When James City County broke ground for the New Town development off Monticello Avenue back in the early 2000s, it had a vision of a creating a pedestrian-friendly urban community that would attract homebuyers seeking something other than a suburban, gated neighborhood.
That’s exactly what drew Mike Turkovich to his three-story townhouse in New Town in 2007.
Having traveled the country for his previous job, he was inspired by the look and feel of the row houses in Washington, D.C.
“I loved the look of the row houses, and in Williamsburg this is as close as you can get,” said Mike. “I specifically picked this unit with red brick, white trim and black shutters because of that. I also really like that it’s close to everything, and we can walk [to] places.”
New Town’s “new urbanism” model blends residential neighborhoods with retail stores, restaurants, offices and boutiques.
When Mike moved into the neighborhood, there were only about 30 homes and a couple of restaurants, he said. Now, there are many restaurants to choose from and many more homeowners.
Mike shares the townhouse with his partner Derek Bramble.
“I’ve lived in Buckroe, Norfolk, York County, and [New Town] is one of the nicest neighborhoods on the Peninsula as far as stuff to do, and it’s got a tinge of that city living with the vertical living and the shops and the movie theater,” said Derek. “I mean, Williamsburg is beautiful everywhere, but this is the most desirable neighborhood for us.”
New Town is made up of townhouses, condos and single-family houses — but the townhouses aren’t cookie cutter versions of themselves.
In addition to the exterior row house look, Mike, who is a landscape designer, also liked the enclosed courtyard space his unit offers.
The pair spends a lot of time outside during the warmer months and have just installed a new gas fire pit.
When the home was built, Mike had a hand in the design and opted to take out the wall between the proposed living room and formal dining room area.
“I even knew back then that open space was a good thing,” Mike laughed.
Inside, an interior designer initially helped with paint schemes, but since Derek moved in, the two have had to learn to meld styles.
“He’s more traditional, and I’m a little more contemporary,” said Derek.
Crisp, white crown molding top each room, and four columns at the entryway add a grandness seen in many other Williamsburg-area homes.
The biggest change over the years has been the paint scheme.
Derek and Mike recall the “mustard” and “peanut butter” colored walls of years past with smiles.
Now, softer shades of gray and yellow flow throughout the house.
On the second floor is the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom with jetted tub. A guest bedroom and bathroom and an office complete the space. The third floor currently sits empty, as the pair doesn’t need all the space the townhouse offers.
When they aren’t relaxing in their courtyard, Derek and Mike frequent local eateries and enjoy all Williamsburg has to offer. They spend a lot of time right outside their door at Opus 9’s bar.
“It’s like our Cheers,” said Derek.