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April 3, 2018

Marshall “workforce” units have their first tenants

Photos/Don Del Rosso
Omar Spence and his wife Denisha, both of whom work at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center, moved to the new community with their three children.
Moving from Warrenton, Patricia and William Rose waited a year for Washburn Place’s completion.
It’s the usual situation. As soon as we put out the word, we have a flood of applications.
— Windy Hill Development Co. Manager Kim Hart
Windy Hill Foundation
• What: Foundation and its subsidiary, Windy Hill Development Co., jointly provide “workforce” housing.

• Office: 2 W. Washington St., Middleburg.

• Foundation executive director: Bob Dale.

• Development company manager: Kim Hart.

• Established: 1981

• Dwellings built/developed: 367 in Loudoun, 18 in The Plains; residents about two weeks ago began moving into Windy Hill’s 30-townhouse Washburn Place project at Marshall.

• Email: info@windyhillfoundation.org

• Rental information: 540-687-3402.

• Website: windyhillfoundation.org

• Facebook page: Click here
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Everything about the Marshall “workforce” housing project appealed to the retired couple.

“It’s really affordable,” Patricia Rose, 55, said of Windy Hill Development Co.’s 30 townhouses on Salem Avenue. “I just like the little town. You can walk to the restaurants and the little shops.”

A 68-year-old retired truck driver, William Rose, 68, likes Marshall’s slow pace and peace and quiet.

“I’m just not a city person,” Mr. Rose explained. “I grew up on a farm.”

During the past couple of weeks, the Roses and 15 other families and individuals have moved into Washburn Place townhouses.

The remaining 14 units should be occupied by month’s end, according to Kim Hart, who manages the nonprofit development company — the construction arm of Loudoun-based Windy Hill Foundation.

“It’s the usual situation,” Mr. Hart explained. “As soon as we put out the word, we have a flood of applications. We’re in the process of completing the paperwork and doing the move-ins for the rest of the units.”

Depending on household income, rent for the two-story, three-bedroom units ranges from $944 to $1,250 per month, according to the foundation. Residents also must pay for utilities.

The Roses lived in a Warrenton seniors’ apartment community when they discovered Washburn Place.

“We actually were driving through Marshall one day and we saw white sewer pipes sticking out of the ground, and we researched it,” recalled Mrs. Rose, a retired caregiver. “We watched it progress for a whole year, and here we are.”

The couple met income and credit requirements. Because Mr. Rose served in the Army, they also qualified for one of three units reserved for veterans.

Washburn Place also has five fully handicapped-accessible units.

“As a far as we know, there are no other fully handicapped-accessible units for rent in Marshall,” Mr. Hart said.

Rachel Britt, 42, wanted to remain in the Northern Fauquier village to live close to work and to allow her 12-year-old son to continue to attend Marshall Middle School

Washburn Place also would allow her to reduce her monthly rent, said Mr. Britt, an office assistant for a local excavation company.

She rented a townhouse behind the Marshall MacDonald’s on Winchester Road when she learned about Washburn Place.

Finding affordable and suitable homes for rent in Marshall can be hard, she said.

Washburn Place helps address that need, Ms. Britt believes.

“It’s very difficult. I was looking for something with a yard for my son’s trampoline.”

Pleased with the public school system, Ms. Britt hopes to remain at Washburn Place at least until her son graduates from Fauquier High.

“My son has been in Fauquier schools since second grade. He’s anticipating being a Fauquier Falcon.”

Omar and Denisha Spence and their three children a few days ago moved from Philadelphia to Washburn Place.

Their jobs — both work at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center — and a chance to live near Ms. Spence’s family in Manassas brought them to Virginia.

Her research led the couple to Washburn Place.

“It’s quiet, clean, affordable,” Mr. Spence, 33, said of Washburn Place. “And the people are nice. It’s good.”

Interstate 66 makes Marshall particularly attractive, because it allows the couple easier access to work and family, he suggested.

The development company still must complete Washburn Place’s trail, install a playground and make assorted tweaks, Mr. Hart said.

“We’re coming into the home stretch.”

Maybe so. But Mr. Rose’s life remains incomplete as he anxiously awaits the day when Comcast provides him cable service.

“They say seven to 10 days,” his wife said. “He’s beside himself. He watches wrestling.”

“It really peeves me off,” Mr. Rose said. “Next week is ‘WrestleMania.’ That’s the Super Bowl of wrestling. It looks like I’m going to miss it.”

The foundation plans to conduct a Thursday, April 19, ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project.

Low-interest financing and a variety of donations made the $8-million Marshall project viable.

For example, Lisa and Zohar Ben-Dov, who live near Marshall, donated the 7.7-acre Washburn Place site. (Long-time supporters of the foundation, the couple asked that the project be named after deceased friend Lang Washburn, whose wife Judy has served on the Windy Hill board for more than 30 years.)

Through its affordable housing program, the Federal Home Loan Bank also donated $500,000 to the project.

Additionally, Fauquier County waived building permit fees and $240,000 in real estate taxes over eight years on the townhouses, and the PATH Foundation of Warrenton gave $60,000 for the development of the handicap-accessible units. 

“Marshall is having something of a renaissance, with lots more restaurants and service establishments,” Mr. Hart said. “And the fact that we have rents for people that are of that working class, I think is important for the growth of Marshall.”
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