Taking Smart Growth Forward

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

St. Charles' Fairway Village

In 1997, construction started on Fairway Village, the third of St. Charles’ planned five villages in the 9,100 acre master-planned community. Designed to surround the rolling greens of White Plains Park with its 18-hole championship golf course, driving range, lighted tennis courts, baseball and football fields, dog park and a skateboard park, Fairway Village integrates a number of elements central to St. Charles' vision for economic self-sufficiency combined with family-oriented amenities. From builders offering contemporary new floorplans and exciting designs in apartment living and new homes,  to hosting the 2013 Atlantic League All-Star baseball game at Regency Stadium in July, Fairway Village in many ways captures the essence of the St. Charles experience.

Fairway Village, which includes the neighborhoods of Sheffield, Heritage (an active adult community), and Gleneagles, is the geographic center of St. Charles and, with the completion and extension of St. Charles Parkway across Billingsley Road and south to LaPlata, is often considered the crossroads as well. For Matt Snyder, who was stationed at nearby Andrews Air Force Base for 10 years, choosing a new home in the Fairway Village neighborhood of Gleneagles made a lot of sense. Matt saw St. Charles as having a “big city feel” in terms of amenities while providing a community with a small town atmosphere. In his home just 1/10th of a mile from baseball games and other events at Regency Furniture Stadium, he spends Friday nights with neighbors at their regular “soirees”, enjoys the Blue Crabs games, karaoke nights and the front porch quiet of a summer evening. A neighborhood Facebook page connects the community and serves as a gateway for new neighbors to get to know everyone.

The excitement is far from over at Fairway Village. In 2013, St.Charles will complete the Gleneagles neighborhood center, the ninth in St. Charles. The new center will feature views of the golf course and will include a swimming pool, wading pool, and walking paths that connect the community center to White Plains Park. In 2014, the new, state of the art, 1,600-student St. Charles High School will open its doors. Built on a 100-acre site donated by the St. Charles Companies in the center of Fairway Village, the new facility will include programs on environmental and natural resource management, technology, and current issues related to these fields of study, as well as cutting edge learning experiences such as a digital classroom and “Science on a Sphere.” 

Growth in Fairway Village includes planned retail and commercial uses through a 51.5-acre site that is planned for a grocery anchored village center. Likely to be developed in phases, this centrally-located corner property at St. Charles Parkway and Billingsly Road will bring approximately 286,000 square feet of commercial and retail space to the community.  

The residential development of Gleneagles is entering its final phases, with the current construction of new homes in Gleneagles South and the start of construction on 213 new apartment homes for Gleneagles III. Still, the future of St. Charles is coming into focus, with the 490-unit Fieldside community under construction next to the baseball stadium and the planned extension of Piney Church to Route 488. The St. Charles Companies and its builders have incorporated a number of elements of green technology into their land planning, development, and construction process, helping make St. Charles environmentally and economically self sustaining. New community gardens will be dedicated this year, and efforts are under way to provide land to train future farmers, as St. Charles utilizes facilities and programs to foster environmental stewardship.

The smart growth community's final two villages, Villages of Wooded Glen and Piney Reach, will comprise nearly 10,000 housing units on more than 3,000 acres and will incorporate the best in design and evolving environmental and energy efficiency standards. As we conclude our blog series on St. Charles at 40 years, we hope you gained an understanding of a unique community that, as quoted from a recent article in the Washington Times, “introduced ideas about development that continues to influence planners.” We invite you to follow us on Facebook, enjoy our blogs on ways to enjoy your life at St. Charles and visit our website for all of the exciting things to come.