The site where Prescott Arms apartments used to be.
The scene of one of Manassas’ most established neighborhoods is changing — quickly.
In under a week, Prescott Arms, a long-standing apartment building at the corner of Prescott Avenue and Quarry Road, was leveled to make way for Prescott Court, a brand-new townhome community that will be constructed by home builder DR Horton, city spokeswoman Patty Prince said this week.
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Judy and Gene Molinelli, who live near the 1.62-acre site, said the demolition was completed much more quickly than what they expected.
“We were amazed,” Gene Molinelli said. “They started last Monday (Feb. 24). They must have taken the day off Wednesday and it was down by Friday.”
Large piles of rubbish are now all that remain of the multistory complex.
Freedom Property Management staff said tenants of Prescott Arms had all vacated the building in the fall.
Prescott Arms residents told neighbors they knew well in advance about the project, had been on month-to-month leases and were given adequate time to vacate.
Freedom Property Management staff wouldn’t comment on how many units were in Prescott Arms. When asked, staff members also declined to comment on if the tenants were given relocation options through the management company or the owner of the property.
The Molinellis and other neighbors said they are excited about the new townhome project.
“We think it’ll be a nice addition,” Judy Molinelli said. “It’ll be less turnover and more stable because they are owned.”
Neighbors said the Prescott Arms property was becoming a little “run down.”
The sidewalks around the property will be widened and made more attractive and parking for the homes will be in the interior of the lot, Judy Molinelli said.
According to a 2011 proffer agreement between then-property owner Empire Enterprises and the city, the height of the 33 townhouses can’t exceed 45 feet. Height was something that homeowners in the area were concerned about, because they didn’t want the new development to tower over the existing houses.
Bronze community identifier signs may be placed on some of the brick columns that will be built along Prescott Avenue, according to the proffer.
The owner of the property, which city staff said is now DR Horton, is also required to install gutter, curbs, sidewalks and Sternburg lamps or similarly designed lamps along Cherry Street, Quarry Road and Prescott Avenue, according to city documents.
They are also required to establish a homeowners’ association and pay the city money to accommodate the increase responsibilities the development will place on city schools, police and fire.