By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer
Owings Mills, Md.—Groveton Green Apartments, a 226-unit luxury apartment community in Owings Mills, Md., has been awarded LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first multifamily LEED Gold certified project in the LEED for Homes program in the state of Maryland.
The first of three buildings occupying a 12.5-acre parcel at Groveton Green was delivered and occupied in November. The second is being delivered this month, and the third and final building will come online in two months. Each of the buildings is four stories tall on one side, and five stories on the other. One is designated entirely smoke-free in both residences and common areas.
Why the focus on eco-friendliness? “We thought it was the right thing to do both for the residents and, as owners and investors, ourselves,” James Sullivan, vice president of Washington, D.C.-based Fore Property Company, tells MHN.
“Residents are getting the benefits of the healthier environment and lower utility bills that add value,” Sullivan says. “And by building to a LEED standard, you’re following set guidelines and building a better building. We hold our buildings long term, and building a better building makes good business sense.”
At Groveton Green Apartments, 40 percent of units are one-bedroom apartment homes, 50 percent two-bedroom units and the remaining 10 percent three-bedrooms units.
Luxury features and finishes include stainless steel appliances, Espresso cabinets, stone countertops and, in many units, hardwood-style flooring. Energy Star appliances and lighting, enhanced insulation, Green Label carpets and fresh air ventilation system add to energy savings and provide a healthier environment.
Topping the list of common-area amenities is an 8,600-square-foot clubhouse open 24-7 to residents. It features a fitness center, poker room, billiards room and WiFi study nook. The community also offers an outdoor pool with 20-foot waterfall, pet wash, dog park and barbecue grills, Sullivan reports.
Proximity to transportation and job centers is another Groveton Green quality. Owings Mills is 15 to 20 minutes northwest of Baltimore, Sullivan reports. Residents of Groveton Green are about a mile from the Metro station providing access to Baltimore. Several major employers are nearby. T. Rowe Price, employing about 2,600 people, is located a few blocks away. CareFirst, another major company employing about 2,000, is a mile away.
The biggest challenge facing Fore Properties in developing Groveton Green was a construction hurdle. “It was very tough topography on this site,” Sullivan says.
“There was an 80-foot drop from one side of the site to the other. Each building kind of steps down. The residents have a view of the 50 acres of natural preserves adjacent to the property.”
The fact that this is Maryland’s first multifamily LEED Gold certified community in the LEED for Homes program has been exceptionally gratifying for Fore Property Co. officials, Sullivan reports. “Not only is it a unique building for Owings Mills, it’s unique for Maryland. It really offers residents all the high-end amenities and the green living qualities as well,” he says.