Grimm + Parker Architects is proud to be part of the Monarch Mills team, awarded Best Large Affordable Housing Project at the 2013 HAND conference. Grimm + Parker worked with Howard County Housing (HCH) and Shelter Development to transform the former 100-unit Guilford Gardens multifamily community located at 7600 Monarch Mills Way, Columbia, MD.
The newly designed Monarch Mills has created a sustainable, mixed income and multigenerational community with 224 market rate and low income garden apartments and 45 market rate and low income senior apartments.
The original project, designed by Grimm + Parker in the 1970’s, had become obsolete and needed additional density. The new development is built at three times the previous density, while adding two acres of green space for residential use. Sustainability was a key focus. The development has received Green Communities Certification and the Clubhouse is LEED Gold Certified.
Monarch Mills includes both programmed and un-programmed amenity space. In addition to playgrounds and a swimming pool, the development has a community building, senior center and an after school classroom staffed by volunteers from the community. Children receive homework help and tutoring, while several community groups use the space for their programs.
The project was made possible due to a layered financing plan secured by Shelter Development, and was completed with sensitivity to existing residents. The team used a staggered construction schedule to ensure families were not displaced off site.
HCH’s commitment to mixed-income housing development carried through to the units themselves – the finishes are identical in the market rate and low income units; while the sustainability measures employed have lowered utility costs for both the owner and the tenants.
The success of the Monarch Mills developed is already being replicated in other HCH projects. Grimm + Parker is proud to be part of this success!