By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Columbia, Md.—The redevelopment of the 100-unit Harper House in Columbia, Md., has been completed, according to Enterprise Home, which held a grand re-opening ceremony recently to mark the occasion. The project increased the size of the property, did a major overhaul of the existing property, and added green elements to it.
Harper House includes 42 one-bedroom and 58 two-bedroom apartments. The building makeover included a nine-story addition that increases living space by adding eight new two-bedroom apartments; a new roof; elevator upgrades; new energy-efficient windows; added common areas; renovated corridors and lobby area; and new bathrooms, kitchens, flooring, lighting and HVAC systems in all apartments.
Following the standards of the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, the building’s overall projected energy efficiency will increase by about 21 percent, according to Enterprise Home. Some of these green features include Energy Star appliances, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, emissive roofing, low-VOC paints and primers, and green-label carpeting.
The $21 million development was funded with tax-exempt bonds issued by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development through the New Issue Bond Program; Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity from Enterprise Community Investment Inc. through the sale of 4 percent LIHTCs issued by the Maryland Community Development Administration; a Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Grant from CDA; and contributions from the developer.
During the predevelopment and construction phases, Enterprise made sure that none of the residents would be displaced. All of the apartments are for households earning 60 percent of area median income or below, with the most for families earning less than 50 percent.
Harper House is of particular importance to Enterprise, because the company’s founder, the late developer Jim Rouse, developed the building in 1971 (he also founded the city of Columbia). It’s an early example of a privately built affordable housing project developed expressly for that purpose.