By Brian Indre
The former Oakwood Apartments has been rebranded as Falls Green, complete with a major renovation that was capped off earlier this year.
The Roosevelt Street condo community, which was purchased by Insight Property Group in 2018, sports a freshly renovated luxury complex that offers existing and future residents an expansive space in the heart of Falls Church with the most current amenities and a modern upgraded look.
The outdoor grounds have resort-like amenities such as a dedicated play space, a dog park and agility course, multipurpose sport courts, grills and dining space and a fire pit with soft seating.
Indoor amenities include a community market, multiple social gathering areas and workspace, and a new fitness facility.
“We had meetings with existing residents as well as sent out surveys to understand what they would like to see changed or upgraded,”said Maury Stern, principal of Insight Property Group, via email. “The survey feedback informed the spaces and uses we added to the clubhouse and courtyards as well as the programming that we added to respond to the interests of the residents,”
The original Oakwood had accommodated U.S. State Department temporary living for foreign diplomats who were on assignment in D.C..
“While we still have a good amount of State Department residents through our partnership with corporate housing providers, the employment base of our residents is now pretty diversified,” Stern explained. “We expanded our marketing outside of the corporate housing world,” said Stern.
Insight’s plan was to reposition the property from being primarily a corporate housing provider to a conventional rental apartment community in order to be competitive in attracting new residents.
Cheryl Felicia Rhoads, a resident that moved into the former Oakwood property in 2006, coming from another Oakwood owned property located in Los Angeles, California, said that it was an easy decision at the time to move into a community with management she was familiar with, plus her brother was already a resident at the Falls Church location.
Not your typical resident, Rhoads, an accomplished actress and acting teacher had rented rooms at the Oakwood property for teaching classes over the years. But even during the renovation process, Covid-19 interrupted her ability to teach, and is currently pursuing a place where she and her students can have enough space for current social distance protocols.
“It’s always a big transition for those of us that have lived here for so many years,” said Rhoads. “But the management were always very open to talking to people and getting feedback, so I appreciated that very much.”
“They have done a beautiful job,” said Rhoads.
The outdoor space has been designed to give families and friends more space to entertain; one aspect that Rhoads is appreciative of. Originally there was just one small area dedicated for the outdoor BBQ grills, but the new design has more throughout the property, giving more people access.
“This way it won’t get quite so crowded, and particularly during this time of the pandemic, so it’s been great that people are spread out, which is helpful,” Rhoads said.
Another aspect of the change has been onsite event managers who create a mix of activities just about every week,” said another longtime resident Debra Roth. “From exercise classes held in the past to online classes and games, courtyard concerts, wine and spirits tastings, food trucks, outings to local businesses, and more.”
Roth explains that there are ongoing discussions related to fees for parking costs and the number of designated parking spaces per household. Along with more frequent transportation opportunities for residents, such as extending the hours and number of trips for a shuttle to the Metro.
“At first I thought I would not want to pay more for couches and activities but it’s been mostly worth it, said Roth. “I love being lured by outside couches into a courtyard, which is especially important during the pandemic, but valued any time.” She mentions that the little gathering areas and fire pit enable easy socializing with friends and to meet people.
She said the activities are a good mix of sophisticated and light-hearted. The best part of it all — most of the events are totally covered by rent and fees.