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Washington Post: Maple Lawn is Establishing Itself as a Vibrant Place in Howard County

March 10, 2014

Published in the Washington Post

With its 19th- and early-20th-century architectural styles and streets under construction, parts of Maple Lawn look almost like a movie set.

But, residents say, as Howard County grows, Maple Lawn is establishing itself as a vibrant community.

The planned community at the intersection of Routes 216 and 29 in Fulton is about midway through development, says Elaine Lodge, on-site manager of the Maple Lawn Homeowners Association. Construction is nearly complete in the Hillside neighborhood and is underway by all six builders who work in the community, including in the Westside neighborhood, which is within walking distance of the boutiques and restaurants in Maple Lawn.

Greenbelt-based builder Bozzuto Homes last month opened a model for 40 two-level condominium-style townhouses, also known as stacked townhouses, in the Hillside District.

“I loved the architecture,” says Ron Suski, who owns one of them. “When you enter Maple Lawn, it’s not all the same facade. It’s really unique.”

European architecture: Some townhouses have Italianate frieze, while sections of single-family houses have Greek Revival porches with columns and others have Second Empire Mansard roof lines.

The Bozzuto condos have Georgian-style dormers and pedimented entrances. But Suski and his neighbors with the upper-level units also have modern conveniences, including an elevator.

The first residents moved into the planned community, built on former farmland, in 2005. Now, nearly 880 single-family houses, traditional townhouses and stacked townhouses have been built, Lodge says. The Midtown and Hillside districts are complete.

Retail and recreation: The retail area has grown to include a Harris Teeter grocery store, a coffee shop, a gas station, a salon and spa, restaurants and several boutiques.

Before he moved from a single-family home in Columbia, Suski was a frequent patron of the restaurants. “It has a nice mixture,” says Suski, a retired defense contractor.

The developer, Greenebaum Enterprises, holds a large street festival in July. And the homeowners association, professionally managed by Legum & Norman, puts on annual events, including outdoor movie screenings and a holiday party, Lodge says.

Art, music and fitness classes are held for adults and children in the community center, which is also used by residents for birthday parties and baby showers.

“There’s something going on every day of the week,” Lodge says.

The variety of residents’ ages and cultures makes for a diverse community, she says. “That’s what makes it so interesting,” Lodge says. “It really is a cool place.”

Elevators among the options: Prices for the townhouses start at $359,990 for Bozzuto’s Red Maple model, which has 1,600 square feet, including two to three bedrooms and 21 / 2 bathrooms. It starts on the first floor with a family room and powder room or bedroom and full bathroom. The second level includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms and open kitchen and living and dining rooms.

The larger 2,615-square-foot Silver Maple townhouse model is the upper-level unit. It has three bedrooms and 21 / 2 bathrooms, including a master suite with a soaking tub and walk-in closet. It also has an optional elevator, which starts at the ground and garage levels and stops on both levels of living space. Prices for the Silver Maple start at $429,999.

Both models have one-car garages.

Miller & Smith is finishing 65 single-family homes with two-car garages in Midtown West. Only 11 of the four-bedroom, 21 / 2 bathroom houses, with prices starting at $669,990, have not yet been sold, says Kim Ambrose, vice president of marketing for the McLean-based builder.

Mitchell & Best is selling 21 single-family homes — $740,700 and up — in the Midtown West district. Williamsburg Homes is selling three styles of townhouses — $574,900 and up — in the Westside District, and nine single-family homes — $869,900 and up — in Midtown West.

Michael Harris Homes has 18 cottage-manor lots, one villa lot and one model home in Midtown West available, with prices starting at $729,999. And NV Homes has 15 single-family houses left in Midtown West, starting at $729,000 and 38 townhouses for sale (59 have already sold) in Westside, with a starting price of $499,999.

What’s nearby: A medical building, with doctors’ and dentists’ offices, is located in the Midtown District. Howard County General Hospital in Columbia is about five miles away.

The 11,000-square foot Maple Lawn Community Center, also in Midtown, includes banquet space, conference rooms and fitness center. The three-acre park that surrounds the center has a swimming pool, tot lot, tennis courts and recreation fields.

When the development is complete, there will be more than five miles of walking paths, Lodge says.

There are three playgrounds in the community, with a fourth to built this year in the Westside district and a dog park planned for Midtown West, according to Lodge.

Schools: The public schools are Fulton Elementary, Lime Kiln Middle and Reservoir High School, which are all on a campus adjacent to Maple Lawn. There is also a public special-needs school, Cedar Lane, on the campus.

Transit: A commuter parking lot is located at Routes 216 and 29. The Glenmont Metro Station is 15 miles from Maple Lawn.