Events CalendarHistoric Alexandria

Alexandria’s Old Town Village Celebrates 25 Years As Neighborhood Community

All photos Grace Billups Arnold

ALEXANDRIA, VA–On the evening September 10, 2022, the Old Town Village celebrated its 25th anniversary as an official neighborhood community. It conists of 155 townhomes and 127 condominiums. To celebrate, neighbors, friends, and families went to the Roundhouse for drinks, food, live entertainment, and to recall memories.

Mary Farrell, Chair of the 25th Celebration Committee.

Mary Farrell, Chairman of OTV 25th Anniversary Celebration, along with a committee of organizers, began planning this day last year when they selected the day of celebration. In March of this year, they organized, and two months later Farrell said they “really ramped up,” meeting every month until the big day.

“This was an opportunity for people to get together and [celebrate] what we’ve accomplished over last 25 years, as a role model for next 25,” states Farrell.

To help bring back memories from 1997 and the ensuing years, several of the original and pivotal change makers affiliated with the association spoke—or reminisced.

Gordy Bratz

Co-Founder Bob Youngentob; Terry Eakin, of Eakin Youngentob and Associates now known as EYA; Old Town Village Sales Manager Adam Cetron; the first OTV owners board president, Herve Aitkin; the second OTV owners board president, Gordy Bratz; and John Prevar, the first OTV Condo Board President all recalled fond memories of the initial formation and some of the essential changes to Old Town Village community. .

Herve Aitkin

Prevar, who could not actually attend in person, shared his thoughts on paper:

The condos were developed separately by Pulte Corporation and were begun about a year after the townhomes.   It was another year after that before we could take over the condo association from Pulte, when enough condos had been sold.  I became the first president, but I had already been working some issues beforehand.

One was the traffic control gate, which Gordy Bratz and I coordinated on.  Traffic used flow down Duke Street, turn right onto South West Street, and continue through the community to the beltway.  When we met with the city about the problem, we were told that a traffic control gate was in the original plans and that one should be constructed immediately.  That was about the year 2000.  A more substantial gate was constructed in 2003, and it became the condo community’s responsibility to maintain it.

Another early issue for the condo community was trash collection.  We didn’t have trash enclosures early on, and trash collection soon became a real problem.  Several of us met with Mayor Kerry Donley and took it before the city council, which approved the construction of two trash enclosures for our area.

So, right at the beginning we had some serious problems, but thanks to cooperation among some key individuals, we got them solved.  It’s been that way ever since.

Everyone had fun catching up with old friends and neighbors.

Today the Old Town Village is a beautiful amalgamation of the members that make up its Owners Association and its Condo Association (incorporated at different dates). Its members are derived from different nationalities, religions, and political affiliations.

Farrell read off proclamations declared specifically for each association, which will be framed and displayed in the community Roundhouse. Each OTV family also received a specially-designed gift: an in-depth booklet on the history of the location and the community.

Some of the original neighborhood board members.

“When things are going crazy in this world you see these people love each other,” Farrell said. “It is a great group of people and [the evening is] exactly what I envisioned.”

Beyond simply recognizing the genesis of this community, Farrell and the evening’s speakers took a moment to recognize everyone who has had a hand into turning the community into the force it is today. Farrell commented, “We have food drives; clothing drives; if someone is ill, we bring food; it is remarkable isn’t it?”

Each family went home with an Old Town Village historical booklet.

With many activities and volunteer committees, the Old Town Village has been able to help provide food and clothing to Alexandrians in need; it has been able to provide aid to animals; and it has been able to help keep Alexandria beautiful (environmentally and culturally). In 2009, Old Town Village won an Alexandria Beautification Commission Award.

 “I hope to see continuation of what has started in the very beginning, where people get together and help each other and the community,” Farrell said.

Vocalist Jessica Jane Rucker

To carry the evening into the night, vocalist Jessica Jane Rucker, accompanied by Tom Saputo on the keyboard, performed the ever-appropriate We Are Family as the village danced the night away.

For more information on Old Town Village, its associations and community outreach, visit https://otvtownhome.net/ or contact Mary Farrell at [email protected]

[SEE ALSO: Gadsby’s Tavern to Host Mystery In the Museum Interactive Fundraiser]

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