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Mantua senior living community unveils first renovation in 43 years

Prospective residents and other community members cut a ribbon to celebrate The Virginian’s renovation (photo by Jamey Simpson)

At 43 years old, The Virginian decided the time has come for a fresh look.

The senior living community held a grand opening last Friday (Nov. 17) to reveal the results of its first renovation since getting established at 9229 Arlington Blvd in Mantua more than four decades ago.

The $67 million renovation overhauled the facility’s assisted living wing, adding a restaurant and bistro, a movie theater, a library, a fitness center, a salon and other amenities for residents and their families.

“We wanted to refresh the building and bring a new product to the market that the new generation of seniors were really looking for, providing more of an independent living setting, more flexibility and options,” The Virginian Director of Sales and Marketing Jenna Ballard said. “So, that’s really what drove this.”

According to Ballard, design work on the renovation got underway before the pandemic, but the project got put on hold during the early months of COVID-19. Construction took about three years and is expected to fully finish by the end of this year.

A 32-acre property surrounded by Mantua Park, The Virginian was acquired by an affiliate of the Chicago-based private equity firm Focus Healthcare Partners in 2019. The new owner said it would undertake a “substantial renovation that will transform the property into a true Class A asset,” the Washington Business Journal reported at the time.

The Virginian consists of 330 rental apartments, including assisted living, independent living, memory care and skilled nursing units. It currently has about 275 residents, Ballard told FFXnow.

While the renovation didn’t significantly expand the 367,000-square-foot building, it provided more amenities and common areas for residents, according to Ballard.

“It’s like a one-stop shop. Everything is here for them,” Ballard said. “They could have meals in different restaurants. They could have a number of different activities and programs all here on campus. They don’t ever have to leave if they don’t want to.”

The design by interior designer Meyer Senior Living Studio and architect Moseley Architects aimed to “honor the old town charm of colonial Virginia with a new, hospitality-inspired contemporary flair,” according to a preview in Environments for Aging magazine.

More than 100 prospective residents, community partners and members of the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce attended last week’s grand opening, which featured a ribbon-cutting, champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a VIP tour.

Ballard says The Virginian’s goal going forward is to ensure residents have access to all the services they need on campus, regardless of “what stage they are in life.” In addition to long-term residences, the facility offers outpatient rehabilitation services, including a program specifically for people who have Parkinson’s disease.

“This is one of the best communities I’ve ever seen,” Ballard said. “It’s extremely attractive to our prospects and their families, because it provides them with so many options where they can be here for life and have peace of mind when they make this decision that it was the right move for them. So, I think from the design aspect to all the new amenities and resources that we have here, I think the entire project was incredible.”

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