When Kimberly Rankin looks out the windows of her one-bedroom apartment, she sees the potential of Loudoun Station.
Developer Comstock Partners plans for its walkable community in Loudoun County, Va., anchored by a soon-to-be built Metro station, to become a hub for workers, shoppers, tourists and residents.
But easy access to airports, major shopping, work and tourist centers is still years away. Only signs promoting future development hint at what the future holds.
It was the luxury interiors and the proximity to close friends that lured Rankin to the development still being carved out of woodlands. Rankin considers Metrorail's Silver Line station, slated to open in 2018, an added bonus she's eager to use.
"I was used to being a mile away from the Dunn Loring-Merrifield station," Rankin said.
Loudoun Station currently has 357 luxury floor units ready for occupancy. They include studios, apartments with one and two bedrooms and units with two bedrooms plus a den.
The retail spaces are still taking shape, but residents can use such amenities as a 24-hour gym and a shared movie-screening room.
Rankin and her neighbors often congregate for movie nights. The sense of community now taking root, within eyesight of the Silver Line's future last stop, is exactly what Comstock envisioned when plans were first sketched, said Maggie Parker, director of communications.
Loudoun Station is intended to change the way homebuyers and commercial developers view the county's eastern corner. It's an area long associated more with horse farms and estates than mass transit commuters.
Indeed, when Comstock purchased the land more than a decade ago, low-density, estate-style homes were planned. The Silver Line, and a proposed stop at the Comstock property's doorstep, changed everything. Parker said the company quickly jumped onboard, redrawing the development plan and promoting the station's potential.
"We worked hard to send the message, the train goes both ways," Parker said.
When completed, Loudoun Station could have up to 1,500 residential units -- part of a mix of apartments, townhomes, retail locations, offices spaces and entertainment venues encircling a common green. Parker envisions Loudoun Station becoming a true residential and commercial hub, offering shopping, and offices for employees commuting in from other neighborhoods, and residences for those working in Reston, Tyson's Corner and Washington.
"It's going to take a little while for it to bloom," Parker said.
Investors, though, already are clamoring for open properties around Loudoun Station, said Eric Pearson, founder of E4Realty Group, which specializes in Loudoun County.
"Within a mile radius, you can see prices are skyrocketing," Pearson said. "A lot of people want that type of living, where you can walk to work."
Pearson, who grew up in Loudoun County, said not too long ago, horse farms still dotted this corner of the county. Some undeveloped tracts of land remain, and Pearson said residents looking for easy access to Washington are not the only people excited about Metro's arrival.
"A lot of people looking to sell are waiting to see what happens when the Metro station opens," Pearson said.