Neighborhood profile | Spring Water Apts, Va. Beach

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When Eric Dang looks for a new place to hang his hat, he does his research and then some.

Dang, an ensign in the United States Navy, set up a spread sheet to rate the top apartment complexes in the area before deciding that Spring Water Apartments in Virginia Beach was the best one for him.

He dissected several apartment communities in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach by traffic patterns, amenities, rent and more. Then he figured out the benefits-to-cost ratio and narrowed it down. Spring Water came out on top.

Originally from Los Angeles, and stationed in Charleston, S.C., before he moved to Virginia Beach, Dang said he was kicking and screaming when he learned he had to move.

But, Dang said, “It’s been an easy transition with Spring Water. I’m not an easy guy to impress, but this place did it for me.”

Aside from his one-bedroom, one-bath apartment, Dang is pleased with the leasing staff and speaks so highly of his new home that others at his command took notice.

“I’ve recommended two people who signed up for Spring Water,” Dang said.

Developed by the Franklin Johnston Group and built by Marlyn Development, Spring Water is near the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Diamond Springs Road. Caroline Forehand, marketing director for the developer, said the apartment complex is built on the former warehouse and office site of Sandler Foods. It closed in early 2010; construction of Spring Water began in December 2011.

It has 252 units with one-, two- and three-bedroom options available.

Community features include gated access, a clubhouse, a resort- style swimming pool with cabanas, an outdoor kitchen with grills, fire pits, a pet park, fitness center, massage room, tanning salon, single-car garages, playground, and a two-lane, regulation-size size bowling alley.

Apartments have granite counters, spacious closets, washer and dryers, garden tubs, microwaves and stainless-steel appliances.

Rents run from $1,050 per month for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit with 850 square feet to $1,625 per month for three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,380 square feet.

The community’s name is derived from its location off Diamond Springs Road and proximity to the beach, Forehand said.

Elle Donato moved into her apartment in Spring Water on Mother’s Day. A job offer brought the native Californian to Hampton Roads. Although she’d never been to Virginia Beach, Donato also did extensive research, which led her to Spring Water Apartments. It’s just a 3-mile drive to her work and close to the beach and airport, too.

Her third floor two-bedroom, two-bath apartment near the pool and overlooking the lake has the same floor plan as the model, which she said she fell in love with.

Apartment living – and traveling – are just what Donato wants at this time in her life, she said. “I’ve owned three homes already; they tie you down. I wanted an apartment, and the timing was perfect because I’m really happy here.”

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