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The hundred homes at Watergate of Alexandria were built in two phases. The first phase (from Second Street at the northern end of the property to the Maple Tree walkway in the center) was completed in 1977, and the second phase (from the Maple Tree walkway to the Berm at the southern end) was finished in 1978. A third phase (from the Berm to Montgomery Street) was envisioned but never completed due to the failing financial circumstances of the developer.

So last year and this year Watergate has been celebrating its 40th anniversary. By my rough calculations (Alexandria’s official property records are surprisingly sketchy and incomplete), there have been around 300 purchasing parties at Watergate over the years (excluding creditors, relocation services, and family trusts).

It may surprise you to learn that the very first buyers at Watergate remain resident owners today. They are joined by three other sets of original owners who are residents, and two more sets of original owners who reside elsewhere. Three additional families of original owners, now deceased, continue to hold onto their Watergate homes. Altogether, that’s a nine percent retention rate after four decades.

I have lived at Watergate for a quarter-century. Of the 99 other owners who were here when I first arrived, 18 of them (or their families) still own their homes. And 194 parties bought homes at Watergate after I did, one of them twice. That adds up to a lot of neighbors, even without counting the renters.

I originally thought that I would stay at Watergate for a few years and then move on to a bigger place. But Watergate grew on me due to its convenient location, amazing landscaping and gardens, vibrant neighborhood within a small city, proximity to great shopping and dining, and the town’s deep historic roots.

So, it is with considerable sadness that I leave Watergate and Old Town, and give up the administration of this website, which I created 16 years ago and have nurtured ever since. Danielle Axenfeld, one of the recent 194, is taking over management of this site and its replacement. She will be developing and rolling out a completely new and vibrant website this coming fall, which will be more streamlined and focused, better integrated with social media, and allow for user feedback.

It will be the ultimate Version 2 that Watergate deserves, and it will surely be spectacular. So enjoy the remaining weeks of the website that you currently know and see, and look forward to the one ahead.  I can't wait to see it!

I have loved living at Watergate these many years and sharing a community with you. Change is inevitable, persistent and often difficult. But it brings about renewal and opportunity. All my best wishes to all of you.

Brian Lam, July 2018

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