I first discovered the Westover Community in the summer of ‘98 while driving down Washington Boulevard on my way to visit one of my dearest friends who owned a nearby restaurant. As I drove through a small village like area a moment of clarity struck me and I knew that I was going to live in this area someday. I was in search of my first home investment and not a professional real estate agent at the time. Had I met the right financial advisor and Realtor® then, I might have realized that Westover would be a viable option. Instead I opted for a one bedroom, one bath condo, 4 miles away. It wasn’t until four years later that my vision of owning a home in the lovely Westover Community would become reality.
In October of 2002 I stumbled across a perfect home in Westover right off of Longfellow Street, two blocks away from where I was first struck by this neighborhood. Lucky for me I was able to view the home at an open house that weekend and instantly fell in love with the place. And although there was another offer on the property, the Realtor® recognized how passionate I was about making this my home; one month later I was the proud owner of a single family home in Westover. The first time I walked over to visit my friend’s restaurant—the Lebanese Taverna—I exclaimed, “It took me four minutes to walk here, that in itself is worth the home’s price in gold!” Thirteen years, two renovations, a wonderful husband and son later, we live in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Arlington with the average days on the market being 11 days, and sales prices closing at above asking price.
History of the Westover Community
Westover was established in 1940 with the development of a 13-store retail center along Washington Boulevard. Back then, much of Arlington County was farmland, but its agrarian roots would soon give way to the growth of our nation’s capital. Perhaps it’s because of its rustic background, Westover still retains its small town feel.
Over the years the community has steadily grown and now boasts nearly 1,100 homes all within walking distance from the Westover Shopping Center, where its many shops and restaurants make it a weekend and weeknight destination, not only for the locals, but for many in the Washington DC area. The majority of our community is made up of single-family colonial style homes, as well as semi-detached homes and surrounding garden style apartments.
The neighborhood is also home to Swanson Middle School, the recently renovated Westover Library, and Westover Park. It provides easy access to several bicycle and jogging trails and lies between two convenient metro stations- East Falls Church Metro and the Ballston Metro.
Life in Westover
The Westover Shopping Center is located along Washington Boulevard and starts from west to east with the Preston King Post Office. Next to the Post Office is a small family-owned grocery store. If you’re able to see past the “Wall of Beer,” with its selection of over 550 varieties from around the world, you will discover this gem of a market has an in-house butcher who specializes in local, organic meats. In the back you will find a delicatessen and a restaurant-bar area serving up cold beer and hot sandwiches. Moving to the outside of the market you will find the now famous “Westover Beer Garden”, which has turned into quite a popular hangout for parents and kids alike. Across from the market is the family owned hardware store known as J.W. Ayers Variety & Hardwarewhich opened in 1947. It specializes in keeping in stock items needed in the maintenance of older homes in the area. Further east is Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream & Coffee, shop which features ice cream made on the premises, locally roasted gourmet coffee and a well-used community bulletin board. Each summer we look forward to enjoying treats at Toby’s ice-cream shop, and on weekends we indulge in Toby’s delicious lattes. OK, Clarendon and Ballston, you may have your Starbucks, but we have Toby’s!
Many recognize the Westover neighborhood as the location of the original Lebanese Taverna, widely regarded as one of the best Mediterranean restaurants in the Metropolitan area. Additionally we have Thai Noi, Lost Dog Cafe, and Village Sweets Bakery. Just when we thought Westover couldn’t get any better, in April we welcomed The Italian Store to the neighborhood. Now the Westover Community has access to delicious sandwiches, pizzas, and wonderful yet affordable bottles of wine. The Italian Store also carries a wide selection of Italian staple ingredients necessary for home-cooked meals. Needless to say, the neighbors can’t seem to get enough of the Italian Store. The first time we walked in to this beautiful establishment, we were greeted by the owners Robert and Laura Tramonte, who make you feel right at home with their warm smiles! At first glance, you feel as if you’ve walked into a fancy downtown Manhattan grocery shop. Robert and his staff are always there to help you figure out which wine would best accompany your meal, and offer tasty treats during their happy hour-wine events. Their Gelato takes you back to Italy along with their expresso bar and family atmosphere—the Tramonte family has made a great neighborhood even better. Now that I am fortunate enough to have a career in real estate, I can effectively speak to our wonderful Westover Community, a hidden gem that we are lucky to call home.