consortium of four other landowners between Broadlands and Washington Dulles, worked with a private company that wanted to construct the first private toll road in Virginia, now known as the Dulles Greenway. The two sides developed an agreement in which the landowners and the private toll road company agreed to a fixed alignment of the toll road through their properties and, in exchange, the required right-of-way was conveyed to the toll road company at no cost. “This effort helped accelerate the construction of what is now known as the Dulles Greenway,” Barnett says. The office space construction is expected to be completed over the next 20 years. Also, due to be completed by 2016, a new Metro stop will be located about a half-mile from Broadlands, which will give residents and office tenants an easier commute to nearby cities. “In the next decade, you will see an expansion of the Washington office moving westward along the Dulles Greenway,” he adds. Environmentally Friendly During the design stages of the Broadlands project, Van Metre remained focused on designing the community to “respect the land,” Barnett says. The firm held a competition in the late 1980s and selected George Matarazzo and Matarazzo Design of Concord, N.H., to design around the features of the land. In fact, Barnett notes, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) designated Broadlands as a Community Wildlife Habitat last year – a community that provides habitat for wildlife throughout the community in individual back yards, on school grounds and in public areas such as parks, community gardens, places of worship and businesses. Broadlands is built along Stream Valley Park and has a linear park system that runs along the community. It has numerous trails, wetlands, woodlands and parks with wildlife habitat. Broadlands Homeowners Association has partnered with the Audubon Naturalist Society to offer nature-related activities for adults and children at its nature center, including bird watching, field trips, nature games and butterfly workshops. “At a time when communities are faced with the problems of losing habitat to development, Broadlands stands out as a model for other communities to emulate,” NWF says. “The knowledge and inspiration that this project has generated will lead Broadlands’ residents and visitors to take better care of their natural world.” In Spring 2009, the Broadlands Wildlife Habitat Committee hosted the first EarthDay@ Loudoun 2009 Family Festival, held to promote the environment, eco-friendly products and services and environmental activism. “[It] is designed to bring a national theme home to the local area in a grassroots effort to promote environmental awareness,” it says. “Loudoun County is considered a progressive, active and involved area of citizens, and this organization wants to provide EarthDay@ Loudoun 2009 as an opportunity to educate, engage and encourage participation in making our area an even better place to live,” says Stevens Miller, event co-chairperson. The Heart of Our Future In 2000, Van Metre master-planned 800 acres of land in eastern Loudoun County, 6 miles west of the Dulles International Airport. Now, the community – called Stone Ridge – is spread over 1,100 acres, and community development began in 2001. To date, a shopping center and other ancillary retail, 1,600 homes and condominiums a clubhouse, two pools, a day-care center, and elementary and middle schools have been completed or are under construction. An additional 2,000 homes and condominiums, two private schools, a rehabilitation hospital, 1 million square feet of office, an in-patient hospice center, and a library are all on the drawing board. “Stone Ridge is the heart of our future,” Barnett explains. “Broadlands is becoming mature on the residential side with just less than 50 single-family homes and 175 town houses left to build. We feel our present and future is guided by our planned community effort.” Community Care Van Metre prides itself on being involved in the community. Company founder Albert G. Van Metre Sr. was one of the founders of the Capital Hospice, a Washington D.C.-based organization that improves care for patients and families who are facing life-limiting illnesses. “Our support for Capital Hospice over the last 25 years has raised over $600,000 to help fund patient programs, education and research,” the company says. “Giving back to the community is a strong part of the Van Metre philosophy.” Van Metre is helping to construct a new in-patient hospice facility for the group. The facility will be the first free-standing hospice facility in Loudoun County and will have up to 21 beds, as well as office space and home services for hospice workers. In June, it will host a polo match to raise additional funds for construction of the much-needed facility. Source: Construction Today