Friday, May 4, 2012

Redevelopment Revisited: Wilde Lake

 In the years since I have first started blogging I have done a good deal of talk about redevelopment in all Columbia Villages. Over the years I have made changes to what I have wanted to do where in each particular Village and I think it's time I revisited each Village and do a post on what is due for redevelopment. So now I give you the re-visitation of Wilde Lake's Redevelopment.

First we come to Rideout Heath. This is a Community Homes development of Section 8 housing that has exceeded its viable life.
 In its place will be higher density garage Apartments/Condos with a healthy mix of rentals and homes for purchase both of which will have moderate income units.

Now we come to Cross Fox. Cross Fox started out as Rental Apartments and back to back Town Homes but in 1975 they were converted into privately owned homes. I didn't have these slated for redevelopment until very recently. A friend of mine has told me that Cross Fox has been suffering from high vacancies and that homes there haven't been selling.

In its place will be newer homes that have more windows because the Town Homes will be "stacks" of two rather than back to back.
  The condos will feature larger Kitchens, full sized Washers and Dryers, Walk In Closets, and additional bathrooms.

Now we come to Faulkner Station. These are very small Town Homes that aren't large enough for today's family. Their appearance is also very dated and to be quite frank, my vision of tomorrow's Columbia doesn't
include small dated Town Homes.

In its place will be new Town Homes that are large and modern. They will not have garages but will still be three stories which will allow for one or two more bedrooms in the basement.

Next we come to Partridge Courts, another development that started out as rentals this started out as a rental complex with Town Homes that don't have basements because there is an apartment under neath them. In addition to the outdated design and the fact that Town Homes gain much needed square footage through their basements there is also the poorly laid out parking lot in relation to the front doors. I know this from experience having lived at 10472 Faulkner Ridge Circle in the 1980s.
Once redeveloped Partridge Courts will feature a diverse array of housing options. The end closest to Faulkner Ridge circle will feature two story Town Homes with full basements but no garage. Some will be
narrower which will be moderate income units.
In the middle of the development there will be garage Town Homes with a mixture of one and two garage units.
Finally at the end closest to Green Mountain Circle will be Condos with either 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms. Although Concord House is not slated for redevelopment in this plan I would like to make some changes.
There is ample room to expand the complex on what is currently under utilized parking lots. Two garages can be built and then two high rises like the current Concord House can be built around said garages
to mask them. I think this will improve the site around Partridge Courts and Concord House.
Across Twin Rivers Road we come to Wilde Lake's other Community Homes Development known as Roslyn Rise. Like Rideout Heath it features outdated Town Homes that are Section 8 and don't provide an income mix that make Neighborhoods work.
In its place will be higher density Apartments and Condos which will allow for current Residents of Roslyn Rise to stay put. The site will become larger using a vacant plot of land across Trumpeter Road near the Interfaith Center. Garages underneath the buildings will allow for fewer surface parking lots as well. Units will be built for Families ranging from 2, 3 and 4 Bedrooms.
 The final development along Twin Rivers Road that I believe is over due for redevelopment is Bryant Square. Although these are very large Town Homes there are some that are hard to get to from the parking
lot. There has also been a failed attempt to replace the outdated siding that started nearly a decade ago with little progress. There was also a high profile shooting here in 2002.

Bryant Square will stay in touch with its roots by once again featuring large Town Homes but these will much more accessible from the road and will have 2 car garages with 3, 4, and 5 bedrooms homes. These new homes should hopefully restore a larger Home Ownership base to Bryant Square.
Away from Twin Rivers Road, there are still a couple of developments that warrant a complete tear down and rebuild at least in humble opinion. First we come to Running Brook Condos, a former development
of rentals that have since been converted into privately owned units. However perhaps due to the failures of the adjacent Hannibal Grove development there has been some spillover into this development.

In the place of Running Brook Condos there will be a mixture of Town Homes that will grace the perimeter of the site with Apartments in the middle. 
 There will also be more of a buffer between the development and Little Patuxent Parkway where currently it is very easy to burglarize one of the homes.

Last but certainly not least we come to the mammoth development currently known as the Berkshires of Columbia but formerly and more commonly known as Hannibal Grove. Hannibal Grove contains a lot of
transient rental units that have been subject to crime, vandalism, and drugs. There have also been shootings here throughout the years which have downgraded the quality of life here.

The redeveloped Hannibal Grove will feature a diverse array of housing options and will allow for Home Ownership as well as rentals. Hopefully this new development will allow for Residents to buy their homes and put down roots as they say. First there will be Apartments and Condos.
 As well as Town Homes whether they be two stories without a garage or three stories with either a one or two car garage. A redeveloped Hannibal Grove will be an asset to Running Brook and the Community at
large instead of the liability that it is now.
Well this is the first re-visitation to my redevelopment plans for Columbia's Villages, some of this already has been presented and still other parts have been revised or are new all together. Stay tuned for future Villages.


kuaile050 said...

CC said...

Many of your suggested redevelopment options call for tear-down and rebuilds. I would suggest reading a GreaterGreaterWash post from earlier this year that provides a differing perspective on why older housing is necessary to maintain diversity of housing affordability. Also if policies at this level were implemented it would require significant HoCo legal resources to make eminent domain claims against each of the existing owners. The type of redevelopment you are suggesting have high costs (inc social costs), I suggest exploring other options also such as publicly supported renovation options or commercial infill-type redevelopment that increases mixed use options for existing homes.

GGW link:

Diehard Columbian said...

Come on...are you really serious?? I read through this thinking it was a joke or parody of sorts then I realized this guy wasnt kidding.
I dont know where to start. Let me point you first to reading the vision of Columbia, and the Rouse Plan and that will explain why Columbia is the model town everyone speaks of. The planners purposely designed a lot of things the way they are and reading most of your material you either dont get it or are just a front to one of those (now failed) Redevelopment companies. From social, livable and eco-friendly design, these guys really were ahead of their time. We are moving toward many of these cherished facets in society today having recovered from the devastating baby boomer fueled housing glut with wasteful, large and sprawl infested houses. Just to let you know bigger isnt always better, you could also learn to downsize. Your idea of a succesful and aesthetic community is like the 101 new developments in anytown USA. That architecture you champion by the way is old colonial..vs Columbia using modern.. As a resident I can tell you I purposely chose to live there coz of its modern design compared to the old brownstone design you seem to champion blindly. Dated? I;ll show you dated in those cookie- cutter homes you are parading.
Finally I think you need to seriously consider moving elsewhere coz like the prior poster said many in Columbia like it that way. Vacancies? come-on in this economy they are all over? 1 shooting here or there.. happens all over daily. And your idea of sucess is not shared by most knowledgeable columbians who moved there for that Rouse idea and intend to keep it that way. Move to Bethesda, Rockville or Laurel/Scaggsville or Clarksville, but let the vision be.