More than Four Walls – It’s Home

The Flats at Boulevard VI proves popular in Fairfax.

For the past two years, area residents driving on Fairfax Boulevard have seen 137 condos arise where Paul VI High used to be. Those luxury condos are now built, and people are moving in while the community’s green spaces receive their finishing touches.

Called The Flats, they’re the first section of the IDI Group Companies’ gigantic mixed-use project, Boulevard VI, on 18.5 acres in Fairfax City. The plan also includes 115 townhouses and seven, single-family homes.

The original 1934 portion of the old Paul VI school building – which City residents clamored to be saved – will contain 24,000 square feet of community and office space, plus 20,000 square feet of retail. Its front lawn will be preserved as a village green for hosting events. 

In addition, the two retail pads flanking the historic school building have just been sold. On one of them will go Learning Experience, a 20,000-square-foot early- childhood learning and daycare center. The other will have a mix of retail uses, including Chosun Hwaro, a restaurant serving authentic Korean cuisine.

Boulevard VI will also feature five pocket parks, including two on-site playgrounds, an outdoor fitness area, a perimeter biking/walking path, plus historical informational signage explaining the site’s history. 

“We’re excited to see the plans come to life and to see the response to this new community,” said IDI Managing Director Enrico Cecchi. “The fact that The Flats outsold every other new home community in the region in 2021 – and that there are only a few homes left as we open – is a much-appreciated testament to the vision we had.” 

The condos were constructed in two phases – all within one, horseshoe-shaped building with a lobby on each side. Phase one consisted of 66 units, and phase two, 71. Prices ranged from the low $300,000s to the low $500,000s for the wide variety of floor plans, including one- and two-bedroom units. Less than 10 are still available for purchase.

Designed by Heffner Architects of Alexandria, one-and two-bedroom condos were built, as well as larger, two-bedroom units with dens and double balconies. Features include 9-foot ceilings, a spacious balcony for almost all units, plus energy-efficient lighting, windows and mechanical systems. There’s garage parking, and interior finishes and fixture upgrades were available to purchasers.

Onsite amenities include a large party room with catering kitchen for planned activities or private events; a club room where residents may relax, play games and watch TV; a fitness center with cardio and weight equipment (open from 5 a.m.-11 p.m.); an onsite management office; and business workstations with a printer, WiFi and Internet. 

There’s secured building access and interior bicycle storage. and each lobby offers a coffee station, WiFi and Uber calling area, plus a mailroom. Outdoors, residents may enjoy the central courtyard highlighted by a pool with swim lane, cabanas and a locker room with showers; as well as a barbecue/grilling area, fire pit, seating and garden. 

The Connection recently got a look inside the new, luxury condo building. There are 23 floorplans, with slightly different features. One example of a two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,070-square-foot unit has granite kitchen countertops with counter-height stools for eating, plus stainless-steel appliances, and a full-sized GE washer and dryer behind closed doors between the kitchen and living room.

There are large, walk-in closets, and the bedrooms are on opposite sides of the unit, with glass doors opening onto the balcony. The living room also has large, sliding-glass doors leading to the balcony, and many units overlook the courtyard and pool. There’s a shower in one bathroom and a tub and shower in the other, and both feature granite countertops.

“The condos are bright, spacious and have lots of storage,” said IDI spokeswoman Laura Nickle. “The Flats have a nice feeling – a place you want to come to. It’s a lot more than just four walls – it’s home.”

“This is a prime, high-profile location, close to everything in Fairfax City,” she continued. “People love the lifestyle at The Flats, with indoor and outdoor amenities all year ’round and no outdoor-maintenance worries. And each unit has its own heating and cooling system, plus separate metered water, so residents only pay for what they use. Residents started moving in, in mid-October.”

Nickle said The Flats are great for young professionals, just starting out, as well as people stepping down from a house to something smaller. 

Alex Choi moved in the beginning of November. He especially liked the location and said his Realtor mom told him about The Flats and said her clients who bought IDI homes considered IDI a reputable developer. 

“That sparked my interest,” he said. “I also like that it’s off the Route 29/Route 50 intersection and a mile from I-66. It’s near nice shops, places to eat and the Amazon Fresh; and there’s lots of new development, so I know it’ll continue to bloom in the future.” 

“I’m in the heart of Fairfax, and the place is nicely built, modern and vibrant, with lots of natural light coming through my patio doors,” continued Choi. “I’m on the second floor and, from my balcony, I can see the common area and the pool. I have a two-bedroom unit and I love it. It’s definitely worth it – I’m happy about the purchase. Even the neighbors and management company are nice.”

Pleased, as well, is Angela Went Wijas, who moved into The Flats with her teenage granddaughter on Halloween weekend. “I moved from a house that got to be too big for me, and my kids went to Paul VI,” she said. “Our condo overlooks what was the carpool lane, so it feels like home.”

She’s delighted that her two-bedroom unit is “kind of self-contained. I don’t have to maintain a yard, and there’s even a trash chute where I throw my garbage. There’s also garage parking, so I don’t have to scrape ice off my car on winter mornings. And I like the swimming pool and beautiful grounds.”

Furthermore, said Wijas, “It’s centrally located – just three miles from my job, and close to family, friends and church – and I’m happy to be in Fairfax City. I have a two-bedroom unit that’s roomy and beautiful, with a modern interior and neutral colors. The builder did outstanding, quality work. I’d absolutely recommend The Flats to others. It’s the whole package, and it looks like it’s going to be a really nice community.”

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