ALEXANDRIA, VA - A joint venture between USAA Real Estate and Lowe, a national real estate investor, developer and manager, announced the completion of Park + Ford, the adaptive-reuse of the former three-building Park Center office complex into a 435-unit contemporary apartment community with 115,000 square feet of office. Located at 4401 Ford Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia on the I-395 Corridor, the community is proximate to Washington, D.C. and other area business centers as well as a wealth of shopping, dining and entertainment destinations.
The 568,000-square-foot Park Center office complex consisting of two 14-story office towers and a four-story office building constructed atop a 1,400-space parking garage was acquired by the joint venture in January 2018. Drawing on its experience with a prior office-to-residential conversion at The George in Wheaton, Maryland, Lowe developed a program to capitalize on the traditional office attributes of the towers, such as 10-foot ceilings and large floorplates, to transform the two 14-story office buildings into spacious apartment homes with a large array of desirable community amenities.
“Park + Ford offers apartment residences larger than those which are typically developed as new construction. At the time we purchased the property, prior to the pandemic, we identified growing interest among young professionals, many beginning to couple-up and start families, for an apartment community with more room for working and family along with style and convenience,” said Mark Rivers, executive vice president, Lowe. “We decided to proceed with construction during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and found we could contract at favorable costs. We also avoided delays from supply chain disruptions, which began later in the pandemic. As we began welcoming residents, we found that the pandemic only fueled demand for precisely the environment and residences that we have created at Park + Ford. In fact, the first leases signed were for the one bedroom plus den and two-bedroom units, when historically smaller units lease first.”
Park + Ford offers apartments configured as studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom, and two-bedroom plus den floorplans, many with private terraces or balconies. All residences feature wood plank floors, quartz countertops, energy efficient appliances including in-unit washers and dryers, and floor-to-ceiling windows creating a bright and airy living environment.
Communal spaces at Park + Ford evoke the atmosphere of a boutique hotel with a high-end contemporary and comfortable design in warm tones complemented by splashes of eye-catching, colorful décor. Gathering spots are abundant and engaging; the Lobby; Co-Working area; Social Lounge with interactive multi-sport game simulator; Club Room with kitchen, dining area, televisions and fireplace; and the sunny, plant-filled Conservatory are all fitted with a variety of seating options for casual gatherings, remote work or community-organized events. Residents also have access to a private dining room and catering kitchen for meetings or social gatherings, while children have their own space at Park + Ford with a Kids Room stocked with toys and games.
Park + Ford offers inviting outdoor spaces including The Yard, a large landscaped area with a bocce court and nearby sundeck with chaise lounges, misters and a waterfall fountain. The plaza offers outdoor dining, grilling stations, fire pits and private cabanas, while the expansive 5,000-square-foot, resident-only fenced dog play area provides shade, seating and pet water stations.
Convenience and service are hallmarks of Park + Ford with a host of app-driven, on-demand services such as housekeeping, laundry and dry cleaning, package notification and storage including refrigerated cases for perishable deliveries, and away-from-home care. A concierge, lobby coffee bar and self-service grab-n-go market round out the community’s hospitality-focused experience.
A highlight at the property for residents and the community is the 55,000-square-foot XSport fitness club in the adjacent four-story building. The popular fitness club, which is open to its members 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offers an array of classes, state-of-the-art equipment, an Olympic-size indoor swimming pool, spa and basketball court. A Spanish-immersion daycare, Tierra Encantada, is scheduled to open in the complex in Summer 2022.