March 4, 2010

Rose Hill: Hidden treasure
By: David Driver
Special to The Examiner

Connie Beatty moved with her family to the Rose Hill neighborhood in Fairfax County on Dec. 15, 1954 -- just a day after her daughter's birthday.

The Beatty family was among the five original homeowners in Rose Hill and, at that time, there were no telephones in their homes. Beatty's husband, Frank, who died in 1977, would walk several hundred yards from their house to use a public telephone booth. From there he would call his wife, who worked the evening shift at a post office in Alexandria, to see when to pick her up.

Modern conveniences have improved, of course, and more than 50 years later Beatty still enjoys Rose Hill, located south of the Capital Beltway. Although just minutes from major arteries such as Telegraph and Franconia roads, many of the homes are tucked away from the bustle of Northern Virginia.

"It is a very neat neighborhood and neatly done. We have one of the best civic association presidents," Beatty said of Carl Sell, a resident since the 1960s. "We have the neighborhood watch. I just love the community. It is a good location."

Anchoring the neighborhood are the Rose Hill Shopping Center, John Marshall Community Library and Rose Hill Elementary School, which marked its 50th anniversary in 2004. There are several places of worship, including Rose Hill Baptist Church.

Laura Bornhoeft is a tax professional at Jackson Hewitt, a tax service with offices at the Rose Hill Shopping Center. She said many of her customers are from the neighborhood and noted that most of the residents own their homes.

Jim Shanahan, a Realtor with Re/Max Allegiance in Alexandria, said, "I think it is a desirable location because it is far enough north to go north to Alexandria and Washington and far enough south to go south to Fort Belvoir."

"It is not an incredibly high-price neighborhood compared to many," Shanahan added. "It is mostly single-family detached homes."

Jim Sapp, a former Rose Hill resident, likes the area so much he has continued to maintain the civic association Web site since moving to Colorado several years ago.

Juanita Holloman, who moved to Rose Hill in 1955 with her family, feels the same way. "I like everything about this, especially where I live," she said. "I have wonderful neighbors."

(Photo Courtesy Andrew Harnik/Examiner)

 

Top reasons to live in Rose Hill

Location:

The neighborhood is just a few miles south of the Capital Beltway and is surrounded by major roads. Several Metro stations are close by, including Huntington to the northeast, Franconia-Springfield to the west and Van Dorn Street to the north. Kingstowne Towne Centre is just a few miles to the west and easy to reach via Franconia or Telegraph roads.

Community feel:

The John Marshall Community Library is in the heart of the neighborhood on the east side of Rose Hill Drive and draws patrons from outside the area. "The library is the hub of the neighborhood," said Kathryn Alleman, the branch manager. The Rose Hill Civic Association helps maintain the enclave's ambience -- recognizing particularly well-kept yards with a small sign.

Outdoor recreation:

Lee District Park and the Lee District RECenter are on the south end of the neighborhood off Telegraph Road. The gym has one regulation-size basketball court, two half-courts for hoops and two volleyball courts. The fitness center includes indoor cycles, free weights, a stretching area and much more. The Greendale Golf Club is across Telegraph Road from Lee District Park.

At a glance  January 2010

Average sold price:

Average list price:

Average days on the market:

$359,000

$331,000

12

At a glance  January 2009

Average sold price:

Average list price:

Average days on the market:

$271,000

$272,000

11

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